Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fawkner Bistro Bar

The Fawkner Bistro Bar, on the site of the old Fawkner Club Hotel, 52 Toorak Rd West, a few hundred yards from St. Kilda Rd. has re-opened. They told me that under chef Andrew Bates (of Frangos & Frangos, Estivo and The Great Provider), it is focused on providing a consistent, delicious, European influenced dining experience in a casual and relaxed atmosphere.
Was that true?
With large windows facing across Toorak Rd to Fawkner Park to the South and Hope St. to the West this large room with open kitchen, topped by a blackboard of specials and wines by the glass, a central bar and open fire with comfortable seating
has the air of a Bistro. Good quality crockery and cloth napkins dress the square wooden tables.
We tasted a number of dishes beginning with duck liver in an excellent deglased sherry sauce
Had I thought to ask I would have had it slightly less cooked but it was a fine entree. Mussels in a lightly spiced fennel and crisp diced vegetable broth were also a treat For mains fish, King George Whiting, lightly battered, almost like tempura and shoestring chips was served with a truly excellent, obviously homemade, creamy sauce tartar. The onion ring added a bit of extra flavour too. This is just the sort of thing you go out to a casual meal to enjoy
Moreton Bay bugs in a great verjuice sauce with tomato and lightly cooked beans and broccoli were totally delicious A creme brulee was rich smooth and creamy - just what it should be like
Service is attentive
Wines are an eclectic collection with plenty to choose from by the glass, and moderately priced We tried two shiraz's and to my surprise enjoyed the Heathcote one better than the Coonawarra!
Price: We ended up paying around $60/head
Comments: The serves are substantial and I strongly recommend it. The only thing that annoyed me was the tendancy for the cutlery to slip completely into the steep sided plate for the bugs giving me a handfull of sticky juices , but , as you can see, I wiped the plate clean!
So, in answer to the question was this true, I have to say they more than met my expectations
Score: 14.5+/20


neil said...

I like the look (and sound) of this place. Someone who cares about food is cooking here.

Elliot said...

I'm on the lookout for more of it!

Anonymous said...

I am one of the owners of The Fawkner Bistro Bar. Firstly, thanks for this review and great website!

I am pleased to hear you enjoyed your meal at The Fawkner. And Neil, you are right, our chef cares very much about food and has a lot of pride in his professional standing.

We pride ourselves on being a traditional bistro that serves consistent food and good wine at reasonable prices.

Aside from eating at The Fawkner, I also enjoy eating out and will definitely give input into other places I frequent.