• Henry and the Fox

Henry and the Fox held a function for food bloggers on Tuesday 5 June. These events are always approached with a high level of anticipation. The evening was not a disappointment. The real pluses were: the 2011 Age Good Food Guide Young Chef of the Year, Michael Fox, showcased a range of the menu favourites; wines which were a good complement to the food; great service; and a group of (mostly) young multi-cultural bloggers who were enthusiastic, but discerning food lovers.

The layout feels as though it would be more at home in a casual restaurant/bistro in Albert Park or South Melbourne. There are a number of smaller tables, but the space is dominated by a long high marble table with comfortable chairs overlooking the open kitchen. This would be the sort of space which would work well for breakfast, coffee, or a person eating alone. Certainly it was great fun being at the bench with fellow diners sharing dishes, chatting about the food and watching the chefs in action.

The restaurant describes itself as modern Australian.  To me the term can often cover up a level of ordinariness, but for Henry and the Fox it means Spanish, Italian and French influences with a great focus on freshness and presentation.

There were only 2 vegetarian options on the entrée menu. The lightly fried zucchini flowers were filled with ricotta, mint and peas. These were a refreshing and delicious start to the meal.


The entrees were served with a gently oaked pinot gris from Alsace. The slightly buttery and fruit driven wine worked as a good balance to the mint and pea filled zucchini flowers.

The other vegetarian option was goats cheese and roasted baby beets. The dish was complemented by pickled shallots, shiso, and raspberry vinegar. This combination worked very well and was a step up from the typical beets and goats’ cheese which has become a standard offering at a lot of restaurants. As with all their dishes a lot of attention is given to presentation. The flavours of the dish brought the pinot gris to life.


The vegetarian options on the mains menu were limited: there were only two – both pasta dishes. However, the accompaniments to the other mains were all indicators that the chef is capable in the vegetarian area. But you have to ask the question: why not offer a couple of vegetarian mains other than pastas?

The two salads were excellent: buffalo mozzarella, orange and bitter lettuce; and rocket, pear and roasted walnuts. The ingredients were exceptionally fresh and the textures and flavours created an enjoyable eating experience. The other vegetable dishes served with the mains were a spiced carrot (good flavours, but not the sort of dish which  you want to fill up on; and brussel sprouts, chestnut and (oh dear!) smoked bacon. The chestnuts and sprouts was another inspired texture/flavour contrast type of dish, but was a bit generously salted.

The red wine that was provided was a Grenache from…. The meat eaters were enjoying it: it was a wine which would have gone well with one of the fuller flavoured pizza from the restaurants pizzeria, but I continued with the pinot gris which provided a superior balance to the vegetarian dishes.

A lot of food was served in a relatively short time. Did any of us need dessert? Most of us agreed dessert was an excessive indulgence. But when attractively presented desserts (4 in total) are put in front of a food lover, is it a virtue to resist temptation? Well, I dived in. The serves were generous so the virtue was in not licking the bowl clean. The passionfruit cheesecake was the standout. It was more a mousse than a cake – light and full of flavour – served with jelly, granita and a yoghurt sorbet. It was a real palate cleanser after a big meal.

The other desserts served were: doughnuts coated with sugar and with a chocolate dipping sauce  (I’ll come back another day for a coffee and these doughnuts); chocolate pannacotta (fairly dense but balanced with strawberry cream and sorbet); quince, pear, and custard coconut crumble with coconut ice-cream (large serving and a good combination of flavours, but could only manage a spoonful after a large amount of food).


This was a great night out. The restaurant needs a crowd to create the ambience. Hopefully Henry and the Fox will start to attract the crowd the food deserves.


About the Author
Michael is a food and wine connoisseur and has recently started writing for Nouveau Potato.  He also makes a delicious chocolate cake.

Henry and the Fox
525 Little Collins St
Melbourne 3000
03 9614 3277
Henry and the Fox on Urbanspoon

6 comments:

  1. We love this place, it's vibrant and fresh. We were one of the first to review it. Sad though we think that it has resorted to invites to food bloggers to garner attention. It could have slowly build its audience as it deserves that. Of course, that's our opinion as to food bloggers being used as PR puppets. This is not meant as any disrespect to you yourself regardless so please don't read it as that. Good that you made it though. Looks like we shall have to return again soon, as the desserts have changed. :)

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  2. Hi Dessert Correspondents,
    Thanks for your comment. Great blog by the way.
    I can't wait to try this place when I get back from my trip, as I have only heard good things...plus the desserts look delicious. I was very jealous that Michael got to go to the event.
    In terms of blogs and PR, I don't think in any way are they resorting to this, but rather being proactive with their marketing and promotions. Whilst it would be nice to see new restaurants grow organically, the market these days is super competitive and social media and blogging are more and more influential on success and failure. Of course the most important thing is the food, and for this Henry and the Fox deserves to do well.

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  3. It was fun meeting Michael that night. Liked the fact that he and I are in the same line of work :) Enjoy your rendezvous :)!!

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  4. I can't believe he got to meet you and I still haven't! Oh well, another time...

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  5. I loved this place! Being vegetarian as well, I was really well looked after, and they pointed out every single thing on the menu that I could eat. Did not leave disappointed!

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  6. Glad you enjoyed it. I saw your post on this restaurant too. It is always exciting when they look after vegetarians...us vegos have to stick together!

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