Thursday, August 16, 2007

Roxanne, Glebe Point Rd, Glebe

Roxanne, Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
Thursday 16 August, 2007
The first time I visited Roxanne was on its opening night. This was always going to be a tough night to review. So, what's happening almost 18 months on? The decor has remained unchanged and still embodies the burlesque, Moulin Rouge theme that has since become more popular with the rise of clubs such as Crystal Bar at GPO.
I've since learnt that the name has nothing whatsoever to do The Police song Roxanne - this was what our waiter had eluded to. It is actually intended to evoke a girl of mystery a la Cyrano de Bergerac or Steve Martin. Who would have thought?
We arrived without a reservation after attending a book launch at Gleebooks. We were welcomed inside and offered a table for four near the entrance. Having occupied a prime location in Glebe for almost 18 months, the partners who started Roxanne (Vietnamese-born chef Johnny Nguyen and Nepalese-born owner and some-time cook Raj Shakya) are the same however the staff appear to have changed significantly.
We were starving so ordered some garlic & herb bread to start before checking out the menus. One of my pet peeves is to be presented with a menu and it is riddled with spelling errors and punctuation mistakes. Some words were separated on the menu, for example seafood was listed Sea Food. What the#!@?
Our garlic bread arrived and we polished this off with ease. We are all fans of garlic bread - which is a good thing as you don't want to reek of garlic around dinner buddies that haven't indulged. After reviewing the main offerings we all decided to order something different. I ordered the BBQ plate and my dinner buddies ordered the chicken katsu curry, scallop & prawn risotto and cajun seafood hotpot.
The service was slow considering the restaurant was 50% full but when our meals arrived we were all very impressed. That said, they served up two meals and left us waiting for a minute or two for the third to arrive. Almost five minutes later the fourth meal arrived. No explanation just a quick dash from the kitchen to our table and plate dropped in front of you.
The food was great - my BBQ plate offered a diverse mix including chicken skewers, sausages, steak and pork belly. Accompanying the BBQ smorgasbord was a vibrant salad and a side of balsamic dressing. The other meals were equally impressive - the hotpot contained lots of fresh seafood, the chicken katsu looked rich and decadent and the risotto disappeared so quickly that our dinner buddy had polished off her meal before the rest of us were half way!
There's a lot to like about Roxanne, the food is reasonably priced, the decor is fascinating and doesn't match the food but that's OK and if the service improved it would be a very special place.
Roxanne restaurant & bar - 39 Glebe Point Road, Glebe - (02) 9552 6087


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