Monday, June 13, 2011


Foxley is a restaurant that my boss frequents and highly recommends; he talks about it all the time, which is really the reason why the place made it to "On My Radar". 

My "On My Radar" list, which you can find further down on the right hand side of my blog, consists of a list of restaurants that I want to try (it is arranged alphabetically) and Foxley, poor Foxley, has been on the list f-o-r-e-v-e-r, well since day 1 when this list was created.  But I can finally take it off now as I had dinner there last Thursday. And you know what? I really regret not going there earlier. The food was fantastic.

I went with my friends Richard (@mrsharpphoto), Robin (@sharp_photoand Jason (@LO_TEK). Richard and Robin are both major food lovers (check out Robin's food blog If Looks Could Fill) and I gotta say, it was really the two of them that motivated me to go to Foxley finally as Foxley is also one of their favourite restaurants in the city. So many Foxley fans!

It was raining earlier in the day but cleared up by the afternoon; still a bit overcast and breezy when we were there but we gave the patio a shot. Foxley's patio is at the back of the restaurant; it is small but sufficient.

I've said this before and I will say it again: I've always been skeptical and nervous about Asian fusion cuisine and much prefer just authentic Asian food. And no, that is not the reason I have been putting off Foxley because I actually did not know Foxley serves Asian fusion tapas until the day of the dinner! Haha I think this is probably the only time I'm glad a restaurant does not have a website as if it had, I may have written Foxley off (despite the praises) after my not-so-good experience at Kultura.

Foxley's menu. 

The wine list. I remember seeing a cocktail / sake list too but I forgot to take a pic of it.

The weather was no longer co-operating once our wine came; it got really windy and cold so we had to move inside. By that time, Foxley was already 95% full (it is a small restaurant). Thank goodness we made the move when we did as I cannot imagine eating out in the cold for the rest of the evening (damn this inconsistent Toronto weather!). I didn't get a chance to take any pictures of the restaurant.

So tapas. All shared. Here we go. 

Lamb and duck prosciutto dumplings ($7) - A very crispy shell with duck and lamb inside. There is no mistake that lamb is in it as these dumplings do have a very strong lamb taste...perfect for lamb lovers like me. The texture of the meat is firm and not mushy at all. I couldn't really taste the duck.

Grilled spiced venison wrapped in la lot leaf ($9) - Not my favourite dish as I didn't think the venison itself had much flavour - it was still juicy and tender but was a bit lacking in flavour for me. If anything I enjoyed the la lot leaf wrap and the salad on the side more. The salad was actually very spicy, which to me is very surprising because I don't think I've ever had a salad as spicy as this one at a restaurant, and I quite like it! =D

Seared water buffalo liver with arugula salad ($10) - One of my favourite dishes of the night, also a dish that is new to the menu that very night. This was unlike any liver that I've ever had - the texture was extremely soft and smooth, unlike the more dry and rough texture that I'm used to. It was like the liver was cooked rare (the middle had a bright, red colour) instead of the "well-done" that I'm more familiar with. I enjoyed the spices on the top and also the salad on the side; I found myself switching between the liver and the salad as the liver did have a very "liver-y" taste so it was nice to have a refreshing bite of salad every once in awhile.

This is me in action! Robin thought it was neat how she was no longer the only food blogger at the table holding up everybody ^_^

Slow-braised pork belly in muscatel reduction ($13) - Isn't this beautiful? If you don't think so then there's something wrong with you haha. This pork belly actually looks... perfect! Perfectly sliced and glistening under the light =) Muscatel is a sweet fortified wine made from muscat grapes and you can definitely taste the sweetness in this dish. We all tasted a hint of ginger in this dish too. I'm unsure what made the sauce so thick but I liked it as it provided tons of flavour. As for the meat itself, it was very moist. I wish there was more fat on my piece though~

Grilled beef hearts with chili lime salsa ($8) - I really liked these beef hearts as it's not everyday that I get to have beef hearts. I'm not really sure how to describe their texture to you so I'm going to take Richard's quote from Robin's blog post:

"They had a taste like filet mignon and a texture like a rubber a good way!"

I think I agree with that description =) What really stole the show for me with these skewers was the chili lime salsa and the seasoning on top... sooo flavourful!

Sea bream ceviche with yuzu and shiso ($15) - You can't see the sea bream at all as it is all covered and hidden underneath. The sea bream were sliced, so they were pieces of fish instead of the chopped up version which I'm used to when it comes to ceviche. However, I really really like this precisely because of that reason - it was literally like eating sea bream sashimi (because they were sliced) with all the added goodness on top.

Grilled side ribs with caramelized shallot glaze ($9) - Foxley is famous for their ribs and so we got two orders ($18 worth of ribs here). The ribs were tender, juicy, and again, very flavourful as every inch was covered with this thick, dark sauce (which we think may have molasses in it as it had this strong but not overly sweet taste). These short ribs actually reminds me somewhat of Chinese black vinegar ribs (or  "鎮江骨") but a less vinegar-y version. I love these ribs and they were definitely were a crowd favourite. Again, I wish my piece was more fatty lol (I obsession with fatty food is quite obvious in this post).

Braised beef cheeks in red curry ($14) - My least favourite dish. Nothing against the beef cheeks as they were really tender, but the curry was really salty. Richard and Robin both had the dish before and they even said it was too salty this time.

I can't emphasize enough but really, nothing was bland at Foxley that night; everything was extremely flavourful. It is evident that Tom Thai, the executive chef at Foxley, puts a lot of thought into every single dish that comes out of his kitchen. Personally, I think lots of restaurants have ruined "Asian fusion" for me, it's like they are all trying so hard to incorporate Asian elements into the dish but at the end of the day, the food still comes out boring and the elements just don't jive together well. However, if all Asian fusion was like Foxley, then I will be all over Asian fusion. Yeah I know *keep dreaming*.

Foxley has a really lively atmosphere and gets extremely busy very quickly, even on a weeknight. So I suggest if you were to go, go early, like around 6pm to avoid disappointment.

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