I must be back in London. Queues out the door on a Friday and Saturday night for a bar/restaurant? No, I’m still in Melbourne but I’m eating at Royal Saxon the oh so cool venture from the people who brought Melbourne The Public House and the Albert Park Hotel. My friend Sophie works around the corner from Royal Saxon and is already a big fan even if it is painful to get in on a weekend. The place looks amazing, no money has been spared by architects Six Degrees to create a multi levelled space with a lofty warehouse vibe. Inside and outisde is cleverly mixed with the bar area opening out into a paved courtyard where the focus is a beautiful old Moreton bay fig which was apparently transplanted at great cost to Royal Saxon.
The menus serve as placemats as well and are packed with exactly the type of things that you want to eat once you have had a few drinks. The food is Italian and features antipasti made for nibbling at and more substantial fare such as pizzas, risottos and pastas almost designed for soaking up alcohol. Napkins are cheery red and white striped tea towels all the better for trying to remove pasta sauce from your shirt.
From the antipasti section of the menu, crispy zucchini flowers ($14) are served dipped in a light tempura like batter alongside crisp sage leaves and slices of lemon. Doused in lemon juice it is light, refreshing bar food with a twist. The proscuitto pizza ($16) is thin based with a rectangular shape and arrives on a serving board. The dough is slightly charred and elastic and the pizza topped with silky folds of prosciutto, mushrooms, sprigs of thyme and fontina cheese.
Royal Saxon is a more of a bar than a restaurant so there are extensive beer, wine and cocktail menus with over ten beers on tap including boutique offerings such as White Rabbit and Pipsqueak cider. Good food, good drinks, a “we are so busy that we don’t take bookings policy” and lots of beautiful people, I’m starting to see why this place is so popular.
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Details: 545 Church Street, Richmond 3121 (+61 3 9429 5277) Australia
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my review of another new opening in Melbourne, Three Bags Full, for new openings in London check out my review of Yalla Yalla.