The Fox Hotel 1887, Collingwood

It was Thursday night and we were out in and about in Fitzroy, having a few drinks in the beer garden at the Labour in Vain. I really wanted to try a new pub for dinner and The Fox Hotel on Wellington Street had been screaming out to me for weeks. Plus, I had received word that their parma was excellent and I was keen to give this a try.

My first impression of this place was that it was super groovy. The front bar looked like your standard pub but with rock images along the walls and amber light shades hanging from the ceiling. Around to the left was a cosy eating area with couches in the corner, and to the right was a pool table.

The best thing about the atmosphere was the music – The Doors, Queen, Led Zeppelin and Creedance, all on rotation. I loved it!

Ordering wasn’t hard. I went straight for the Fox Parma with prosciutto while Dave got the 300g porterhouse with chat potatoes. Ania got the Wagyu Shin Ragu with potato gnocchi, only after I explained what waygu, shins, and ragu were. Even though we got mainly carnivorous meals, they did have quite an extensive selection for our fellow herbivores, including a vegetarian burrito that wants me to come back and eat it.

It took ages for our food to come out. Even though the menu did say that food was made to order and that we should be patient, I was hungry! And waiting for my food was the last thing I wanted to do. If I was drinking beer and in a conversing mood, then it would have been different.

When our food did arrive, my parma did look spectacular. The chicken breast covered nearly the entire plate, with the chips hidden on the bottom and the salad poking out on the side. I couldn’t believe my eyes and my stomach was recoiling – surely I can’t fit all of that in! (that’s what she said)

I began to eat, and found that despite being ‘made to order’, the crumbed coating was a little soft. The chicken inside was alright – tasted fresh and it wasn’t too thin – but the schnitzel didn’t seem freshly cooked and crispy. The prosciutto was great and really cut in to give each mouthful a salty bite. The chips were your standard, square-cut chips that lacked seasoning, and the salad was fairly ordinary. I got about 90% into ma belly before I had to put the knife and fork down.

Dave’s porterhouse looked great too, but was a little dry. His chat potatoes were cut into little wedges and were perfect for mopping up the mushroom sauce. They had a great, rustic flavour.

Ania’s gnocchi looked sensational, and it tasted great too. Rich ragu with portions of the softest wagyu portions that fell apart on the roof of my mouth. The potato gnocchi was soft and velvety and disintegrated between my lips. Her meal was so delicious, I got food envy. I have a feeling that our meals waited on the pass while hers was being prepared, which would explain my soggy crumbs and Dave’s dry steak.

Either way, I’ll be back here again. I didn’t go up but I hear that their rooftop is gorgeous, and the music they played while we ate was awesome. This place is perfect for Friday night drinks and a game of pool with mates.

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