This morally just gem sits in West London’s Talbot Road, where you can explore its fine cuisine and an array of vibrant colours. The Jamaican colours, hospitable staff and friendly environment at Moral Fox are only a few things that will keep you there. The food can of course speak for itself, but here’s a preview just incase you need one last deciding factor.
The Moral Fox
In three words: Funky, Unique, Unexpected
The Lowdown: Just how much can one say about fried chicken? Well, a lot, as it happens. Moral Fox has set a den in West London and is here to teach us a thing or two about achieving perfect poultry.
Only opened since around October, Moral Fox was first conceived as a pop-up by the young creator Robie. He saw an opportunity to get his fried chicken to the masses and took it, selling out of a building that used to be an old Rasta drinking den and has passed hands since the sixties.
His food proved so popular that, when the lease became available, he jumped at the chance – and now has fashioned an incredible, relaxed and ultra-cool space where diners can eat, chill, then go listen to some reggae and hip hop in the pumping club downstairs.
Location: Head west towards Willesden Green and Royal Oak and you’re on the right track. The actual place, located on Talbot Road, is not especially easy to spot, since there is zero branding or signage. Just look out for the original sign of The Globe pub, head through the brightly painted door, and suddenly you’re in a hidden yet buzzing space.
The Occasion: Come with a group of mates and impress them with your knowledge of under-the-radar eateries. Once you’ve shimmied up next to each other and shared chicken from the cherry red plastic trays then there’s the perfect opportunity to head downstairs and continue the party.
Decor: Jamaican colours of vivid reds, emerald greens and sunshine yellows brighten the small space, accompanied by features from the original establishment such as ‘pub rules’ (hooting of car horns post 11pm was frowned upon). Diner-style formica tables are surrounded by squishy upholstered seats so you can make yourself comfortable.
Atmosphere: Because you have to search it out, and the place has no windows, then Moral Fox has a kind of club house feel to it. The music is funky reggae and there’s a definite air of friends meeting together to have a good time.
Culinary Concept: Fried chicken with a twist. It’s prepared in a very technical way – another example of what looks like a simple concept having a lot more clout behind it than outwardly appearances. It’s a concise menu – fried chicken, spicy fried chicken, and a chicken sandwich, all with the opportunity of a number of exciting sides.
What we tried:
A group of three of us had great fun working our way through the entire menu. Because of the techniques employed in preparing the chicken and then frying it, there was a distinct lack of overwhelming grease that can sometimes accompany this meal. The result was flavoursome, tender white chicken coated in gorgeous orange breadcrumbs. The skin was crispy and perfectly seasoned, with the spicy variety having a lovely kick that went well with crunchy coleslaw. The sandwich reminded us of indulgent comfort food – pillowy slices of white bread nuzzling up to chicken and sauce.
It is wholly necessary to get sides as well – the macaroni cheese consisted of little springs of pasta that wasn’t too rich, while the unexpected dish of the night was chilli creamed corn. It had a wonderful texture, with little beads of sweetcorn that worked well with the heat of spice.
For dessert you can round the meal off with a retro-rectangle of vanilla ice cream dusted with Oreo crumb – nostalgic, sweet and not too complicated on the palate.
For next time: We pretty much ate the entire list, but luckily the chicken is so good we’d happily come back and scoff it all over again.
Veggie delights: Moral Fox doesn’t massively cater for those adverse to a portion of poultry – if it’s a light bite they’re after then a round of the delicious sides might do the trick, but hungrier patrons might feel their stomach rumbling.
Best of the booze: There’s an interesting selection to give a go – those not imbibing alcohol will appreciate the thirst quenching homemade raspberry lemonade, while we found the Camden Pale Ale a perfect accompaniment to fried bird. There are also three quirky little cocktails to try, including a daiquiri and a Brandy Milk Punch – the latter being a sweet and more-ish combination of brandy and homemade vanilla milk which is far too easy to quaff.
Fun Fact: The name derives from an idea for a short film imagined by the owner Robie, who at one time worked as a director. The fox in question was a gentleman about his killings, and could be conceived to have a moral compass. Once Robie had decided chicken was the menu staple then this brainwave came back into play.
Overall: Moral Fox is here to blast away the assumption that fried chicken is greasy-guilt food and best eaten from a bucket. They’re in no way making it gourmet – where’s the fun in that? – but they are providing a far tastier and interesting twist on the whole thing. To have such a limited menu it needs to be seriously good, and luckily they have pulled this off with aplomb. And, to be honest, one of the main draws is the atmosphere created and the fantastic staff. The reason you’ll be returning isn’t just because you like the food – you’ll feel like Moral Fox has provided a new welcoming den to spend your spare time.
103 Talbot Road, W112AT
_44 20 7221 2689