Television Producer & Photojournalist with a passion for sharing adventures in and around Melbourne, Australia. See my www.youtube.com/user/tmztvaustralia for other adventures. Subscribe to me so I can tell you of upcoming fab things not to miss.
Published September 22nd 2015
FOXEYS is foxing us; this is not just a Winery & Kitchen
I adore road trips to the scenic countryside of Melbourne exploring hills, dales and wineries. So when I saw the small sign at Foxeys Hangout after the Red Hill Garden Show, it was time to stop.
From the outside, it seemed a bland winery; just a large colour bond clad building. Unassuming in its decor at best, until you step out of the car and the delightful smells of the kitchen came wafting over you. There is a small, understated sign that says "Winery and Kitchen".
But as you stroll around the corner to the back of the building the delight of the place unfolds; first with stunning views across their winery, and then with warm and welcoming open cooking style kitchen and dining area.
My first thought, is disbelief, "They call this a kitchen?". This was a modern, sleek cafe style restaurant with different styles of eating areas catering for both cosy and big groups, and with a deck outside; all with stunning views. Fresh bread was coming out of the oven and being cut and served up hot; thus those delightful smells. And the atmosphere was very light and sharing.
Their menu lends itself to "starting at the top going all the way to the bottom and sharing each plate of specialty foods with a mate". One long table of guests attempted this and I watched them sharing, visiting, laughing and then give up in happy defeat about half way through the menu. Wonderfully filling. Each plate is only about $11 dollars so you can't resist trying many of the beautiful dishes. Or you can try a selection menu at around $35 a head; highly recommended.
Be sure to ask your waiter which wine enhances which meal to gain the best out of the chef designed dishes. These "family made" wines start at $8.00 a glass. Some wines are so popular, they are sold out. So whether you crave a light snack, or want to create your own designer meal, it is well worth a trip out of town.
I always start with a sparkling, although I still ask for "Champagne" naughty me, and their Foxeys Hangout Sparkling White, made from their pinot noir and chardonnay grapes, was light, refreshing and perfect when paired with my tomato, feta and mint salad. I wasn't hungry enough for a main, but I could not go past their dessert with port soaked figs, blue cheese, and fresh bread.
Blue Cheese and Port Soaked Figs with Fresh Baked Bread
Normally, I am not a "sweets" person, and find these soaked fruits can be too much, but these figs were perfect on the palate. The result was a perfect complement to their 2013 Shiraz, which has a James Halliday rating of 97. So, they can add this honour to the other trophies for their award winning wines.
The winery is family owned by two brothers, former Melbourne restaurateurs and wine makers, Michael and Tony Lee. Tony is also a chef, which easily explains the high quality of the making and matching of their food and wine. They specialise in the cold climate wines, that the Mornington Peninsula is so famous for, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and their Shiraz. They bring together these thoughtfully produced wines with seasonal local produce to create a scrumptious result. And Michael and Tony are not out of sight; they are on the floor, making sure not only the food, but the service is spot on.