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My younger sister recently turned 22, which makes me… never mind. To celebrate
and to distract me from feeling old, I decided to take her out to dinner at a restaurant of her choosing: Henry and the Fox.
Decked out in cream and brown tones, the interior was quite charming. The occasional green provided by the plants and the few odd seats here and there injected life and freshness into the venue. Adding to the charms of the decor were the equally, if not more so, charming and courteous wait staff. They were very attentive, friendly and really enhanced the overall dining experience.
Cranberry juice. Complimentary bread.
Theirs was some great-tasting sourdough bread; the crust was very crunchy-crisp and coated in a layer of powdery flour. Served warm.
Jamon and manchego croquettes.
The crumbed layer was mighty fine and crunchy. Biting into the thick shell gave way to a creamy and cheesy filling with thick cuts of ham. The filling was so creamy that it was just waiting to burst out, oozing as soon as some pressure was applied from the knife and fork.
Seared scallops - apple & celeriac remoulade, caper & raisin puree, toasted pumperknickel.
The scallops were fresh and seared to perfection; with a springy bounce and right amount of tenderness. The sweet and creamy puree sauce, almost mayo-like in texture and to some extent taste, was able to mask the bursts of celery flavour as long as I didn’t focus too intently on the flavours (celery, blegh!). The pumperknickel bread possessed a texture that resembled a crunchy and dried out biscuit. It seemed to be thrown in as a contrasting texture rather than for its taste.
Prawn pizza - with sweet corn, red onion and coriander.
Firstly, I loved the serving of the pizza on a piece of paper. A familiar taste kept teasing at my taste buds from the first bite and it took a while before it finally occurred to me that they were picking up the taste of sweet corn and chicken soup. The pizza was slathered in a layer of sweet corn paste, replacing the traditional tomato base, and topped with fresh prawns and tomatoes. While tasty at first, the salty corn paste only continued to become saltier. Good as a share dish to minimise the salt load.
Poached chicken breast - chicken & veal sausage, broccoli, celeriac, parsley.
My palate was bombarded with a lot of interesting flavours during the course of this dish that by the end, I learnt to expect the unexpected. The star of the show, the chicken breast, was very well cooked - firm but tender and very consistently cooked. The broccoli possessed quite a bit of orange and zesty flavour, a taste that isn’t normally associated with green. There was also a subtle but frequent celery presence. The thinly sliced broccoli stalk came across as salty… and fishy? The crumbed chicken sausage (with what I thought was thick cuts of ham but was actually veal) provided another source of saltiness for the overall dish.
Passionfruit cheesecake - passion fruit mousse, jelly, granita, yoghurt sorbet.
The dessert was served as a deconstructed cheesecake with practically all things passionfruit present on the plate. The biscuit pieces were very crunchy and not overly sweet. The cheesy mousse was creamy and light. Granita packed a surprising amount of passionfruit flavour, as did the jelly and both were on par with the sweet and sour taste provided by the actual fresh pieces of passion fruit. The dessert was an excellent choice and ended dinner on a super high note!
While most of the dishes (especially the dessert) played some role in making dinner a thoroughly enjoyable experience, I thought it was our waiters and their customer service that played a more significant role. I also had my eyes on a few of the other dishes, namely the pork belly and the other dessert options, so perhaps for the younger sister’s 23rd? Or perhaps sooner…
Henry and the Fox
525 Little Collins St,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
(03) 9614 3277