Evolving with Melbourne’s ever-changing restaurant scene, Joe Grbac raises the bar with Saxe. The two-storey restaurant offers two different dining experiences. Guests can choose to dine in the new more casual, intimate space on the ground floor known as ‘Saxe Kitchen’ or for something more refined, dine upstairs at ‘Saxe’.
Under the guidance of Grbac the kitchen is in safe hands. Grbac’s resume includes stints abroad at three-Michelin- starred Hospital Road in Chelsea, two-Michelin-starred The Square, a restaurant in Mayfair. Back at home, Grbac is probably most known for heading up the kitchen at the Press Club alongside George Calombaris and partnering with Scott Pickett to open critically acclaimed Saint Crispin in Collingwood.
Opened in October 2017, Saxe is Grbac’s exciting solo adventure where he continues to refine his style, favouring seasonal produce, cooked with experience and passion.
The recently launched ‘Saxe Kitchen’ downstairs, introduces a relaxed and informal approach to Grbac’s unique style.
We loved tasting our way through the menu.
To start, a selection of snacks whetted our appetites. The Kedgeree fritter was a thoroughly modern interpretation of the humble kedgeree - Crispy fritter encasing gooey spiced pulses mixed with rice and topped with curried egg. The seemingly simple dish of carrots were also a highlight. We loved the umami-laden caramelised carrots that were topped with crunchy sunflower seeds.
For something comforting and perfect for the unseasonably cold Melbourne winter, we recommend the gnocchi with pork ragu, tomato and parsley - a beautifully flavoursome dish which was highlighted by the light gnocchi. Simply comfort food at its best.
If you love rich, bold flavours, then the beef cheek is for you. The beef cheek was tender and delicious, with caramel undertones. Paired with an earthy Asian braising sauce and noodles, the cheeks fell away at the weight of our spoons whilst still retaining their integrity.
Whatever you do, do not leave without trying the mushroom crumpet. Think seared mushroom crumpets dripping in a rich mushroom sauce filled with diced mushroom sauce and generous melted slices of comte. It’s a thing of beauty.
Dessert time continued to please at Saxe Kitchen with the Mandarin trifle which was a beautiful celebration of the citrus fruit. We loved the layers of sponge intertwined with mandarin cream, curd and refreshing sorbet.
With dim lighting, timber communal tables, bar seating and an open kitchen that pumps out an all day and night menu, Saxe Kitchen welcomes you with a warm embrace. Elegant yet approachable and graceful, Saxe Kitchen presents a memorable dining experience that is quintessentially Melbourne. We simply cannot wait to return.
Location: 211 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Phone: (03) 9089 6699