Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 15, 2010: The Fox Hotel

The Fox Hotel's been on our radar for a little while - it's a favourite of my coeliac pub clubbing mate, Emily's a fan, and for a few months they've been running a rather neat feminist salon.  They also have a well-designed and informative website with a full and current menu; just what bloggers and folks with dietary requirements love!

We finally made our way there on a Sunday evening with our friends Mike and Jo. There was a band on and the place was packed so it took a little while to secure a table, but having previewed the menu at home I trusted it would be worth the wait.  Roughly one third of the mains are vegetarian and have their own dedicated section; gluten-free, vegan and adaptable items are clearly marked throughout.  With chips and dips and mushroom and tofu gyozas on the snacks menu I was tempted to graze on smaller stuff, but I had to admit the mains were unusually varied and attractive too - as well as veg pub regulars like a vege stack, burger and lasagne, there was also a red curry pie with Thai salad, a burrito and marinated tofu on wild rice.

Michael was keen for that red curry pie but was later notified that they were all out of tofu - boo.  But our waiter was as friendly and helpful as he was apologetic, advising Michael his favourite dish across the entire menu is the roast mini pumpkin filled with pumpkin and blue cheese risotto and served with a pear, walnut and rocket salad ($17).  Restaurant risottos have us pretty jaded but this one was truly impressive in both flavour and presentation (see pic up top).  Win!

Having pored over the menu earlier I swiftly ordered the vegetarian moussaka with haloumi, chips and salad ($17).  I must admit that the side of chips (you know I love chips!) was one of the attractions but they're actually *gasp* a little unnecessary here.  The moussaka was topped with a layer of cheesy mashed potato, more than enough starchy winter comfort in itself.  I dare say I might not even have missed the haloumi chunks topping the moussaka if they hadn't been promised.  It was a pretty special mash, clearly.  Underneath that golden top was a tomato-sauced stew of tender vege chunks, mostly zucchini.  It's not the kind of meal that would usually excite me at all but the Fox kitchen totally pulled it off - I loved it.

Now suitably convinced of the Fox's culinary chops, we shared the dessert special ($8) amongst the four of us. Dessert gyoza could go very, very wrong - it's not difficult to imagine thick, sloppy, chewy or floury dumpling skins and a poorly matched filling - but here they were so very, very right.  The gyoza skins were substantial and crisp and coated in cinnamon sugar.  Stuffed with apples, they were like apple pie bites, perfect for dragging through the caramel sauce and gobbling down with an icecream chaser.

Though the Fox Hotel is clearly in high demand, we were satisfied with the quality of service and very impressed with the quality of food (well worth the gastro-pub price tag).  After just one visit, we're tempted to declare the Fox Hotel's offerings our favourite veg pub food anywhere... but we'll probably make a few more visits just to check.

The Fox Hotel has also been blogged by Perfectly Poached, Fitzroyalty, Hookturns and Foodscrazy.

Address: 351 Wellington St, Collingwood
Ph: 9416 4957
Fully licensed
Price: veg mains $16-17


  1. Their menu looks AMAZING! I can't wait to try it out, thanks for the heads up :-)

  2. Oh wow, that place looks fantastic, and really quite close to where I live, but had no idea that it did such great food. I want that moussaka.

  3. But are there decent vegan and g/f options?

  4. Yum! both of those mains look delicious! I've had sour cherry perogies before that look like your dessert gyozas. Surprisingly delicious!

  5. This looks fantastic - just had to look it up on the map as it is in our old stomping ground and found it is the pub that used to be called the office - we got endless jokes out of that name and were quite sad when the name changed!

  6. omg, yes! who new this place had a whole veg menu with vegan stuff too! i went there a few months ago, following some omni friends in for dinner, expecting to have to get a garden salad but noooo...heaps of vegan options! i had the "Marinated Tofu on wild rice w a spicy mushroom and eggplant filled pancake and Asian greens. " and it was probably the best pub meal i've ever had, bar the east brunnie club.


  7. Oh yay I am so happy you went to the Fox... and that you enjoyed it!

    I can't wait for the good weather to come back so I can resume my favourite position in the rooftop beer garden. Awesome!

  8. The girls at The Fox are tops! I have hosted book clubs, fundraisers and parties here all with great success. Highly recommend it!

  9. It's great to share the Fox enthusiasm around. :-D

    K, at the moment there appears to be one main that's both g-f & vegan-adaptable, a vege stack. (There's also a chance that this menu changes with the seasons.) The kitchen staff seemed both knowledgeable and friendly so I reckon it might even be worth asking them if they have other options as well.

    Emily, I had no idea about the rooftop garden! I'll certainly look forward to that in the coming months. :-)