Foley’s, Fitzrovia

I loved Palomar restaurant so was excited to hear about the Foley’s kitchen team, headed up by ex-Palomar chef Mitz Vora. The restaurant, in Fitzrovia, is set over two floors with an open kitchen downstairs so that guests can get a glimpse of the action.


The restaurant is cosy and welcoming, with stylishly designed seating and warm lighting. After a round of fruity cocktails we moved on to the food menu, which is split into various categories: ‘Bits & Bobs’, ‘Veg’, ‘Meat’  and ‘From the Sea’. The menu is eclectic with an intriguing variety of dishes. The chef’s creativity is immediately obvious from reading through the first section of the menu where tacos, potato fritters and ham hock all feature.


The starters were perhaps my favourite part of the lunch. Korean BBQ charcoal grilled chicken ‘burnt ends’ were addictively good served with a spicy vinegar dipping sauce. Aubergine with pomegranate, dates, chilli lime yoghurt and puffed quinoa was a suped-up version of Ottolenghi’s grilled aubergines, with a lovely sweetness from the dates and a contrasting zing from the lime and chilli. A little taste of Italy came in the form of Truffle potato agnolotti with cauliflower, rocket, hazelnuts and parmesan… a little out of place amongst the fusion menu of Foley’s but very tasty nonetheless.


The daily lunch menu offers some of Foley’s best dishes at the very reasonable price of £20 for three courses. I recommend the Pork Belly with apple and swede vermicelli, buttermilk and toasted cashews. It was a lovely piece of meat, cooked to perfection so the fat was melting away to give a lovely rich and velvety taste. The Keralan duck with ginger and parsnip puree was also a delicious main course, with accents of coriander and coconut reminding me of the Indian influence.


Desserts were a mix of unusual flavours and textures. Lemongrass, lychee and thai basil pannacotta was a little too much like solidified Thai curry, but the ‘Fat Boy Elvis’ was a more successful pudding. This decadent dish is made up of chocolate chip banana cake, banana cream, peanut butter nougat and bacon & strawberry jam. I liked the saccarine sweet mix of banana, chocolate and peanuts, though the jam was a little too much for me.

Every Sunday, head chef Mitz Vora hosts ‘off-menu’ tasting sessions for 10 guests at a time. These evenings are priced at £65 per person for which you will be treated to 6 special courses inspired by the flavours of India and the Middle East. If you can’t make it to a weekend feast, Foley’s is equally good for afterwork cocktails and small snacks with friends, or a romantic dinner for two.

More information and book a table here.

Motif, Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi

Motif, the new restaurant at Four Seasons Marunouchi, offers guests a menu of luxurious classic French dishes with a Japanese twist. The cuisine is a collaboration between head chef Hiroyuki Asano and culinary advisor chef Hiroshi Nakamichi.

There are three dining spaces to suit casual and formal occasions, at any time of day. The entire venue was designed by renowned architect Andre Fu, and features more than 200 pieces of custom made furniture, lighting and screens. I enjoyed dinner in ‘The Social Salon’; a comfortable but sophisticated room to spend the evening.  Guests can choose from a range of decadent tasting menus or opt for the seasonal a la carte specialities.

To start we chose a couple of the lighter dishes. The recommended Seasonal Vegetables with Truffles was a fresh and simple appetiser cooked in a buttery sauce and topped with just-shaved black truffles. It was soft and subtle on the palate, as is the case with a lot of food in Japan. I chose the green salad with soy dressing, which was refreshing with a hint of bitterness.

After a healthy start we decided on rather more indulgent main courses. I couldn’t refuse the meat dish of the day, wild boar from nearby city Nara. The tender meat was cooked to perfection, sitting in a puddle of rich shiny red wine reduction jus (a display of immaculate French cooking skill). The meat was paired with unique Asian flavours, blackened radish and Japanese mushroom. Our waiter also insisted on us ordering the chef’s signature; Skate wing fillet Meuniere in a Grenoble style, which arrived at the table in a pan, still sizzling in a burnt butter sauce. The fish fillet fell off the soft bone easily, and was absolutely delicious with the creamy nutty sauce.

Dessert was the ultimate marriage of French style and Japanese flavour. The chocolate fondant was as good as any I have tried in Europe, a blissfully gooey centre encased in a soft dense cake. This was paired with green tea ice cream and soy sauce flavoured rice crackers. Though I like drinking green tea I found the ice-cream, powder and foam too intense, overpowering the chocolate a little too much. For a lighter pudding go for the Pear gelee with sherbert and rhubarb jam, a palate cleansing jelly.

After sampling so much Japanese food in Tokyo I was pleased to dine at Motif and I relished the rich French recipes. The produce in Japan is so superior to many other countries and this was particularly evident in the meat and fish we enjoyed at the Four Seasons Tokyo.

More information and book a table at Motif here.

Inamo, St James’

Conventional restaurants are so overrated… who wants to talk to a waiter when you can communicate electronically from the comfort of your table. It doesn’t take much to excite me so I found my first time trip to concert restaurant Inamo utterly thrilling.

This Oriental fusion restaurant combines tasty food with an interactive experience to create a fun new way of dining out. I have been aware of the excitement surrounding the Soho branch – now a new venue has opened in St James which I went to try last week. The interior initially reminded me of the rainforest café, bright and exotic with a buzz of childlike fun. But Inamo will appeal to adults as well as younger visitors – the food certainly has a sophisticated twist.

We took a seat at an illuminated table, the waiter (who seemed slightly phased by the whole idea) explained the concept to me, indicating the various settings and functions of our mousemat table. As well as browsing the food and drinks menu, guests can change the tablecloth images, play Battleships, watch the live chef cam, check the bill and call a waiter.

I found it all rather stressful choosing food (dishes can be placed and removed from the basket with just one click) – it is all very like online shopping, enticing and dangerous. Eventually we opted for fruit Martinis and a selection of starters. Everything arrived within fifteen minutes: deliciously sweet and succulent Spicy Aubergine, tender and in an addictive sauce, divine Chicken Satay, perfectly marinated meat with an accompanying nutty dip, served sizzling on a hot grill. We also tried the fresh Tomato and Avocado Salad, presented daintily and dressed with an unusual oriental vinaigrette. The cocktails were surprisingly good, though my passion fruit Martini took a while to arrive, just the right blend of sour and sweet, finely mixed and very drinkable.

For mains I couldn’t resist the Red Thai Vegetable Curry with impeccably cooked sticky rice. The curry was unusually thick and chock-a-block full of vegetables but had a lovely flavour and I easily finished my portion! My friend chose the Tamarind Duck Breast with orange, tomato and mazuna salad and tamarind sauce. This dish was more of a salad and arrived (unexpectedly) cold. The lean duck was lovely but needed a little extra seasoning…. we weren’t overly keen on the bizarre dressing which rather overpowered the meat.

It’s rare that I find a whole menu of desserts appealing, especially in oriental cuisine – Inamo have really excelled in presenting an assortment that sounds interesting and alluring. I wanted to try several but checking on our ‘bill button,’ I saw we were reaching a dangerous sum (thanks to the expensive second round of cocktails). Coconut Cheesecake and Thai Basil Pannacotta made the final selection. Both were uniquely oriental infused puddings, the pannacotta was a little odd served with sweet coconut foam and a tuile… I couldn’t help identifying a curry like hint in the creamy dessert that put me off. The cheesecake was a winner though – soft cake with a pleasant biscuit base and delicious contrasting cherry sorbet.

I was reluctant to stop playing Inamo’s games… good food and quirky enjoyment. I can imagine this restaurant is ideal for a fun first date.

Visit the website here for more information.