Phone: 03 9521 3155
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.
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.
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
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.
Gastrology bloggers dined courtesy of FOG.