The Greek Deli a new vintage performer
For over 20 years the Greek deli has been cruising along the competitive and trendy Chapel Street. It’s quite an achievement that the team is no doubt very proud of!
So what’s thier secret? Avoid emerging trends, Uber architects, molecular gastronomy, fusion foods, social media. It’s very interesting how some of the city's great restaurants like France Soir, Pellegrini’s, Cafe di Stasio and Grossi Grill prove that staying true to culinary routes can be the best business decision if you have a humble and confident kitchen.
On our visit this was very much the culinary case. The menu, like the portions here, are old school and titanic! Offering all the elements of Greek food we all love. On a chilly Thursday evening it was great to see a venue filling up with a nice mixture of tourists, mature locals, foodies, and hungry families.
We noticed everyone ordering nice bottles of wine from a very interesting list of benchmark Australian Vintages, with some great rare gems at very reasonable prices alongside some of our best for cashed up tourists. Hill of Grace (assorted vintages) SA from $725 and Penfolds Grange (assorted vintages) SA from $725. We chose a Rockford Riesling for $40.
Dips, salads, platters, fresh fish selection, charcoal spit, classic mains looked balanced, delicious and some added value banquets from $39 to $59 completed the Med menu extravaganza!
One food heading that did puzzle me was Risotto, offering a Mykonos version and various friendly flavours seemed at odds with all the other authentic bells, whistles, and Greek vernacular surrounding us. Orzo cookery and the many rice dishes of the Mediterranean would be a nice research for the talented kitchen being my only culinary feedback.
Our order of 2 dips Taramosalata and Tzatziki were delicious, priced at $6 each, and served with generous amounts of pita. This was followed by a huge cluster of perfectly floured and pan fried Calamari $19.50 and a smoking hot slab of Artisan Saganaki cheese $13.50 - both were perfectly cooked and bloody delicious.
We chose flounder and lamb for our mains as they are, in my opinion, best understood and cooked by a wise Greek in the kitchen!
The chef didn’t miss a beat. The flounder, $35, was wisely scored deeply on the belly of the fish before being exposed briefly to the grill to reveal the most delicious gelatinous part of the fish's fillets to this very grateful consumer! Moist, snowy white, succulent flesh with a squeeze of lemon served with a top notch Greek salad and great class of Riesling is a good argument void of trends and culinary jargon let me tell you!
My wife’s Lamb on the Spit, $31.50, was text book perfection. Charred, fatty, intercostals of always great local lamb Nicely cumin spiced and salty, piled high with more pita, w/ some pickled red cabbage & tzatziki on the side. It's easy to understand why this cuisine never goes out of fashion.
We were joined by my wife’s glamorous looking friends, who shared in the Greek orgy at our table. The noise levels increased as service politely decreased, the excitement slipped into food coma type waters so some sugar and Greek coffee was my culinary cure.
Baklava at $6 was just the ticket as was my viscous Greek coffee. It made me wonder again about trend and why we don’t see this wonderful elixir alongside cold drips and Gen Y siphon coffee genres when it’s just as satisfying and important to Melbourne’s love of all Food & Beverage cultures...
What Wilson says - A great meal from a vintage performer, not rocket science but not easy to find also!
When can we go - Monday to Thursday: 5.30pm till late; Friday to Sunday: 12noon till late;