St. Kilda institution Fitzrovia has expanded its family, with the introduction of its sister venue, Roxborough.
Situated just down on the road on Acland Street, Roxborough combines a slice of London’s old school luxury with a Mediterranean style menu. The restaurant is named after notorious UK ‘party architect’ and glamourous caterer Johnny Roxburgh, a dear friend and mentor to owners Marco Pugnaloni and Paul Jewson. The entire concept is a testimony to the flamboyant legend and buzzes with a chic, warm and approachable vibe.
Head Chef and business partner, Christian Byrne, is in charge of delivering Roxborough’s seasonal fare, placing the focus on high quality ingredients. His background in kitchens in London, Long Island, New York and New England all affect the new menu, where a complex and technical selection of snacks, mains and desserts awaits.
Settle in with some light bites while you sip on a glass of wine from their European and Australian-focused list. Choose from chicken liver parfait with port jelly, currant relish and croutons; jamon and manchego croquetas; or lime-cured watermelon with goat’s curd and basil. Share plates include pippies and clams with smoked pork hock, broad beans and parsley; stinging nettle risotto with fresh Echuca yabbies, saffron and Prosecco; and molten smoked mozzarella gratin with crisp guanciale.
If you don’t fancy sharing, opt for a main. This section of the menu focuses on high-quality meats and fish. Plates include a chargrilled 400g pasture-fed Gippsland entrecôte on the bone, with bone marrow butter, roasted spring garlic and silver beet puree, and rolled crispy-skinned rare breed pork belly with braised chicory, organic black lentils and salsa verde. For the vegetarians, fluffy potato gnocchi is tossed with braised broccoli, zucchini, broad beans and asparagus, topped with creamy goat’s curd and pine nuts.
Sweeten the meal with one of the decadent desserts, including a pine nut, pear and almond frangipane tart with mascarpone. If you’re one of the lucky few that can consume coffee at all hours, try their Affogato Roxborough, which combines vanilla bean ice cream, Frangelico, single origin espresso and hazelnut biscotti.
The sleek interiors have been designed by Paul Hecker of Hecker Guthrie, and pay homage to the 1920s art-deco building once home to the St Kilda Army and Navy Club. Original ornate empire-style friezes and stucco plasterwork emphasise the space’s heritage, while white terrazzo, lime American oak chairs and tables, and white tile detail all contribute to a more contemporary feel. If you can dare to pull yourself away from the stunning interiors, the outdoor seating looking out onto St Kilda’s towering palm trees is perfect for watching the sunset on a balmy summer evening.