Last Wednesday was one of Melbourne's better Spring days, and Michael mused that we should eat dinner outside. Miraculously he also remembered Emily leaving us a comment that mentioned our current favourite pub, the Fox Hotel in Collingwood, has a rooftop beer garden. We were delighted to discover once we'd arrived that they've also altered the menu a little to suit the season.
Although we really didn't need them, Michael and I agreed that it was high time we tried the fat chips with desert dust and sauce ($6.50). It's a very generous serve of maybe-but-not-really-fat chips. We didn't find that the desert dust added much interest at all - it's certainly got nothing on the smoky spice mix on Trippy Taco's fries - and the sauce appeared to be stock-standard tomato. It's still a good-value bar snack but nothing remarkable.
What was remarkable was the meal that arrived at the same time. Even after photographing it, I took an extra moment just to marvel at it. It's a marinated tofu steak with wasabi mayo and a black sesame crust, with Asian greens, sticky rice and a ginger soy sauce ($17). I might have enjoyed a little more ginger and the rice was on the mushy side of sticky but this meal was fabulously fresh and filling, with the tofu a little firm yet not at all tough. It's very, very rare to see tofu treated so well in a 'western' restaurant, let alone a non-vegetarian one, let alone a pub! (Edinburgh Castle, I hope you're taking notes.)
There was a minor ordering mishap that meant Michael waited a while for his meal - Thai tofu balls with Asian coleslaw, tomato, cucumber, sprouts, coriander, spring rolls and satay sauce ($17). He was initially skeptical that the balls were tofu at all until he made the connection with the soy bombs we make at home - they're very similar, albeit crumbed and deep-fried here. He thought the spring rolls were a little out of place and the satay sauce could've been spicier but these were minor quibbles with another very good meal.
It seems that the Fox Hotel does nothing but very good meals! We'll be back again and again for more, and you can be sure that we'll post the new ones here.
You can read about our previous visits to the Fox Hotel here and here.