Foveaux – Fine Fine Dining
Foveaux’s always been a bit of a mystery to me, but not for the conventional reasons. I first heard whispers of the name several years ago, before I was actually into this whole blogging thing. Back then, it just sounded like another fancy restaurant, probably one I wouldn’t ever go to, since there’s just way too many in Sydney.
After I gave in and became a food blogger, the name Foveaux dropped completely out of the (admittedly already patchy) radar for me, as I was preoccupied with many other restaurants.
Then, the groupon offer came, and everything clicked at once.
Date Last Visited: 14/5/13
Address: 67 Foveaux St Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Recommended Dish(es): Pressurised pork jowl & roasted fillet, walnut, liquorice & fennel
In my ritual of keeping an eye on the hatted and most talked-about restaurants of Sydney, Foveaux came up as a one-hatted wonder. Granted, I was never going to go until the rest of my list was crossed off – which admittedly may never happen, so I’m glad the restaurant put up a Groupon offer.
For $60 between two people, we are able to have an entree, and a main. At $30pp this is pretty good value for a hatted restaurant. Granted, desserts cost you, but man, never will you pay this little for hatted fine dining, for sure.
Foveux chose to go down the rather daring route of contrasting the traditional, impeccable white-tablecloth & tableware that’s a signature of fine dining, with the stark functionalism of naked brick walls. I’m very partial to the look, really. Definitely a matter of preference.
Then of course, there is also the art on the walls. While I was pretty happy with the bare brick already, the art adds that little bit of extra, and I’m sure has saved many a guy on an awkward date while he’s searching for topics to talk about
Yeah, The Lady and I talked about that art alright!
As for the food, we were presented with a menu, from which we could select our entrees and mains.
Naturally, the first course can’t be without bread! The fact that the bread rolls arrive warm is something that is most definitely not lost on me; indeed, it’s very much a great differentiator. Bread should always come warm by default, otherwise it makes the butter that much harder to spread. Of course, the butter could be the target for melting, but warm, toasty bread tastes so much better.
Amuse bouche comes in the form of a hummus soup. I’ve never had anything like this before – there’s a hint of cream of mushroom in there, but the flavour of the hummus is what gets through. I was tempted to consider it washed-down hummus, but it’s never that straightforward.
Crunch was handled adeptly by the croutons, this starter just would not have been the same and as satisfying otherwise.
The Lady’s entree stars rabbit as the protein of the show. Particular highlights for me were how the crunch of the bed of vegetables served to cleanse the flavours of the terrine itself every now and then. Speaking of the terrine, I quite liked it, though The Lady detected some sort of bitterness which I just could not taste. I’ve no idea!
The terrine’s flavour and texture is kind of like a rough, but creamy mixture which tastes a lot like…well ground rabbit. It’s fairly salty, but that’s to be expected. Hence, the veggies. A pretty fulfilling entree I say.
The entree I ordered myself was this interesting plate-up. The mackerel itself was half-cooked, which I believe is the point here. It didn’t have that much flavour on its own, though this deficiency was made up for by the always-delicious mushroom milk (which is really just like super-puffy mushroom cream).
When the fish itself got too boring, the pickled veggies are a godsend, must eat both!
I liked the rabbit terrine a bit better than this entree.
For The Lady’s main, she ended up going with seafood (the mackerel entree was meant for me). It was not really the best idea, as she isn’t particularly fond of sashimi, but that’s how the bonito was actually cooked. Check out two pictures below.
The fish is seared well on the outside, and is paired well with a gamut of flavours from the white wine reduction. It’s kind of like an “everything” sauce which tastes like all sorts of tangy, salty and generally lemon-like. Good stuff. Even better? Those potato cylinders. There was just something so rich and satisfying about them. I would almost pick those potatoes over the fish itself if I could have one aspect of that dish again!
So The Lady isn’t into sashimi, and uhh, this is pretty much “rare” = sashimi.
Well then, time for me to polish it off then
By far the best dish of the night for the both of us, is the main I ordered. This pork, is just beautiful. On the left side you have tender medallions of pork itself, in what is possibly one of the most delicious gravies ever, and on the right you have the jowl which is caramellised to perfection.
I’m not going to use many words to describe this pork, because I only need five: you need to have it.
In the interests of dessert, we decided to actually get a plate to share at a price of $16.
The individual components are nothing new, though they do make for a crowded composition when put all together. I didn’t even know where to start!
The doughnuts are undoubtedly the best part, there’s just nothing that can be done wrong with deep-fried bread really. Sure, it’s worth shaving off 2-3 years of my lifespan. I accept the risks and consequences.
Overall though, the many elements on the dessert tasted alright, but nothing really stood out to me. It was an okay dessert, but I suppose I’d be more satisfied with some scoops from Messina? Points for effort though.
I would like to return to Foveaux one day, but for now, the mystery has been cracked!
As usual, feel free to leave a comment or three
Awesome: that pork is superb, service is excellent
Not so Awesome: the price is not going to be cheap without a groupon, dishes apart from the pork were fairly average