A restaurant review this week: Foxcroft & Ginger , the “artisan café-cum-bakery” which has just opened a new site in Whitechapel (I went to the Berwick St branch in Soho though). Verdict: good!
I took my 12 year old daughter and her review has failed to materialise, but I speak for us both in saying we really liked it. We had lunch at 1130am (I like an early lunch, as you know) so I was able to sample the brunch menu too (served till 1200). I had Sweetcorn and Sweet Potato Fritter with bacon and avocado, baby leaves and tomato chutney (gluten free!) £8.50. It was the world’s biggest fritter and really tasty/filling/satisfying to keep you going through the afternoon. I might have roasted the sweet potato before adding it, instead of just dicing it – my only quibble there.
Daughter had Sweet Pea hummous, goat cheese curd, roasted red peppers and basil on foccaccia (v) £6.20/£4.95 takeaway. It was the world’s biggest sandwich, as you can see. We actually took half away in a doggy bag. I can’t really criticise them for being over-generous (and perhaps their customers like these man-sized sarnies) but I might have halved the thickness of the bread. She couldn’t get in in her mouth and had to deconstruct it. But it was AWESOMELY tasty! A mixture of potato crisps and nachos (which I haven’t seen before, but gets round the dilemma of which to serve) and a rocket/avocado salad came with it. Lovely bit of greenery to up the vitamin content.
I also had the Spiced Moroccan Chicken salad, chickpeas, roasted pepper, butternut, soft herbs, with tahini yoghurt dressing (£6.50/£3.50 takeaway). It was a side-dish size. I probably over-ordered but I wanted to try both – it was really tasty and I loved it. I looked at the queues of people at the counter and thought, “This is really the sort of food people want to eat.” Or people round that area anyway: creatives, film/TV production and advertising types (ie me).
The decor is quirky industrial-chic (e.g. there was a pommel horse in the window), all metal shelving, exposed ducts, concrete ceiling, hewn wooden tables, white tiling, unplastered walls etc. It’s comfy though. On the wheat front, Foxcroft does specialise in baked goods, cakes, sourdough, amazing sarnies, filled croissants, artisan pizza (evenings only), cakes etc (see pic of brownies at the top), and coffee (which neither of us drinks).
We were stuffed, so the manager talked us into taking some cakes for later, when a tiny crack of space might have opened up in our stomachs. they’re all about the £3.95 mark. We went for the recommended chocolate brownies (which were intense, chocolatey, generously cocoa-powder-dusted, smooth and almost moussey – amazing). A carrot cake with cream cheese
(?) frosting and (candied?) nuts on top was scrumptious, and the daughter wolfed the gluten-free Chocolate Orange Cake with choc icing – so it must have been good. I still have the lemon polenta cake to try. All the takeaways are packed in individual card boxes, thoughtfully labelled with what they are, and a wooden fork or two, and napkins. Classy.
Did I mention there’s also wine and beer (labelled “hops” on the menu – poseurs!) and cocktails.
I now wish I worked in Soho, or Whitechapel where the new branch has just opened (68 Mile End Road, Whitechapel, E1 4TT – Tel 020 3602 3371).