Sometimes, the best secrets are camouflaged in plain sight. Walk past Ice House Street and you may just miss this hidden speakeasy. At face value, Foxglove is an elegant umbrella shop, meticulously outfitted to minute details by trendsetter gentlemen's salon The Armoury. But walk through the alcove and press down on a "certain" umbrella, and you'll be whisked into a bygone era of classic cocktails and live jazz via a discrete sliding door.
Named after the eponymous flower, Foxglove is a revival of the classic drinking dens of the 1950s, bringing guests on a time travel journey back to the golden era of bartending with iconic cocktails and fine liquor, some of which dates back almost a hundred years!
The story goes that there once was a gentleman named Mr. Minza, who travelled the world in search of adventure and all things beautiful. However, what he could never capture was the heart of his beloved, so he created Foxglove, named after his lost lover's favourite flower, to win her back. At its natural state, the foxglove flower is potently lethal, but if used carefully, could also treat ailments of the heart.
The meticulously appointed 4,300 square feet venue is the second venture of Ming Fat House, which opened the burlesque hideaway, Mrs. Pound, a year ago. The new Foxglove revolves around a main lounge, which comfortably seats 80 guests. Classic bar snacks from fish and chips to lobster rolls are offered alongside a refined dinner menu. One of the focal points is the carefully curated cocktail menu, which pays homage to a bygone time when spirits were kings and bartenders were demigods. We were particularly enamoured with the empire boulevardier ($160), an aromatic blend of Hibiki 12 years whisky, Aperol, Campari, Antica formula, and homemade cardamom bitters. The camellia and daisy ($150) converted the tea lovers amongst us with its Oolong milk tea-infused Cognac, homemade orange cordial, egg white and orange bitters, while the Eastern promise ($130) provided plenty of zing and a dash of daring with its concoction of green pepper-infused gin, yuzu marmalade, guava, lemon, star anise, and splash of absinthe.
Guests can relax to the tune of live jazz in the main lounge, or enjoy rare Cognacs, spirits and Japanese cask-strength whiskies in the "red room", an intimate 32-seater VIP alcove modelled after a vintage first class train cabin.
Foxglove is currently at its soft opening stage, so, although we thoroughly enjoyed our experience, we felt that it was premature to review the dishes at the moment. We'll just let the pictures speak for themselves.
Garden salad ($128) with organic beetroot, figs, artichoke, asparagus, and heirloom tomatoes.
Salmon and cauliflower cream ($158) dotted with salmon caviar, wasabi coulis, yuzu pearls and whisky-infused cauliflower puree.
Duck foie gras ($168) sandwiched between a strawberry macaroon, drizzled in hazelnut sauce and accompanied by aged Balsamic pearls.
Maine lobster tagliatelle ($298) tossed in a Cognac and lobster broth, bejewelled with confit of tomatoes and baby spinach, lemon infused olive oil and lobster cappuccino.
Roasted guinea fowl ($388) with fingerling potato confit and sauteed baby spinach, accompanied with cherry kirsch pearls.
Stuffed red mullet ($298) with cepes and herbed new potatoes, paired with briny black olive tapenade.
Foxglove is the meeting of two worlds - Old World finesse and cutting edge innovation. Have a wander around and you may just find an entirely new secret passageway...but shh...you didn't hear it from us.
Foxglove, 2/F, 6 Duddell Street, main entrance on ground level from 18 Icehouse Street, 2116 8949