Dinner in Mayfair feels like an aptly luxurious postcode to welcome in the gradual easing out of lockdown and the arrival of Spring/Summer 2021. Though securing an al fresco booking in London right now is close to impossible – think a month-long lead in time, on top of limited choice and finding spots with heated terraces… While I was busy trying to find an al-fresco spot, I discovered that the Resy booking platform – which I’ve finally downloaded – had done the hard work for me. And in their top three recommendations is Fallow.
There’s been a lot of buzz about this Mayfair restaurant and rightly so. The team behind it include chefs Will Murray and Jack Croft who met in the kitchens of Dinner by Heston. They teamed up with seasoned hospitality operator James Robson to come up with Fallow. Opening up just a week before last year’s March lockdown, Fallow adapted to the times remarkably well – shutting shop, serving takeaway and most creatively fermenting and bottling pickles – including a killer sriracha – and drinks now available to purchase. This past year’s start-stop doesn’t seem to have thrown the team off their game here at all and having dined on their terrace (next to the heater!) I can’t wait to return – perhaps next season – to try out the regularly changing menu inside.
In keeping with its location, Fallow is stylish inside and out. Inside it feels closer to a Shoreditch hipster joint than swanky Mayfair. Bottles and jars of their tasty looking ketchup, Fallow sriracha and spicy rubs are available to buy and the open kitchen promises a lot of theatre. A stripped-back comfort that would cheer anyone up on a rainy day if the terrace was out of use. But, luckily for us, the sun had returned for Spring this Sunday evening.
Fallow run big on sustainability, an approach they bill as “at the heart of creating” their menu. In that vein, everything is super seasonal and local, focusing on sourcing, preparation and produce through a succinct and a thoughtful menu, printed on paper made from harvested algae. The menu opens with snacks, before arriving at starters, mains and deserts and there are plenty of vegan/plant-based and vegetarian options in each section.
To “snack”, their Corn ribs and lime (£6) are absolutely unmissable: scrumptious husks of corn, beautifully fried in oil nearly to the point of burning and drenched in their signature kombu seasoning of seaweed powder bolstered with paprika, cayenne and coriander. There is no holding back on flavour here. I could and would start every dinner with them (not to share) – I’m still remembering them, just wishing the kombu spice mix was available to purchase…
Onto starters, my companion and I shared the vegan take on the Broccoli, cucumber and asparagus (£12) – without the goats curd which was substituted with English peas and crispy cavolo nero. This was a fine vegan assemblage, the flavours all swimming together in perfect harmony. It just leaves you wondering how the chefs here create these dishes – their seasoning is next level. Two small plates in and we’d already reached such food highs.
For mains, I couldn’t resist the equally well-reviewed Leek, hen of the wood (a kind of mushroom) and wild garlic (£18). Given the short season of wild garlic, I feel an urge to make the most of every opportunity there is to enjoy it – especially when it has already been foraged / sourced and someone else is cooking! This dish was actually pretty similar to our shared Broccoli dish – featuring more cavolo nero. Though a bit repetitive, the hen of the wood promises the woody flavour of its name with a strong chewy – perhaps meaty – texture. Intensely earthy and wonderfully rich.
Given the seduction of the kombu seasoning featured in the corn ribs, my companion and I also shared a bowl of kombu fries (£8) to go alongside her burger. Dipped in the sriracha ketchup, these were probably the best chips I’ve ever had (and I’m not a big chip person).
From start to finish, every dish was a joy. The team at Fallow should be truly proud to have pulled through the industry-wide impact of Covid-19. The service was attentive and friendly, with front-of-house and kitchen staff more than happy to tell the story behind each dish. No doubt they will continue to surprise and spark curiosity.
Fallow, 10 Heddon St, London W1B 4BX