Get a personalised letter from Santa

Food review: Veganism at Foxlow, St John Street

PUBLISHED: 15:41 14 November 2017 | UPDATED: 18:15 14 November 2017

Aubergine steak, a main on Foxlow's vegan menu. Picture: Piotr Kowalczyk

Aubergine steak, a main on Foxlow's vegan menu. Picture: Piotr Kowalczyk


Foxlow’s Clerkenwell branch in St John Street is offering a vegan menu during November. The Gazette is impressed.

The interior of Foxlow's Clerkenwell branch in St John Street. Picture: Kitchen CommunicationsThe interior of Foxlow's Clerkenwell branch in St John Street. Picture: Kitchen Communications

Hello, my name is James Morris and I’m a walking, talking parody. After two years of living in Islington, I’ve gone from committed meat eater to (almost) full-time vegan.

It’s why I’m so excited about visiting the Clerkenwell branch of classy restaurant mini chain Foxlow. In November, world vegan month, it’s offering a special vegan menu. The test is simple: would any of these dishes persuade diners to deviate from the standard menu?

First impressions of the restaurant itself are excellent. It’s plush, atmospheric and full of diners. Ours is pretty much the only table left when we arrive. That’s not bad for a restaurant in St John Street, which despite its central location is not exactly teeming with people at 7.30pm on a Wednesday night.

The good vibes continue when we ask for a mere carafe of house red, but our friendly, affable waiters totally ignore the order and give us a full bottle (£25) instead.

There are two starters available on the menu, which we share. The carrot hummus with fresh toasted bread (£5) is incredible. The texture is creamy, and a strong lemony presence makes it a refreshing start to the meal. I’m less excited by the kale and avocado salad (£6) but then I’ve never been excited about kale or avocado. My friend, who knows more about kale and avocado, reports it’s excellent.

Carrot hummus, a starter on Foxlow's vegan menu. Picture: Piotr KowalczykCarrot hummus, a starter on Foxlow's vegan menu. Picture: Piotr Kowalczyk

Like vegan restaurants which unimaginatively but the letter “V” in their name, I’m not a fan of vegan food presented in a meaty style. But I’m a hypocrite, so I choose the charred aubergine steak (£9.50) for my main. Quite sadly, this cut is not as delicious as dead cow, but with the wild mushrooms and “béarnaise” sauce, the dish manages to satisfy.

More exciting is my friend’s roasted acorn squash pie (£9). With squash skin as the pie “cup”, topped by a layer of crispy pastry, it comes with chestnut mushrooms, spinach and gravy. The skin has a tasty, jacket potato-like quality. It goes down like comfort food, but with immense class.

While I get a couple of sickly sweet sorbets (£2 each) for my dessert, my mercenary companion can’t resist transferring to the standard menu to order her favourite: sticky toffee pudding (£6.50). It’s the sort of thing you just don’t get in the vegan world, with a luxuriously sweet and buttery sauce making it an exceptional pudding.

Foxlow has no intention of being vegan – it admits so on its website. But with veganism increasingly popular, it makes business sense to take this into account by at least offering it to those who do. The menu is carefully selected, and most importantly the food is delicious. It wins because it would please committed vegans, while also being attractive enough to make meat eaters stop in their tracks.

Latest Islington Entertainment Stories

Tips on where to stay and what to eat in Dublin courtesy of our travel writer, Sophie Ritchie.


When Alice Frick began telling jokes in comedy clubs across Austria and Germany, organisers paid little attention to her material. Instead, they suggested wearing a dress, high heels and “doing a little twirl after you’ve finished your set.”


As Americans everywhere prepare for a turkey feast with extra helpings of pumpkin pie, we’ve been out finding five of the best places for Thanksgiving this side of the Atlantic.

Mon, 12:26

A new event set-up to showcase independent designers working in fashion, interiors and print is coming to Stokey this weekend.


Fostering older teenagers means giving them the skills for life as an adult. Here, a supportive lodgings carer with Islington Council and young adult who has left care share their stories

Newsletter Sign Up

Islington Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read entertainment

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now