Prahran, VIC 3181
Ph: 9521 3155
FOG Restaurant does South West American food. Think more New Mexico cuisine and not Brazilian food and you're on the mark. I was extremely excited to try out the food as I can't say I've tried South West American before. As it turns out, the food was sensational and very interesting in flavour.
FOG Restaurant is owned by Sam Frantzekos, an extremely funny and charismatic man. Sam has owned restaurants in America before turning his hand to restaurants in Melbourne. You may not have tried out FOG before, but I'm sure you have ventured through one of Sam's businesses. If like me, you were an 80s child living in Melbourne, I'm sure you would have visited Metro Night Club in your teenage years. And guess who owned Metro? Sam told some exciting stories of his life in the night club scene in America for three decade and his brush with famous people, even one Coco Lee who invited him to a cruise party. Coco Lee only ever released one English language album, of which both Sam and I own a copy. We must have bought one of three albums sold in Australian, with Adrian from Food Rehab owning the third copy.
FOG restaurant is decorated in a very slick modern feel. It's cool and dark, which is great for the bar and outdoor area at the back. For restaurants, as you have heard me say many times, I'd prefer it a tad brighter. The restaurant part is huge and easily seats over 100, filling out on weekends when the night scene kicks in. It has an ultra cool vibe and the clientele reflect that. Even hot superstars like Katy Perry and Usher eat at FOG when they're in Melbourne for their concerts.
With the food, we got to sample a variety of entrees and mains shared between the table. We started off with Yellowfin Tuna, served with jalapenos and a light sauce. I love the kick of the jalapenos with the tuna. An Anchovy Grilled Baguette was crunchy, salty and sweet. I love anchovies so hence enjoyed this dish, but obviously if you don't like anchovies, it would overpower you. Fried Chicken Ribs was served with a flavoured mayonnaise type sauce and was wickedly good. While the former entrees were good, the next two were sensational. The Tostadas were a grilled prawn atop a corn chip served with guacamole, chipolte crema and tomato. The flavours were so vibrant and the contrast in the textures was perfect. Finally, the Empanadas also excited my tastebuds. The pastry was crispy and short, the filling tasty, with a smokey burnt tomato sauce that just tied the whole dish together.
Mains were very meat heavy, which I love. Perfectly medium rare Scotch Fillet Steak was served with sauteed mushrooms, while the Lamb Cutlets were topped with onion rings and a slightly hot sauce. While these alone would normally be highlights, they were upstaged by the super amazing Roast Chicken with Smokey BBQ Sauce. I would never ever order chicken as a mains dish at any restaurant but golly gosh, this chicken I would order again and again. The meat was tender and juicy, but the sauce did it for me. I couldn't stop licking my fingers to clean the sauce off it. I was informed that the chicken is made by smoking it with wood by the chefs in-house.
For dessert, first up was a simple but well done Creme Brulee. A crisp sugar shell covered an extremely smooth vanilla custard. An excellent Chocolate Molten Cake was served with ice cream, a tuille and red wine poached pear. I really loved all the elements, and was surprised at how good the pear in poached red wine was.
Overall, the food really surprised me and was excellent. I liked everything and really loved some dishes. The flavours are good and little hints here and there turn a normal dish into something quite unique. I would highly recommend you go try out FOG and the food. And when you're done eating, you can just slide into the back bar/outdoor area and continue with drinks.
Overall Rating: 16/20, Delicious South West American food with a cool ambiance.
Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20:Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.
My guest and I dined courtesy of FOG Restaurant. Thanks to Horizon PR for the invitation.