Food and Drink

   

Spitiko

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It’s always struck me as weird that Greek cuisine isn’t better represented in Melbourne, or at least around the CBD.

Sure you’ve got places like Jim’s Tavern, Stalactites and souvlaki joints on every second corner – but considering the size of Melbourne’s Greek community there aren’t heaps of Hellenic restaurants out there, compared to say Italian or Chinese places.

Well, I’m happy to say that seems to be slowly changing. George Calombaris helped start the ball rolling back in 2006 (before anyone had heard of Masterchef) with The Press Club, and tide’s been turning ever since.

Spitiko in South Melbourne is the newest restaurant to fly the blue and white flag. Run by John Ghionis  and chef (as well as MasterChef alumni) Philip Vakos, Spitiko is a loud, bustling sort of place. Large black and white photos of John’s family from yesteryear line the walls, while meat roasts on spits in the front window. Yeah, it smells pretty good.

Vakos has come up with a menu that keeps a toe in traditional and more innovative territory. Sure, there’s plenty of spuds, saganaki and meat, but the way it’s presented makes for interesting dining.

Take for example the haloumi – Cypriot cheese with pomegranate molasses ($15.9) or the garides kataifi, prawns wrapped in angel hair pasta ($16.9). Both dishes offer a nice blend of flavour and texture without being stodgy. Fans of carbs aren’t forgotten though, with stuff like hand cut chips, mixed meat plates and trio of dips readily available.

Those wanting a more traditional meal can even order a whole lamb or suckling pig if you mind –  though you’ll need to place your order a few days ahead.

A modest range of Greek beers and wines are on tap to help wash all that meat down.

Don’t leave without trying the Greek donuts – how Vakos manages to stuff so much sweetness per square inch into these glazed  beauties is a marvel of engineering.

I’d put Spitiko somewhere between a place like The Press Club and the corner souvlaki joint. It’s a little bit fancy and not to pricey.

If this is way Greek is going, suits me fine.

SPITIKO
270 Park Street, South Melbourne
9690 2600
Tues – Sun, 5.30pm till late
spitiko.com.au


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