Bianca: By the end of our Melbourne adventure, Alex and my mum wanted to kill me. I had dragged them virtually all over Melbourne in search of that elusive burger unicorn and to their credit they were mostly pretty accommodating.
To end our Melbourne trip one final meal was in order, we were joined by my Melbournite brother and his girlfriend Z. Gazi was one of those places that was on our radar but had been elusive up until that point. I was immediately taken by the blue evil eye ‘mati’ plates by Robert Gordon (I bought two)… have I used them since I bought them? Nope! Inside it’s rather fairly large, with the main feature being the ornamental terracotta pots suspended from the ceiling. It was VERY loud in there as well, a trend these particular oldies are not loving.
After a week of indulgences I think we were all kind of looking forward to going home and eating lettuce and air for a bit, so we showed a bit of restraint ordering and went straight to the mains.
With a focus on shared plates, ordering was fairly easy. For the table we got a serving of the ‘Watermelon salad’ – w/pickled cucumber, feta, mint $13.50. Easily a crowd pleaser with the salty feta interplaying with the sweet watermelon, am I generally a fan of watermelon in a savoury setting? No. I like my salad with greens and my fruit at the end of the meal but it was nice to try something a little different.
No feast at a Greek restaurant can be without potatoes and we had ours in the form of the ‘Tiganites Patates’ – chips, oregano, garlic oil, feta $10. Moreish and dangerously addictive, perfectly fried golden chips with subtle bursts of creamy hits from the feta.
On to the protein portion of the evening, we couldn’t go past the woodfired spit meats, as they are such a Greek delicacy. With a portion each of the Chicken and Pork. The ‘Chicken’ – w/white beans, tyrokafteri, walnut dressing $28. The chicken had a light char on the outside but was moist throughout, cannellini beans are like the rock stars of the legume world so I loved that addition. The walnut dressing was almost like a pesto and I happily slathered it all over the chicken.
And the plate that singlehandedly had us all rather excited, the ‘Pork Belly’ – w/white beans, apple skordalia and walnut dressing $34/$17 half serve. Flavour wise the only real thing differentiating this from the chicken was that crackling, so it seems a bit of a shame that other elements aren’t added to the spit meats in case you are ordering both. The crackling was expertly cooked and shattered with each bite but we were quickly becoming defeated by all the food. Then we remembered we had ordered something else…
We couldn’t go to a Colambaris restaurant without having a popular souva. I had toyed with the idea of Jimmy Grants earlier in the week but time did not permit. We got one ‘Chicken Souva’ – w/chips, parsley, onion, mustard mayo $9.50 to sample between us all. Small but adequate for the price, I’m a kebab lover from way back so I was always going to enjoy this, I particularly enjoyed the sharp mustard mayo.
And for our final sweet offering for our time in Melbourne, we got one serving of ‘Loukomathes’ – honey Nutella, cruhed hazelnuts $10.50. Easily the best ending to any Greek feast – the airy doughnuts were crispy, soft and creamy and effortlessly pipped Maha’s Turkish delight doughnuts at the post. As well as a small serving of ‘Baklava’.
All in all, a rather enjoyable meal at Gazi, make sure you check out the bathrooms, it’s like a nightclub in there!
Photos by Alex