Can a recent change of hands and a moody revamp make Mr Fox fantastic?
Beyond a pet shop-like red and white street sign on the Cleveland Street end of Crown, you’ll find a bar with dark walls and cosy furnishings pushing a chesterfields-in-Marrakesh vibe. This is the Mr Fox redux. Unfortunately the decorative Moroccan jazz hands that the bar’s new owners have waved over the joint haven’t yet made it the drinking destination we were hoping for.
Like the cocktails they make, Mr Fox’s bartenders are sweet, if a bit slow at the shake. Our first round arrives after what feels like forever on a quiet Thursday evening; the presentation is beautiful but the lolly-like Angelico Sour is a little too syrupy for us. The balance of lychee, gin and citrus in the Aviator, however, is spot on.
As we work our way through the drinks, the bartenders kindly send over a series of complimentary mystery concoctions to try. The first is a tasty apricot-y good time. The second goes down like a liquified pack of Haribo coke bottles. Our teeth are still tingling.
Time Out passes on Mr Fox’s extensive food menu - which runs from marinated olives and tomato bruschetta all the way through to burgers, steaks and pasta dishes - in favour of another round of cocktails, but we’re keen to see if the tiny bar can successfully execute the whopping 25 item menu.
Back to those drinks: the Forbidden Fruit – a kooky mix of tequila, fig conserve, lemon, bitters and caramel – turns out to be our pick of the pack. The chai-spiced sugar rim, however, feels like overkill. The sweet, thick and peachy Hidden Secret is served up in a crumpled paper bag. It’s like alcoholic fruit soup. That secret? The glass vessel is actually a jam jar.
If the cocktails sat around the $15 mark, the bar would be a decent option for local drinking. But with their some-hit-but-more-often-miss creations averaging $19-$20 a pop, we're feeling just a little outfoxed.
|Venue name:||Mr Fox|
557 Crown St
|Opening hours:||Mon-Tue 5pm-late; Wed-Sat 4pm-midnight; Sun 2-10pm.|