Henry and the Fox, Melbourne

I realised I’ve left writing about Henry and the Fox until a bit too late. Their entire menu had changed since my visit but it would be such a waste to not blog about the place that I decided I’d go ahead and write about my experiences anyway. I might write an updated post after I try the new menu again after I go back to Australia.

It’s not everyday you can find a good restaurant that has fantastic food, service and all for a good price too. Every time that happens (which is not very often) I get very excited. A little while ago, I went to Henry and the Fox in the city after booking with Agenda City which allowed me a 30% discount and Yuye and I had such a great time.

I had never booked with Agenda City before but it stated that the party must be seated within 15 minutes of the booked time but due to the traffic, I was running a bit late. It turned out that it was a lot more lenient than I thought and I was seated with no problems. Our waitress Salla was very friendly and made recommendations while we picked from the menu.

The casual decor gave me a comfortable feel and I see how this place can be very popular with white collars in the area.

While I waited for Yuye who was parking at the time, I had a latte ($3.50). It was slightly watery and wasn’t the best coffee I’ve had but by no means one of the worse ones either.

However, I was very impressed with Yuye’s iced chocolate ($6). The vanilla ice cream is home made and tasted so smooth. It was a perfect harmony with the milky chocolatey drink and for a moment I wanted to order one for myself.

We were offered complimentary organic sourdough bread which was specially sourced from Zeally Bay in Torquay by head chef Michael Fox. It was a very delicious tasting bread with a slightly crunchy outside and fluffy sourdough on the inside. It was definitely one of the best sourdoughs I’ve tasted.

Michael Fox specialises in seafood so we were recommended to try the seafood dishes. For entree we had the popular bug tails ($24.90). I think it was the most expensive entree on the menu but boy was it worth it. I could have eaten a whole dish by myself. The bug meat was very tender and perfectly cooked, the brown rice was crunchy and provided a wonderful texture as well as a nostalgic fragrance in the dish that was in perfect harmony with the other ingredients. The Cauliflower puree was subtly sweet and creamy which wrapped up the dish very well. Yuye and I both agreed that this was the best dish of the night.

We also ordered a calamari ($14) which was delicious but was outshone by a mile after tasting the bug tails we thought. The calamari itself was juicy and well cooked. It was very thinly battered with rice flour so is quite different in texture compared to regular calamari. The dip was a bit like guacamole in that it had a lot of coriander. I also found the calamari to be quite tasty with a sprinkle of the five spice powder.

For mains we ordered a crispy pork belly ($32). The crackling was crunchy but not oily and the orange pieces cut through any remaining oiliness anyway. It was a very fresh tasting dish and not at all heavy despite it being a pork dish which I was surprised about and it was very well balanced with all the right ingredients to go with my favourite meat. But then again, you can’t really go wrong with classic pairings like oranges and fennel.

Our other main was the rock flathead ($29.90). The flathead was crunchy on the outside and juicy on the inside, although we did find it a tiny bit overcooked. The smokey eel was very smooth in texture and had a distinct smokey flavour. The half cooked quail egg was cooked perfectly and the yolk was still runny. This is a difficult task since the eggs are so small. My favourite part of the dish was the potatoes actually, I could have eaten a whole plate of just the potatoes.

Even though we enjoyed this dish, we did find it a bit heavy for a fish dish as there wasn’t much to cut through the flesh and heavy ingredients. I found it needed some more zing to make this dish shine.

This was not the end of our meal, in fact, it was far from it. We had a total of 3 desserts. This was a record breaker for us since we usually can’t even finish one dessert. The desserts at Henry and the Fox were refreshing, delicious and light enough for us to finish 3, or maybe even more. I loved all of the ones we tried. The first dessert (which was also my favourite) was the passionfruit cheesecake ($15). It was essentially a de-constructed cheesecake with all the elements pleasingly laid out on the plate. All the colours, textures and flavours felt like they were dancing on the plate and my palate. They worked so well together my spoon automatically went back for more.

This dish needed to be consumed very quickly though as the granita (which provided such a wonderful sensation and texture) melted very quickly but it was a beautiful few mouthfuls while it lasted. I also loved the nuts and crispy bits in the dish as well which represented the base. The yoghurt sorbet was so smooth and tasty it really made me want to get a commercial grade ice cream machine.

The second dessert was the blood orange parfait ($14). It wasn’t as memorable as the first dessert but was delicious nonetheless. I was told it had gingerbread although it didn’t taste all that gingerbread like to me. It was very soft and moist which I loved and the sorbet was of course beautiful.

The last dessert was complimentary by the chef which gave me such a surprise. If I had known, I may not have ordered 2 desserts, but it all turned out well since we gladly polished off every single dessert in front of us. The complimentary dessert was a new dessert on the menu at the time – the mango and coconut sundae. It was a very interesting and fun dessert using seasonal ingredients. I love mangoes so this was right up my alley (although having tasted the passionfruit cheesecake, it was very hard to beat).

