The Palace: Luke Mangan’s gastropub

As Gastro pubs go The Palace as it is called (Luke Mangan’s recent venture) is good.  Its monotone dark grey corner pub exterior does not let on quite what’s inside. The door opens into welcoming lounge and drinking areas have been elegantly refashioned complete with (real) roaring fireplaces cosy corners ( the 2 essential aspects of a traditional pub). Now throw in glitzy Tom Dixon and other Dedece lighting and you can imagine how glamorous this place looks.

one of the cosy bar areas

the bar

However the glamour and glitz does not seem to have followed into the dining room – somewhat plain but the view of the kitchen gave it a liveliness that was charming.

The food was good pub fare with panache . The spicy crunchy squid with served with shavings of cool papaya and cucumber salad and cauliflower puree was original and appeared to be the favourite by the number being served up. A number of mains with several steak options cooked to perfection. The dukka encrusted lamb loin (could have been pinker) served with a beautiful eggplant puree. Sides were fresh and delicious.

Salt and jalapeno pepper squid, caramelised eschalots, pickled cucumber and papaya salad

Dukkah crusted lamb loin, spiced eggplant, chickpea, olive and semi dried tomato salad

tomato, goats feta, olive and basil

Of course there were beautiful Luke Mangan oils on the table. The Lemon Myrtle infused Olive Oil is a favourite of mine. Luke Mangan himself after Glass in the Hilton in Sydney (which is one of the better hotel restaurants I have dined in), has for some time now spread his wings outside Australia and most recently has opened his latest fine dining resturant in Singapore.

Like The Court House (wins hands down on its fine cuisine), The Graham (more stylish dining room), The Grand (menu does not change often enough), The Palace is definitely a good gastropub pick.

505 City Road, South Melbourne
The Palace on Urbanspoon

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