2 Exhibition St, Melbourne 3000
Date visited: 17th August 2013
It was only after doing our pre-birthday celebration post that I've realised how MIA I've been in the last month. Hectic travelling lifestyle aside, it was to get off my ass and start eating out again.
I had seen Gazi's name pop up a little while ago - the latest venture of George Calombaris, serving up Greek street food in the CBD. How exciting is that. MerlinFan and I love Gazi's sister, Hellenic Republic and have been back multiple times in the last year, so after perusing the menu online we decided it would be a crime to put off paying Gazi a visit a week longer.
Gazi is situated at the corner of Flinders and Exhibition St, where the Press Club used to be. MerlinFan had made a booking online (so impressed with her initiative these days whilst I've been slack) for 11.30am - which was the only available time slot for this Saturday. We arrived a bit early and were informed that they were not opened yet, so we were asked to wait for 5 minutes.
The first thing that caught my attention obviously was the gorgeous ceiling of hanging terracotta pots. For some reason it made me feel as if I was in some mysterious underwater subterranean cavern - it reminded me of the coral reef the Nemo fishes were hiding in when we went scuba diving at Hamilton Island.
You can choose to have the 'Doing It Greek Style' which is a 10 dish sharing menu with your choice of souvlakakia or have the a la carte. 10 dishes is way too much for us, so going a la carte was obviously the way to go. Our waiter explained the menu to us newcomers. Basically, almost everything was for sharing except the Souvlakakia (small souvas) and the dishes on the Wood Fire Grill.
Our drinks came promptly.
|Cucumber & rose mocktail (left) $8.50,|
Pear vanilla mocktail (middle) $8.50,
Pear and vanilla Soda (right) $6
First up, we had the Miso Melitzanosalata and pita.
|Miso melitzanosalata $9.50|
Of course, we couldn't not try the Saganaki with toasted pistachio and mustard glyko.
Out it came on a hot plate, bubbling away. Yu-um! Salty, chewy, crisp at the corners, topped off with currants and kumquat. Pour and mix in the pistachios and it's a match made in heaven. Saganaki, I don't get enough of you.
Our plates were cleared and out came our mains. MerlinFan chose the Chicken Souvlakakia.
|Chicken souva $8.50|
Mum had the Marlin Fillet 180g, Bermagui, NSW.
|Marlin fillet $15|
The fish was fresh and nicely grilled.
I love my beef, so I chose the Blackmore Wagyu Blade, 180g, Alexandra, Vic. Our waiter told me that this was a unique cut of beef, not like the usual soft, very tender steak - rather had a more chewy texture and was noted mainly for its flavour.
|Wagyu blade $24.50|
As promised, the steak had quite a bit of chew to it. Mum tried a slice as well, and we both agreed It had big beefy flavours that were further enhanced by the perfect wood fire grilling. A very nice cut indeed.
Instead of a salad, we also opted for a less healthy side, namely the Chips.
We were pretty full after our mains, however we had to order the Bombe Metaxa. Now, MerlinFan and I have always wanted to try a Bombe Alaska but never got the opportunity to. A Bombe Metaxa sounded like an equally good alternative to us.
Our Bombe Metaxa was sprayed with brandy, then flambeed whilst served.
|Bombe Metaxa $18.50|
MerlinFan said the Bombe Metaxa was divine. She and Mum loved the Italian meringue - it was soft, luxuriously creamy and silky smooth. Inside was a beautifully bittersweet chocolate ice cream sitting atop tsoureki. Dig deeper and in the middle we found a ball of white chocolate with a heart of salted caramel. Keep in mind that although this Bombe Metaxa is meant for two, it can definitely feed three. Or four. Seriously.
Gazi is obviously popular and especially during a Saturday, I was impressed at how efficiently and quickly we were served. We finished our mains in the first hour and had lots of time for dessert. Staff were very friendly, enthusiastic and helpful with the menu. We love Hellenic Republic, and Gazi is a nice alternative for pita and saganaki when we don't feel like travelling so far. Besides, there are other interesting dishes on offer, like the Moussaka omelette, Baby Snapper, Pork belly and the Lamb that we missed out on because we were saving our stomachs for the Bombe Metaxa :P
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