In a city spoilt for gastropubs, Royal Saxon is a standout. At the helm is Thiago Miranda, an exciting Melbourne talent with some buzz already directed his way. His philosophy is simple: a deep respect for local produce, founded on a belief that the less distance the ingredients need to travel, the better they taste on the plate.
Local architects Six Degrees are behind the re-design of the space, which sees the heritage of the building blended with a modern fit-out, and a lovely beer garden tucked under a tall tree.
There are enough Australian classics to keep the more traditional pub-goers happy, but dig just beyond these and it is clear that Chef Miranda is doing something rather interesting in the kitchen. Duck and apricot rillette sits side-by-side with fennel and chorizo mussels in the starters section, and of the mains options, the cauliflower risotto and pork cotoletta are standouts. The pizzas are excellent, proving popular with the locals.
PSST! Royal Saxon has a huge upstairs events space, which is great if you are booking a larger gathering just out of the city.