Robert Burns Hotel
The much-loved Robbie Burns looks a little different these days, but it's as Spanish as ever – maybe even more so. The new look is brighter, lighter and considerably more spacious than the former warren of rooms that punctuated the building, but there is still a definite comfort in the whites, rusts, reds and woods that dress the space.
The latest owners, Colonial Leisure Group, have kept the Spanish theme in the kitchen that started way back in 1983 with Spanish owner Urbano Gutierrez. The focus is on authentic Spanish food and even people, with savvy Spanish staff who are experienced in hospitality and passionate about their culture. The head chef is Ivan Saiz, who, with co-manager Jose Murgui (who previously worked together at St Kilda’s Entre Tapas y Vinos) is joined by management counterpart Jose Ortega.
Further holding to tradition, the front bar is for tapas only, and there's a communal table behind the bar for groups or a quieter beverage. The main dining areas are out back and in the courtyard, but there's also an upstairs for really busy times or functions. The uncanny notion of a pub with a Scottish name and Spanish food has somehow been working (for the most part) since '83, so we don't foresee any change in the near future and we like it that way.