I’m not really into celebrity chefs these days, mainly because I don’t watch TV, but I do know who George Calombaris is and that he owns a few restaurants in Melbourne. While deciding where to eat on this trip I realised Greek food was a must (since the biggest Greek community outside of Greece is in this city), and it kinda made sense to have a Calombaris experience.
Even when the restaurant was packed we got outstanding service. We were asked if it was our first time dining there. They explained that dishes were meant to be shared and they assured they’d tell us if we were ordering too little or too much. They also knew which options were gluten-free.
We were offered olives and/or bread to start our meal. We accepted the selection of imported and local olives of varied sizes and colours, infused in warm olive oil and garlic cloves. Deliciousness for $8.50.
Next came the hotiatiki salata, a.k.a. village salad. The good old Greek salad came with the usual suspects: capsicum, cucumber, tomatoes (big and small), red onion, feta, and olives. It was naked; good quality olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt were available at every table to dress it on your own. Good stuff.
Hotiatiki salata – village salad ($13.5)
From the grill section of the menu we ordered garithes, chargrilled tiger prawns, with lemon, garlic, and star anise. Not only they were huge and cooked to perfection, retaining their juiciness, but the seasoning made them the best prawns we have ever eaten.
Garithes – chargrilled tiger prawns, lemon, garlic, star anise ($24.0)
Our last dish for the night was the classic arni sto fourno, slow-roasted shoulder of lamb with garlic and oregano. 350 grams of tasty tender lamb cooked the best way I know: Greek-style.
Arni Sto Fourno – slow-roasted shoulder of lamb, garlic and oregano ($26.5)
We accompanied our lovely dinner with a glass of good Cabernet Sauvignon.
434 Lygon Street
Brunswick East VIC 3057
(03) 9381 1222