Roxborough is the new Acland Street restaurant from Paul Jewson, founder of St Kilda institution Fitzrovia.
The venue emerged from a successful collaboration between Paul, his partner Gian Marco Pugnaloni, and their long-time friend Christian Byrne. It signals a return to Paul’s beginnings in the restaurant world, offering a more sophisticated evening dining experience than their previous brunch hotspots, Outpost and Fitzrovia.
Paul says, “We’re gobsmacked at how many eggs we’ve poached over the years. I’m so excited to be getting back to the style of dining we were creating during my time at London’s River Cafe; generous, rustic Mediterranean that is super seasonal with the focus on the ingredients.”
Paul’s beginnings in the hospitality world are rooted in provincial British and Mediterranean cuisine, developed over the two decades he lived in the UK. Paul ran the kitchens of one of Europe’s most renowned events catering companies, Admirable Crichton, and cut his teeth at internationally renowned The River Café under Rose Grey, as well as Bluebird, Soho House, and at celebrity chef Antony Worrall Thompson’s restaurant 190 Queen’s Gate.
After moving to Melbourne in 2009, Paul and Gian Marco opened their first venue, Outpost in South Yarra, with the help of mentor and hospitality guru Salvatore Malatesta (St ALi). But it was at their now beloved brunch spot Fitzrovia that Paul and Gian Marco satiated the Melburnian appetites for fresh local produce, polenta chips and restaurant/café hybrid dining.
With a move back to dinner, Roxborough’s rustic Mediterranean menu is full of big flavours and rough edges. They focus on minimal food miles, promoting seasonal produce from Victorian farmers and using free-range and organic ingredients wherever possible. The venue’s warm and welcoming vibe is a nod to its namesake, Johnny Roxburgh, British party architect and bespoke caterer to celebrities, as well as Paul’s flamboyant mentor.
Head chef Christian Byrne is a born and bred St Kilda local with over 20 years of experience running kitchens in Melbourne and the Long Island, NY, where he learnt the dark arts of lobster boiling, crab cakes, clam strips and the raw bar. Christian’s love of local produce harks back to his mother Christine, who cultivated beautiful produce on her 22-acre farm in Kyneton for over 25 years.
Roxborough diners can expect to find this home grown seasonal produce on their plates, including bronze fennel, garlic shoots and artichokes. These beautiful ingredients will help build mouth-watering dishes such as sautéed clams and pippies with smoked pork hock, garlic shoots, parsley and sourdough bruschetta; grilled Lakes Entrance octopus with charred bullhorn peppers, persillade and saffron aioli; and stuffed artichokes with minted peas and leeks. For lunch, the grilled fillet of cobia with piperade Basque, Mornington Peninsula mussels and roast fennel jus is a standout.
88 Acland Street, St Kilda