Sunday, 21 April 2013

Restaurant Review: FOG Bar and Restaurant

Location: 142 Greville Street, Prahran
Phone: 03 9521 3155
Link: http://www.fog.com.au/
Cuisine: American, Modern Australian, Wine Bar, Breakfast/Brunch
Overall Impression: 9/10
It's a Friday night and FOG Bar and Restaurant is bustling. While most are toasting to the end of another working week, the work is just beginning for the FOG team. 

Waiters and waitresses, elegantly dressed in black waistcoats and ties, waft around the moodily lit dining area delivering seamless service.

Executive Chef Jeremy Sutphin is serving up a lesson in gastronomic diversity, showcasing a range of American inspired cuisine rarely seen in Melbourne. 

And overseeing the whole operation, Sam Frantzeskos (the owner of FOG and mastermind behind its success) is smoothly working the room and ensuring everything runs like clockwork. 
When it comes to restaurants, the ability to surprise is important. Restaurants that can surprise hold your interest and make you want to return time and again. 

After having such an enjoyable time at FOG Bar and Restaurant for the first American Regional Cuisine Monthly Dinner, we found ourselves returning to try the a la carte menu. 

And FOG managed to surprise and delight us again. 
Queensland spanner crab salad, capsicum, tarragon & lemon aioli, beetroot, labne & yarra valley salmon caviar

The crab salad was beautifully presented. The richness of the crab, lemon aioli and the salmon caviar was offset by the interspersed chunks of capsicum, which provided a crisp freshness. The intensely flavoured beetroot purée acted as a ribbon tying the whole dish together. 
King Prawn Tostadas 
guajillo chilli, avocado, tomato, chipotle aioli & tortilla chips 

Fine dining meets comfort food, the king prawn tostadas were nothing short of delicious. The plump prawns were fresh and cooked perfectly, and much to their credit, were able to remain dominant whilst in the company of guajillo chilli, avocado, tomato and chipotle aioli. 
Beer battered zucchini flowers, stuffed with goats cheese & watermelon salsa 
Yellowfin Tuna Sashimi 
jalapeno, toasted sesame, red onion & raw soy 

The yellowfin tuna sashimi was succulent and strikingly ruby red. The square presentation and use of jalapeño, toasted sesame and red onion challenged our preconceptions of how sashimi should be served, but the dish was a great success - harmonious and texturally delightful.
Fish Tacos 
spiced rockling on soft corn tortillas, charred tomato salsa, avocado & shredded lettuce 

The fish taco (a dish that has developed quite a cult following) impressed. The spiced rockling was beautifully cooked and sat atop a warm tortilla that had been canvassed with deliciously charred tomato salsa and creamy avocado. 
Cone Bay (WA) wild barramundi fillets, roasted king brown mushrooms, buttery leeks, wilted rocket & balsamic glaze 

Although only a special, the barramundi deserves a permanent place on the FOG menu. Seared beautifully on the outside and wonderfully moist on the inside, the barramundi was stunning. The roasted mushrooms and the buttery, soft leeks were the perfect accompaniment. A profoundly delicious dish displaying great technique. It is no exaggeration to say this would not have been out of place in a 3 hat restaurant.
Pan Roasted Duck Breast  
pearl cous cous, beetroot, pea tendrils & peach glaze 

The pan roasted duck reveals another side to Sutphin. Contrasting starkly to the elegance of the barramundi dish, the duck was rustic. The peach glaze is vibrant and sweet, and pairs well with pearl cous cous, beetroot and pea tendrils - complex but not complicated. 
Roasted beetroot, marinated feta, cumin & maple vinaigrette 
There is clear energy radiating from the FOG kitchen. Sutphin's well-considered approach is also applied to desserts. 
Hazelnut panna cotta 
freeze dried strawberries, brandy white chocolate chantilly & chocolate crunch 

The pannacotta was textured perfectly - barely, but surely, holding its shape. Mildly flavoured, the creamy pannacotta was cut by the lovely tartness of the freeze dried strawberries. 
Mexican dark chocolate molten cake 
roast almond ice cream & spice poached pears

The Mexican dark chocolate cake was a decadent end to the meal. Extremely rich and moist, yet not overly sweet, and with an oozing chocolate centre. Pure indulgence. 
FOG surprised us again with the quality, diversity and inventiveness of the dishes on offer. This ability to introduce new, American inspired flavour combinations in relaxed, understated but elegant surroundings is unmatched in Melbourne. And so the only thing that’s not surprising about FOG is the desire to return and do it all over again. 

Fog on Urbanspoon

Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of FOG.

2 comments:

Deidre said...

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RC said...

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