2 Exhibition Street
Melbourne Vic 3001
Yes people, it finally happened, I made it to Gazi! Brought to us by George Calombaris, Melbourne’s unquestionable king of Greek cuisine, this casual Greek eatery offers great food and the perfect environment for a catch up with friends.
I arrived with a couple of girlfriends on a Wednesday night to find the place packed to the rafters with noisy dinners. Fortunately, we booked in advance and had a table waiting for us by the window. As we walked to our table, my eyes were immediately drawn up to the uniquely decorated ceiling with what can best be described as a wave of hundreds of upside down terracotta pots. It sounds odd, but looks incredibly effective and really sets Gazi apart from all the other restaurants in town.
In terms of George’s other restaurants, Gazi offers a relaxed dining experience similar to Hellenic Republic, but focuses on really delicious Greek street food as at Jimmy Grants, just on a much bigger scale. As I’ve come to expect from George, the food was simple and traditional, but at the same time inventive and jam packed with flavour.
We tried the chicken and beef souvlakis which were both delicious. They were the traditional Greek style souvlakis with minimal but top quality fillings. The chicken was juicy and seasoned to perfection, but as good as it was, the beef was my favourite. It was really tender and basted in the most flavoursome marinade, I could have eaten a serve of the meat all on its own. I pretty much inhaled both of them (that’s right, this fatty boomba had two souvlakis!).
The souvlakis aren’t the biggest serves (hence the two I demolished) but there are stacks of accompaniments, like the feta chips or grain salad that you can order to fill you up. The chips were super crunchy and topped with great quality feta and olive oil – deelish!
The grain salad is always a winner with the crowds. There is something about that mix of, amongst other things barley and lentils, with a sweet hint pomegranate that I just couldn’t get enough of.
The cucumber salad was simple and traditional, but at the same time was packed full of flavour. Never did I think cucumber could be this tasty.
As full as we were, I couldn’t leave without tasting their iconic Loukomathes They were insanely crispy and coated in lashings of delicious honey. Needless to say, we managed to finish them all.
One things for sure, George did it again! Enough said.