Monday, September 29, 2014

Foxeys Hangout, Red Hill

Wine tasting happening in the restaurant...

Bread, Olive Oil, Pistachio Spice

Atlantic Salmon, Miso Mayo

Mushroom Sausage Rolls, House Chutney

Onion, Silverbeet Fritters

Leek, Blood Orange, Goats Curd, Mint
(my favourite dish of the day!)

BBQ Quail

Celery, Rocket, PX Vinegar

Spiced Meatballs, Yoghurt Dip

Avocado, Walnuts, Pancetta

The chef in blue cooking for everyone in the open kitchen. Respect how she coordinates every table's courses yet consistently produce delicious food at the same time

Lunch with a view...

Just such a relaxed setting

"Hey Winston, have you heard of this place called Foxey's Hangout in Red Hill? It's really interesting. Set at a winery with a view and you can do a chef's lunch with about 8 courses for only $35. Food is pretty good too."


I made my way to Red Hill that very weekend with my Mum and Sister because I honestly couldn't wait to try after my friend Morgan told me about this place. Sounded so interesting. And man, such a good price! Thank goodness we were blessed with unbeatable weather day too.

We first walked in through an uber tall door to reveal a restaurant with a refined yet rustic decor and bathing in natural light as there was an entire wall made purely of windows. Calming. Soon, we noticed that there was an open kitchen right where there was a woman single-handedly cooking the food for everyone in the restaurant. Amazing. Finally, our breaths were taken away by the majestic view that the entire restaurant was facing. There were little tables and chairs set outside for people to enjoy the view with their meal at the same time. Heck, loads of people opted to just enjoy their meal by sitting on the steps of the balcony too. There was an undeniably relaxed and casual feel throughout the entire restaurant and I don't think I've experienced something quite like this before.

Anyway, we went straight for the chef's lunch for $35 per head, where the chef would serve 8 course of her choosing to the diners. Otherwise, diners have the option of selecting each individual course themselves and pay for what they ordered. We were happy to take it easy and leave it up to the chef.

In general, I really enjoyed the food at Foxey's Hangout. I thought the each dish showcased the essence of honest cooking. Besides that, what I loved most about each dish is the pairing of various ingredients that one might not necessarily think of but worked incredibly well together. I could tell the person that designed this menu had a strong understanding of flavours because it was amazing. 

To start, the bread with the pistachio spiced crumb was downright delicious. The crumb is a signature there and they sell them in bottles at the restaurant too. I also absolutely enjoyed the salmon, mushroom roll and silverbeet fritters -- they were all done perfectly and absolutely tasty. Although, my favourite dish of the day was actually the leek with goats curd. The leek was soft and tender but the creaminess of the cheese against the slightly tart blood orange and finished with the mint was just one of the most clever composition of flavours I had tasted in a while. So simple, but it's all about the right combination. I was telling Morgan about how much I love this dish and it was great to hear it struck a chord with him too, this dish is quite outstanding.

The rest of the meal was pleasant too although if I were to be slightly nitpicky, I'd say that the quail was a little under-seasoned (but there was salt on the table anyway) and the meatballs were spicy but bland and undercooked. That said, everything else that we tasted was superb too.

To sum up, I think Foxey's Hangout is an excellent place for a lunch on the weekend. Excellent. The best and most unique thing about this place is how laid back they are about everything. Your choice of seating (you can sit on a table or on the steps if you wish), how you want to order and best of all, the setting. Plus, the view is impeccable. Not to mention how good the flavour combinations are in the food and also their house wine. Finally, the price! 

Sure, you won't be stuffed to the brim by eating here but personally, I think it's a pleasant and comfortable amount. $35 is honestly amazing value. There really is so much to enjoy about this place. I would highly recommend it especially now that the weather is getting nicer with the change of season. It's a place that is both stunning and relaxing that you can't help but notice everyone there simply enjoys every bit of it. Definitely a great hangout spot.

Foxey's Hangout on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seared Tiger Prawns in Prawl Oil Pasta

Oh hai!

Quick update but I'm actually blogging this from sunny (and humid) Malaysia! Here for a short trip to attend my cousin's wedding on Friday, so exciting. Been back for 2 days now and it's been great so far. Much eating of my childhood favourite foods and also spending lots and lots of quality time with the family, it's great.

Anyway, thought I'd share a recipe here since it's been awhile since my last one. I'm a huge lover of seafood and must say that this prawn pasta is honestly one of my favourite pasta dishes to eat. It's simple but got such a rich flavour from all the prawn heads and shells. Plus, I made sure I put LOTS of prawns in this.

One of the things I love most about cooking at home is how generous I can be with the ingredients. I can't stand it when I buy something at a restaurant and they totally skimp on the ingredients! Whether it's a seafood pasta with only 2 measly prawns, mango cake with mostly cream and no fresh mangoes, green flavour so weak that you can't even tell it's there, it's depressing, really. So, I really wanted to make sure there was an abundance of prawns in this. Plus, pasta is such a hearty and comforting dish so more is more, I say.

Anyway, you can tell that this is exactly the kind of pasta that I love to have. Easy to cook, abundance of seafood, great to share. I do hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!

Seared Tiger Prawns in Prawn Oil Pasta

(an original recipe, serves 4)


750g prawns
2 cups olive oil
4 sprigs thyme
5 cloves garlic (crushed)
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
500g spaghetti or linguine
1 1/2 cups chopped parsley (leaves only)
Cracked salt
More chilli flakes (to garnish)


1. Remove all the shells and heads from the prawns and place them into a pot. Remove the veins from the prawns too and discard.

2. Add the 2 cups of olive oil, thyme, garlic and chilli flakes into the same pot with prawn shells. Bring the pot to a boil and once boiling, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 25 - 30 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to crush up all the shells and heads every 5 minutes to release more of the flavour into the oil. 

3. Heat up a separate pan on high with a tablespoon of butter and olive oil (the oil helps the butter to not burn). Once hot, add the peeled raw prawns in batches and sear on both sides until cooked through. If the pan is hot, it should only take about 30 seconds per side (you don't want overcooked prawns). Remove the prawns and reserve for later. 

4. Cook the pasta as per pasta instructions. Drain and set aside into a large bowl. Strain all the delicious oil into the bowl of pasta. Add the chopped parsley and seared prawns. Season generously with salt to taste and mix all the ingredients together. Finish with a little bit more chilli flakes for extra colour and kick. Enjoy.