131 Smith Street
Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9419 5101
The other night, Miss F, Bonnie and I visited Huxtable on Smith St for dinner. Having visited previously, my expectations were high; the menu consists of various sharing plates from a range of cuisines catering to all tastes, making it the perfect place to visit with friends.
We began with two dishes from the “bites” or smalls snacks list: the Jalapeno and cheddar croquettes ($3.50 each) and the crisp filo log of lamb puttanesca, lemon yoghurt ($5.50 each). The jalapeno croquettes have been on the menu a while, so you know they are good. Deep fried cheese with a touch of spice from the jalapenos.. How can you go wrong? But as much as I loved the croquettes, it was the filos that really got me. Tender, Middle Eastern spiced slow cooked lamb encased in crispy threads of pastry with a creamy yoghurt dipping sauce: I could have eaten all three and been content for the night.
The main dishes are divided into sea, land and earth, referencing the ingredients contained within the subsequent dishes. From the sea menu, we chose the john dory, szechuan eggplant, enoki mushrooms and garlic chips ($24.00). Silky mushrooms infused with Asian flavours of soy and ginger complemented the delicate fish, with crispy slices of garlic adding the final touch.
We then decided to choose two dishes from the land menu and none from the earth. Miss F was keen to try the Cape Grim beef tartare, horseradish, caper leaf, soft egg, anchovy lavosh ($23.00). There’s nowhere to hide with this dish, and the quality of the meat is evident. Silky and tender with no evident sinew, the fiery horseradish and creamy egg that accompanied it demonstrate the restraint of chef and owner Daniel Wilson to maintain classic flavour combinations.
The final dish we chose was the BBQ pork ribs with spicy slaw and chilli gherkin ($19.00). Packed with flavour, these ribs might be a dietitians worst nightmare, but as I chewed on the delicious fatty meat I really didn’t care. The sharp gherkins were a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the meat, however, the quite traditional slaw served alongside kinda failed to excite me.
After a terrific meal, it was kinda sad that we were told we’d have to give up our table for the next seating and would not have time to order dessert. We did, however, have time to order a few sweet bites, including the individual butterscotch caramels ($2.00 each) and raspberry coconut marshmallow ($5.00 for 3). I probably wouldn’t have ordered these had I not been craving something sweet as there were plenty of things on the real dessert menu I was dying to try. The dark chocolate delice, jaffa, raspberry sorbet, pistachio ($15.00) and the mandarin creme brulee with cardamom biscuit ($14.00) particularly caught my eye.
It was a terrific meal which we enjoyed with glasses of sangria ($9.00 each). My only complaint was that we were rushed out, so I would suggest taking the 8.30PM booking rather than the 6-6.30PM one. After leaving Huxtable we visited The Everleigh around the corner for some cocktails that were catered to our specific tastes and served with hand-shaved ice and metal straws for a decadent touch. Also worth a visit.