New Michelin starred entry for 2022 Guide
Casa Fofo opened in 2019 and is headed by Italian chef Adolfo De Cecco, formerly of Michelin starred Pidgin under Elizabeth Haigh who reportedly named the restaurant after his Grandfather. The interior is very small and does not allow for the roomiest of experiences as a restaurant, but the staff seemed to manage this well. This was a treat for myself so I did not see the bill, but at the time of dining, it averaged at around £10 per course on a 6-course tasting menu. Some dishes worked, others were a little too much for me and not my cup of tea, but overall it was good to do for a visit with clear skill in the preparation and presentation.
The meal started with beef, lapsang souchong and mushroom using 150 day aged beef tartare on a custard-like base. This was an original starter that had good seasoning. Then came kohlrabi, braised in dashi with mussel and house 2-year-old prosciutto. The salad of pink celery had good punch with the kimchi that joined it.
Carrots in carrot juice came with Krishna fermented chilli, shiso brine, pickled lovage and puffed buckwheat. This was a very good dish with the sweetness of the carrot working well the sharpness of the other elements.
Thick, chittara pasta came with small pieces of cocoa leaves, duck and stick hazelnut. The meat for the restaurant comes from Phillip Warren Butchers as did the tingling Sancho pepper (a cousin of Sichuan pepper). This was pleasant pasta but did not exactly light the room on fire at the same time.
Six-week dry-aged lamb came with bergamot and the sauces made from the stock of mackerel bones. The lamb itself was good quality Cornish Cullyaw lamb (those that are matured) and the fat gave a superb rendered finish to the meat as well.
A pre-dessert of frozen yoghurt came with fermented strawberries and jalapeños puffed and candied sushi rice. I acknowledge the need for some pre-desserts to be a crossover and have sweet and savoury, but this was frankly just a step too far for me in terms of flavour.
The dessert was Kvass apples that were chewy, cooked in beer and served with an apple mousse. Again, I wasn’t particularly in love with this dish as the bitter seemed to hit home too much but the mousse had good texture as did the apple shavings. Coffee was the generic Italian brand Lavazza and the petit four were white chocolate and pepper ganache and a chocolate pumpkin seed and black lime piece.
Summing up, I thought there was obvious skill in the cooking preparation and execution of these dishes, but was just a case of whether the dishes should have been chosen. Only the carrot dish and lamb stood out for me as the most enjoyable, with the remainder a little too much modern experimentation. Worth a go for something different.
Food Grade: 67%