Having missed their previous residencies, their most recent at 10 Heddon Street, where they achieved an impressive Michelin Bib Gourmand in the process, I finally made it to Fallow, now permanently located at St James’s Market, a vibrant hub that’s just a stone’s throw away from the buzz of Piccadilly Circus.
A harmonious blend of creative cooking and sustainability, their innovative à la carte menu is based on sharing plates, and as it was the first visit for both of us, we requested for some recommendations of their most popular signature dishes. The corn ribs was the first to catch my eye, having seen it featured numerous times on social media; an interesting vegan alternative to your typical ribs, the umami flavours sent a tingling excitement through my taste buds. Best to be eaten with your hands rather than cutlery to avoid the embarrassment of flinging it across to the other table. The caramelised cauliflower croquetas were nestled on a black garlic puree, garnished with crispy cauliflower leaves and English pecorino. Delicious bite-sized mouthfuls which we devoured in seconds and had us lusting for more. The fallow deer tartare was also very good, the crackers added a nice texture to the dish. The shiitake mushroom parfait topped with homegrown oyster mushrooms, as simple as it may sound, was one of my favourite dishes; incredibly smooth and indulgent, it’s the dish that I would undoubtedly order again on my next visit. Maybe even with the additional black truffle, if I’m feeling extra fancy.
From the Large Plates, we were recommended the cod’s head which is not something you would often see on a typical British menu. Fish heads are considered a delicacy in Asian cuisine, and whilst I’m more partial towards the tail and fins, my mum and (late) grandmother would instead dive in for the head. I have fond memories of my grandmother sucking on the gelatinous eyeballs, which although may sound squeamish to some, actually contain high concentrations of nutrients such as vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids. Covered in a rich and creamy sriracha butter sauce, I didn’t hesitate from getting stuck in with my fingers to make sure that I didn’t miss out on a single morsel of juicy flesh. As much as I love my greens, I’m often dubious about ordering non-meat dishes on the menu. However, I must admit that I very much enjoyed the confit cabbage, much more than I thought I would; buttery and melt-in-your-mouth, it was packed with sweet and earthy flavours of black garlic and chestnuts, the shredded cabbage on top was just the icing on the cake. So good that even the most stubborn vegetable-hater would have succumbed.
And of course one must not forget to order a side of Boulangère potatoes; golden layers of crispy potatoes with a soft and buttery centre that would make you ditch the diet any day.
To finish, we shared their indulgent Guinness, dark chocolate soft serve topped with crispy artichoke skins, and the Chelsea tart with caramelised whey using leftover whey from Kappacasein dairy, served alongside a sourdough soft serve made from surplus bread.
A lover and maker of lists, I would certainly add Fallow to my list of potential date-night spots – future dates, take note.
A shared love of mushrooms is essential.