The old site of The Press Club has been shaken up and is now a fun and eclectic bar come restaurant serving delicious cocktails and tasty Greek street food. Gazi takes inspiration from an eclectic neighbourhood surrounding an old gasworks in Athens and is a place where anything goes!
I have had the pleasure of dining at Gazi on three occasions since it opened and each experience has been sensational. George Calombaris is on to a winning formula with an edgy space complete with 4000 terracotta pots hanging from the ceiling, fabulous staff and an electric atmosphere all help to make Gazi a fun evening! I do recommend making a booking, as this place is popular, but you can also just rock up and try your luck with a seat at the bar or kitchen pass.
And how about the food...Gazi celebrates Hellenic street food and encourages sharing with a selection of lip-smacking house made dips in flavours such as taramasalata, sweet potato skordalia, tzatziki and when in season beetroot and feta. Other notable mentions include the grilled saganaki (did someone say grilled warm salty cheese! Heaven!), Horiatiki 'peasant' salad of seasonal ingredients and a delicious Beetroot salad with peanut hummus, roasted pearl barley and red onion.
To go with these tasty bites, Gazi offers a selection of small souvas which are packed with flavour and include chicken, beef brisket, soft shell crab and my personal favourite duck with chips, parsley, onion, pear and a punchy mustard mayo! Yum! Feeling extra hungry? Gazi also offers larger meats from the wood fire spit, including chicken, pork belly and lamb which would be perfect to share with a large group of friends. Other wood fired wonders include lamb cutlets, prawns and corn. The hand cut chips with oregano, garlic oil and feta are also seriously amazing! The menu at Gazi offers something for everyone and best of all, it is affordable, offering a substantial meal for around $20-30 per person. Feeding an army or just keen to try it all? Then the 10 dish 'Doing It Greek Style' menu is for you, but take my word for it, you will need to loosen a belt buckle or two to polish this off. Gazi offers take away and a Greek take on the bento box between 12-3pm Monday to Friday, for city slickers looking for lunch with a difference. Looking to satisfy your sweet tooth? Gazi has this covered too with a selection of sweet treats including deliciously tasty Loukomathes (deep-fried nutella-filled pastry soaked in honey and sprinkled with hazelnuts).
An extensive cocktail, wine, beer and ouzo list accompanies the delicious Hellenic street food. Notable mentions include the signature espresso-tini's, which are a steal at $6 each and the cheekily named 'In Bed with Aphrodite' with Pisco, elderflower liqueur, creme de violettes and egg white.
Get yourself to Gazi pronto for a fantastic evening of tasty Greek fare, delicious cocktails and an electric atmosphere.
2 Exhibition St
Melbourne VIC 3000
(03) 9207 7444
Looking for a quick bite to eat just off Smith St Collingwood? Then you must head to Jimmy Grant's, the buzzing Souvlaki Bar from George Calombaris and team. Look for the electric blue cross on St David Street and head inside for a quick bite to eat or grab some take away for a picnic with a difference. Featuring some of the best souvlaki's outside of Greece, including the delicious bonegilla which is perfect if you are indecisive like me, as it offers spit roasted chicken and lamb with parsley, chips and that signature mustard aioli all wrapped up in freshly baked pita. There is also an excellent grain salad topped with greek yoghurt, classic house-made dips, the signature 'Jimmy Dimmy' and those same moorish Gazi hot chips with feta, garlic oil and oregano. There is also a small bar with a good selection of wine, beer and ouzo to chase down your souva. For dessert there are Greek donuts, but I personally recommend Jimmy's wheel, which is a chocolate coated, peanut butter and jelly filled wagon wheel with a difference from the creative genius Darren Purchese. YUM!
Run don't walk to Jimmy Grant's now! Here's hoping more of these souvlaki bar's pop up around town!
113 Saint David St
Fitzroy VIC 3065
(03) 9416 0060
I am also looking forward to visiting the revamped Press Club when it opens early December. Cannot wait to see what George Calombaris comes up with when I take my seat in the former Little Press Club site mid December. Open Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner only and offering either a five or eight course degustation, it promises to be a very special dining event!