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Tripping The Life Fantastic

Enjoy a global culinary journey with — and at—Mr. Fox.

So many restaurants in Jakarta feature electic dining options with menus that offer dishes that span the gamut from the far-flung ‘exotic’ to the familiar and home-grown. It isn’t unusual these days to encounter dishes that are evocative of one part of the world jostling for space on a menu along with dishes that highlight more regional features. Also of note is the rather successful marriage of flavours in a way that doesn’t come across as that dreadful melange (fusion) anymore. Jakarta has progressed, and its diners’ tastes have gone global.

Taking this so-called global approach to dining to another level is Mr. Fox, the most recent of the Ismaya’s group’s offerings. Presented from the vantage point of the imaginary character, he’s best described as a “charming, witty and alluring character with an eye for all things unique.” A world-traveller, the namesake of the restaurant features a menu based on this mythical creatures jaunts around the world.

Rather than being a restaurant with an extensive menu, it must be mentioned at the outset that with its wide open bar area, this is clearly a space where one comes to enjoy “Mr. Fox’s” favourite tipples (with or without alcohol) and a bite to eat from a range of his international favourites.

Step into the restaurant at SCBD’s The Engery Building and it feels rather like a standalone restaurant as opposed to a stop in a bustling mall. Visit either after work—or whenever— and the welcoming space embraces the visitor with its plush lighting and comfortable seating all across. The bar, of course, is the place to be here with its open shelves filled to the brim with a plethora of options for the casual or seasonal imbiber. Study the menu (compiled in classic typeset font) and enjoy the musings of the restaurant’s namesake as bartenders, under the tutelege of award-winning beverage manager Albert Yacob conjure up a host of creative drinks. Here you will find Madame St. Germain where elderflower liqueur, bianco vermouth, strawberry cucumber syrup and sparkling wine come together in a way that reminds one of a gentle summer spritz served on the rocks.

If one were to gender their drinks, then The Countess, rather like the aforementioned St. Germanine are decidedly ‘feminine’. The Countess is a concotion of raw cacao nib infused sweet vermouth, Italian bitter liquer, and sparkling wine. Bitter sweet, it has a chocolate undertone and served on the rocks.

For something ‘fresher’ with a more tropical accent, there’s the Captain Cori with its agave tequila, pomelo coriander cordial, maraschino, lime and firewater tincture. This citrusy conction is almost Asian in focus and certainly refreshing on the palate. Served with a scroll wound up on the side, it’s quite the tribute to a seafaring adventurer.

If something a bit more testosterone-focused is called for, there’s the Uncle Woody which lives up to its ‘wrestling team coach’ moniker with a secret rum blend, honey liqueur, maraschino and orange bitters. Rested on new charred oak, the drink is aged and rounded and is served on the rocks – and with a branded orange peel bearing the restaurant’s name. High marks for creativity all around here.

To accompany these fine drinks are a range of delicious – and interesting – items inspired by global cuisine. There’s the rather quirky KFC (Krunchy Fried Crickets) which, if one gets past one’s squeamishness, tastes rather like fried nuts; salted egg chicken wings which are far gutsier with the addition of the salted egg and the balacan (Indonesian shrimp paste). For something more fiery (and the perfect accompaniment to the drinks) is the spicy tuna peuillette: crispy toritlla containing sriracha, spring onion and tobiko. Rather like a pizza, each slice is mouthful of incredible flavour – and heat. For those looking for more substantial offerings there are burgers and roasts as well as Asian staples (and an all-day breakfast menu too), all with Mr. Fox’s unique flavour twists.

For its whimsical touches and unique moniker, Mr. Fox certainly is worthy of high praise, for its drinks and food menu, diners will be richly rewarded. Certainly a place to visit –whenever!

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