"Happy Birthday honey! I'm going to take you to Huxtable for your birthday…because I want to go." Cue cheesy little smile.
Honestly, Brad would probably be perfectly fine if I didn't do anything for his birthday, but it's too perfect of a reason to treat ourselves (or maybe just myself really) and go somewhere we wouldn't go regularly.
And hey, he wasn't actually supposed to be home for his birthday this year, but decided to cut his Europe trip short, so we had to do something!
So forsaking our usual Sunday brunch, we made plans to be at Huxtable for lunch instead, where we had the whole place to ourselves at exactly 12pm.
The last time I had visited Huxtable was when they were still doing brunch…which means yes, it was indeed that long ago. So I was quite keen to see what the rest of the lauded menu had to offer.
After giggling over yellow bread bowls that sat awkwardly on their side and toppled about, and sipping on a pinot noir, I swooned over the generous serving of duck liver parfait, spindled with sea salt and looking a treat. Smooth, with plenty of flavour, but almost too much to get through!
We had to naturally also order a serve of the jalapeno and cheddar croquettes, which were just perfect. Thin and crisp exterior, giving way to the cheesy filling with a surprise chilli kick, cutting through the richness. Such a great combination.
I've forgotten exactly what was in this dish, but what most interested me was the buffalo haloumi, the pristine white cheese given a healthy tan from the frying, which was quite light, compared to the usual denseness of regular haloumi. It went beautifully with the greens, and a sprinkle of chopped hazelnuts, drizzle of balsamic and a spot of poached pear, the sweet and earthy flavours mingling together nicely.
I am never one to go past boudin noir (or black pudding, no point in being too fancy about it) especially with scallops, beluga lentils and an apple and cider puree with fried leeks on top. Although Huxtable's menu is mostly pretty innovative, it's nice to see them do a classic combination and do it exceedingly well. My favourite part might have been the apple and cider puree, rich and sweet, paired with the boudin noir. Match made in heaven.
From classic to fusion, we moved on to a serve of korean barbecue pork ribs with a spicy slaw and chilli gherkin. Goodness, just so many levels of delicious, the ribs are just the right amount of meat and fat, juicy and tender, again with a nice hint of heat. The slaw is refreshing, with all that mayo, but is not quite as spicy as I expect it to be.
However, the delicious smoked mozzarella with sweetcorn, chipotle and garlic shoots immediately coats the mouth with warmth. Mingled with the smokiness of the mozzarella, and it's unctuous texture, alongside the sweetness of the corn, it's massively comforting. I'm always amazed at the vegetable dishes that many chefs are turning out, which are often designed to be sides, but often end up being one of my favourite dishes…such as this! I am immensely sad that this has been removed from the menu currently…
…along with this beauty. A dark chocolate delice with chestnut puree, cinnamon sponge and vanilla ice-cream. This is pretty much all of my favourite things in one (almost). The shiny dome of chocolate delice looked like it might be firm, but we had no fear as it just easily jumped into our spoons like mousse. I could not get enough of the chestnut puree, earthy, with a touch of sweetness, complimented by the cinnamon and the vanilla. I really enjoyed that this wasn't too sweet, which Brad obviously appreciated as well, helping himself to more than the regular two scoops he usually goes for.
Although there were high expectations set for Huxtable, it certainly did not disappoint, as we were wowed and excited by all the dishes coming out. If you're asking why we didn't go for the $60 feed me menu…it's simply because I love putting my own menus together!
The only thing that I did think was that it was almost eerily quiet when we were there at 12pm, the room only beginning to fill at 1pm. Once full, there was a nice vibe going, but it felt a tiny bit stiff before that happened earlier on our meal.
Regardless, I'm sure to be back soon, with new desserts on the menu positively teasing at me that I'm not there to try them already...
131 Smith Street
View I'm So Hungree in a larger map