Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 2, 2011: Huxtable

Edit 12/04/2016: Fitzroyalty reports that Huxtable is now closed.

We finally got around to trying out Huxtable for a friend's semi-fancy birthday dinner on a Saturday night. We'd tried to walk-up a couple of times and been unable to get a table - even this time we were booked in early so that they could get two sittings through on our table. Things are clearly going well in Huxtable-land.

We had high hopes - the blogosphere is littered with rave reviews and the menu seemed to be well-stocked with interesting vegie options. Three of us decided to share a vego-feast, so we could get a good sampling of the menu. We started with the much-lauded jalapeno and cheddar croquettes ($3.5 each).

The crispy-fried outside hid a soft and cheesy filling - they were a bit light on with the jalapeno for my tastes but Cindy was fairly impressed.

We followed up with four dishes from the vego sharing section, starting with the quinoa salad with zucchini flowers, pomegranate and goat's cheese ($14).

The combination of pomegranate and goat's cheese is a sure-fire winner and the zucchini flowers were tender and tasty. We were a bit disappointed with the size - there wasn't much to share around.

Next up was the Lebanese cauliflower with harissa yoghurt and dukka ($14).

This was an unqualified success - soft and warmly spiced cauli on top of the zingy harissa yoghurt. And there was plenty of it. Highly recommended.

Cindy insisted we order the slow-roasted crushed potatoes with garlic ($9), which sounded amazing.

Unfortunately, these were disappointing - a bit dry and under-seasoned. Maybe they'd work if you were having them with a saucy meat dish, but on their own, they were a bit bland. Others have raved, so maybe we just got a dud batch.

Finally, we ordered the roasted brussel sprouts and portobello mushrooms ($12).

This was a better effort - crisply roasted sprouts and hearty mushroom chunks. Simple but effective.

On the night, we left Huxtable pretty disappointed, but looking back I think they're a victim of their own successes - we had very high expectations, and while the cauliflower lived up to them, everything else fell a tad short. The three of us spent about $20 each on food, which is pretty reasonable for what we got, but I think we just wanted to have our minds blown. The service was great and it's a lovely space - it just didn't quite live up to the hype for us.


Only Jeroxie seems to have been underwhelmed.

I'm still keen to swing by for brekkie one day, thanks to: I'm so Hungree, Pepper, Salt, Sugar, Spice and That Jess Ho.

131 Smith Street, Fitzroy
9419 5101
fully licensed
vegie bites: $3.5 - $4.5 each, sharing plates: $9 - $14

Accessibility: Huxtable looks pretty accommodating, with just a tiny step at the entry and table service throughout.


  1. It seems that most so-called reviews are raves nowadays. It would be nice to see a bit more critical thinking. Huxtable is nice enough but not so great as all the reviews indicate and the Jalapeno and Cheddar croquetes could do with more bite.

  2. The Jalepeno and Cheddar croquettes have changed over time, they're cheesier now, so have less heat to them.
    I do have to say, of the bites, I am a fan of their steamed tofu with black bean sauce. As with breakfast, unfortunately, they do them no longer.
    Huxtable is more of a bloody mary/ booze joint where I can suck down a few oysters and a couple of bites in the late afternoon now.

  3. Thanks for posting this review. I've been wanting to try Huxtable for some time. The harissa cauliflower looks awesome. Will have to give it a try soon :)

  4. I thought the croquettes had sufficient bite when I went there first, so as Jess says they must have changed over time. Having been 3 times now, I found everything else to be quite consistent.

  5. Ed - you might be right. In conversation I have heard quite a few bloggers comment that they can't muster up the enthusiasm to write up a restaurant unless they love it. I tend to see positives and negatives in almost everywhere we visit.

    Jess, I think I spotted that tofu on the menu this time! It just didn't make it to our order (regret).

    You're welcome, Lesh! I hope you'll blog about it if you do visit Huxtable.

    Hi Brian - there is something to be said for consistency, once my meal hits the $20 mark my tolerance for an 'off night' lowers markedly.