Compiling a Spring menu can be a conundrum – it needs to offer something heartier for the lingering cool evenings and something crisp and light for the warming days. It’s a delicate balance, and one that the Fish Lane Bistro (at the Fox Hotel) has achieved in their Spring menu.
First, the entrees. Tiny cubes of gin-cured salmon tartare with cucumber salad is a refreshing summery entrée, ideal for hot days—the gin taste is very subtle. Seafood lovers opt for the Harvey Bay scallops served with a little pancetta for depth and an acidic green apple/celeriac salad for balance. If it’s a little cooler, then order the twice-baked cheese soufflé accompanied with walnuts for crunch and figs for sweetness.
Next came the mains. The Malay-style half chicken was the favourite of some diners, and others raved about the Tasmanian lamb rump. But my heart was lost. Peeking beneath a canopy of greens, was something dark and glossy. Parting the crispy salad, we uncovered a shameless rack of chubby, glistening ribs. It was ugly for a moment. I wondered if I might have to share this wickedly tempting dish. The roiling aroma had alerted other diners—much sniffing was heard. But luckily there was plenty to share. At our end of the table, the ribs was undoubtedly the dish of the evening.
The Bistro offers a sweep of desserts. The lightest is the Kaffir lime crème brûlée with sorbet. For those with a very sweet tooth, try the vanilla bean panna cotta with strawberry. If you prefer something richer, then chocolate and olive oil (!) mousse with chocolate and hazelnut icecream and honeycomb is the best option. The non-designated driver can opt for the espresso martini with salted caramel.
The menu demonstrates the depth of talent at The Fox Hotel (head chef Jonno Bryant). Aside from the above dishes, the Bistro’s menu includes sandcrab and mussels. I’d like to think when I go back I’ll try some other dishes, but who am I kidding? I am a smitten kitten.
Fish Lane Bisto (Fox Hotel)
1 Fish Lane
South Brisbane 4101
Lunch – 12:00 – 2:30 pm
Dinner – 5pm – late
Words – Toni Johnson-Woods | Images – Melissa Ordoñez