When London has a heat wave, she means a hottest-day-since-1976 sort of heat wave. The 33 degree day probably had me wet and dripping in a quarter of my own body weight of sweat.
Luckily, the heat wave came and went as swiftly as the breeze the next day, much to many Londoners’ relief. With my summer internship starting in less than a week, I decided to make full use of the free time for exploring the many food pop-ups around, with one being Foley’s.
Foley’s is a new restaurant based in Fitzrovia, serving up a unique range of Modern World dishes and bright flavours. Being one of the 15 restaurants that were recently awarded a Michelin Bib Gourmand, there’s no reason not to visit, especially when they’ve opened a pop-up at John Lewis Gardening Society on the roof!
The Gardening Society is situated on the 5th floor of the department store’s Oxford Street branch, and I just happened to have a grumbling belly after looking around at the Summer sale.
The pop-up restaurant itself is at the other end of the beautiful garden, with some wooden tables and chairs propped up outside on the grass, next to the wooden huts. The menu features a Middle Eastern and Asian inspired taco experience, with 3 starters (“Bits and Bobs”, they call it), and a range of tacos.
I started off with a Rosy Rosé to calm the slight heat, many thanks to Background Bars, with a plate of glittering burnt chicken ends, which are chunks of super-tender, slightly charred chicken rolled in a sweet-savoury Korean BBQ sauce.
For my first taco, I went for the tempura aubergine with burnt jalapeño, asparagus, kohlrabi, feta and poppy seeds. Wow. The tempura was beautifully done, the crunchy batter wrapping around the juicy sweetness of the aubergines, nesting on top of the freshness from the asparagus.
And it gets even better. The second taco was the slow cooked octopus, featuring chunks of soft octopus with black sesame mayonnaise, spicy pork mince, bok choy, beansprouts and Sriracha. The Asian influence comes strong in this one, and the different flavours and textures come strong yet in harmony with one another.
The friendly hostess managed to persuade me to stay for dessert, for which I went for a coconut Panna Cotta with frozen lychees, chocolate crumble and basil. A light and refreshing end to the meal.
Verdict: OMFG delicious. Get here right now before they pack up on 31st July.
Foley’s Pop-up at John Lewis Gardening Society
5/F John Lewis
300 Oxford Street
Website: click here