When? - 24th of November, 2010
Where? - 351 Wellington St. Collingwood
Price? - $19
Barry? - No, but tabletop Space Invaders is an acceptable substitute
Website? - http://thefoxhotel.com.au/
Reviewers - Adam, Lee, Rachael, Sara, Stefo[/info]
Sitting on the corner of Wellington St. and Alexandra Pde. The Fox is one of those pubs that you would’ve driven past hundreds of times, but never really ‘noticed’ … if that makes any sense. A cosy, down to earth little pub that is overflowing with character, a staggering collection of tapped and bottled beers and a rooftop beer garden that is absolutely superb! Suggested to us by the guys over at http://thehappiesthour.com/ as one of their favourites, we loaded up the parma bus and headed over to give their parma a try.
On arriving at the Fox you are presented with a number of choices - should you sit in the well tabled front section by the bar?, pull up a pew by the pool table?, maybe take a seat in the dining area? … jeez that lounge area looks mighty cosy … is anyone sitting at the tabletop space invaders table? how about we go up to the rooftop beer garden? With little nooks all over the place, each with a different feel and atmosphere from the eclectic to the classy, its definitely a pub where you could go a number of times and have a different experience each visit. We took a seat on some very hard to get out of couches in the lounge area and ordered some chips to start the night off - got to say that the Fox not only has a stunning range of bottled beers available, but their tab system is amazing, just grab a lanyard when you buy your first drink and you wont have to worry about your wallet till the end of the night. perfect system!
We perused the menu and spotted our target for the night ‘The Fox Parma w’ Prosciutto - $19’ we placed our orders and sank down into the couches while we waited - if we could’ve gotten up there is plenty of stuff to keep you occupied while waiting for food - I have mentioned the space invaders table already, but theres also pinball, pool tables and according to a website I saw while researching this pub - a ‘table tennis room’ … not sure where this one was hiding but definitely a novel idea, and a room that would inevitably become the ‘beer pong room’ after a few hours of drinking.
Not long after our parmas arrived
The schnitzel was wide with a massive surface area, taking up a majority of the plate. This is sometimes a recipe for credit card thin chicken but the Fox schnitzel passed the test, not winning any awards on thickness but the crumb to chicken ratio was definitely in the acceptable range, although the crumbs were a little soggy for my liking. A combination of cheeses over the top left a little nude schnitzel on the edges but as the thing was pretty darn wide it can be forgiven for that, on top of the cheese there was a dusting of a spice that I couldn’t quite put my finger on - if I had to take a guess I would say paprika (which is what I will be referring to it as from now on). We made a few comments about how salty the parma tasted before remembering the prosciutto mentioned on the menu, A few loved the taste (myself included) but others weren’t big fans - those not big on spice should be weary that the paprika mixed with the prosciutto makes for a pretty spicy parma - I am all for spice but I also am aware other people aren’t, so make a note of that.
The Chips were chips. under the parma, slightly less than a handful and, in a complete turnaround from the parma, totally unseasoned. Not bad but nothing special.
The salad was a let down unfortunately, standard garden salad it was wilted and oily, more of an afterthought than an accompaniment to the parma.
I also promised to mention that they played Reviewer Stefo’s favourite song while he ate his parma. He enjoyed that.
After the parma we explored around the pub for a little and discovered the rooftop beer garden - a spot that sold me on this pub and ensured I’d be back. looking as if it had recently been remodeled, the rooftop garden was host to a stunning view of the greatest city on earth, as well as plenty of tables and heaters to stay warm on chilly nights. beautiful. We chatted upstairs for a little bit before the rain started to fall and we decided to call it a night.
The Fox’s parma is absolutely delicious, scoring up there with some of the best we have ever had - $19 is a little high on the price scale but I would have no problems paying it again, big, juicy chicken with a bit of flair and spice that sets it apart from the others, unfortunately the sides let down what could have been a truly outstanding meal. I would definitely be back.
Plus, any pub with its own Vespa has got to be good!
Before I give the final scores I have to say that we had a bit of a ‘family meeting’ and have come to the conclusion that our scoring system isn’t quite fair. We all agreed that the chips and salad shouldn’t have equal weight on the final score that the parma does, as the parma is truly the most important part of the meal.
Which means we will be going through some changes here at parmadaze! over the next week or so I will be working out a new equation to punch into my little score calculating spreadsheet which will change the way the scores have been tallied in the past, so watch the ladder over the next week or so as things might get a little reshuffled! I think this will keep things a lot fairer (and also stop a few of the angry emails I’ve been getting)
A prime example of this is this weeks score for The Fox - the parma is outstanding and should carry more weight over the chips and salad, which weren’t great. Under our current score system the score will get dragged down dramatically as the sides weren’t quite up to snuff - which I believe isn’t quite fair as the parma itself was the star of this meal and one I’d definitely go back for.
So for now, (still under the old system) the score for The Fox hotel is -
*EDIT 03/12/10 - Score updated under the new system, as expected brought the score up. the system works!
Parma - 7.4
Chips - 3.8
Salad - 3.0
Value - 6.0
Total - 5.52
The search continues …