If you are wondering how this dessert is to be eaten, well I also wondered the same thing myself until I was told. You’re meant to crack the thin biscuit with the spoon and the ice cream (along with the biscuit) will all fall into the glass. How unique and fun is that?

I loved the taste and textures of the dish, although we found the rice pudding to be a bit too undercooked. After speaking to Michael about it, I found out he deliberately made it like that.

It’s such a shame that the dishes I tasted are no longer offered on the menu. I would have loved to go back and eat some of the bug tails and passionfruit cheesecake again. However, the new menu excites me and I can’t wait to go back and try the new dishes. At least I know that Michael Fox is a great chef so I trust the new dishes are equally as good, if not better.

I originally thought Henry and the Fox no longer existed on Agency City in December but it seems like it is back on so get in while it’s still valid because our bill had a whopping $42 taken off the total bill. That’s 30% off the total bill with no cap. For such fantastic food and great service, it’s the best value deal out there.

Henry and the Fox
Phone: (03) 9614 3277
525 Little Collins St, Melbourne VIC 3000
http://www.henryandthefox.com.au/

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17 comments… add one

  • Choc Chip Uru December 14, 2012, 3:16 pm

    The dishes here are created very masterfully but I’m sure the new menu will be just as exciting!

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  • Libby December 14, 2012, 7:00 pm

    I thought that some of the dishes at HATF were overseasoned when I went but I think they seemed to have rectified it :)

    +1 for the bug tails and the passionfruit cheesekcake, though. They, too, were my favourite dishes :)

    Reply
  • Tania @ A Perfect Pantry December 14, 2012, 7:12 pm

    What gorgeous meals… I stared at the ice cream desert for a while, trying to work out who I’d eat that:) Good that they told you:)

    Reply
  • Ali December 14, 2012, 10:57 pm

    Looks like a great restaurant! I think the passionfruit cheesecake would have been my favourite dessert too!

    Reply
  • yummychunklet December 15, 2012, 5:07 am

    Love the look of those desserts!

    Reply
  • Alex December 15, 2012, 1:22 pm

    What an inspiring place. :)

    Reply
  • Daisy@Nevertoosweet December 15, 2012, 9:28 pm

    Oh oh oh ;) I just went on Wednesday and they have definitely changed their menus ~ I really enjoyed their dishes too!! And with the 30% off Agenda City I think it makes it more affordable to go back ~

    It’s annoying isn’t it when places… change their menu but then you want dishes from before. Like the passionfruit cheesecake they got rid of it :(

    Reply
    • Jenny @ Ichigo Shortcake January 3, 2013, 6:28 pm

      I like it when places change their menus, it means the ingredients are always fresh and seasonal which generally tastes better and I get to try different things. It does annoy me when dishes I liked are gone though. :(

      Reply
  • john@kitchenriffs December 17, 2012, 5:08 am

    OK, I have to admit I had to Google bug tails! They were actually what I thought they might be, although my first thought was crayfish. Sounds like a fun place. And I actually like restaurants that change their menu from time to time – gives me more incentive to go back!

    Reply
  • JasmyneTea December 17, 2012, 5:08 pm

    That sundae looks like so much fun. I was recently in Melbourne, a shame I didn’t know about this place!

    Reply
  • Ames December 17, 2012, 10:10 pm

    Gah, I have been meaning to visit ever since it opened and now I’ll never get try these lovely dishes :( Oh well, I guess there will be others to try when I get a chance to go now that I’m on holidays :)

    Reply
  • Chloe & Sarah December 21, 2012, 9:07 am

    Hi! We have nominated Ichigo Shortcake for the Wonderful Team Member Readership Award – http://www.honeyandlulu.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/liebster-blog-award-wonderful-team.html
    Congratulations! You really deserve it!

    Have a great day,

    Chloe & Sarah

    Reply
  • Marta @ What should I eat for breakfast today December 21, 2012, 9:35 am

    I miss Australia so much, even more when I visit your site. Such an amazing places you have over there.

    Reply
  • Agnes December 22, 2012, 10:44 pm

    You ate three desserts? Well done! :D

    Reply
  • choux choux January 5, 2013, 4:53 pm

    The last dessert looks amazing! Everyone is raving about Henry and The Fox. I must go!

    Reply
  • Nami | Just One Cookbook January 10, 2013, 5:25 pm

    How are you Jenny? I saw your post at Uru’s blog and I had to come here to say hello in person (not really a person tho…). How was your trip to China? I assume you will share some posts about your trip. :) I always enjoy your photography whether you take your own food or at restaurants and cafes. Something about your pictures look so realistic and I feel like I’m there next to you. :) Happy New Year!

    Reply

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