Back in December last year (2013), we went on a Royal Caribbean Cruise to New Zealand. But our first port of call was actually Melbourne. Having limited time (about 6-7 hours) at this port, we had a list of places to visit and eat at. From this list, we chose Gazi because of two reasons:
- It’s a venture by Greek Masterchef celebrity George Calombaris
- There are sheep brains
- Web: http://gazirestaurant.com.au/
- Address: 2 Exhibition St, Melbourne
- Call: (03) 9207 7444
- Bookings: online
- Menu: http://gazirestaurant.com.au/menu/
As usual, Melbourne was in pouring rain on the day that we docked (when is it every sunny?). After trekking through a lot of puddles, we went to Gazi for a late lunch before we returned to our cruise ship. Perhaps it was the cold and rain outside , but I simply loved the decor of this place:
Gazi has many tables, with a big open kitchen in the middle. The ceiling with filled with upside down terracotta pots! Yes, plant pots! On one side, they have booth tables with wooden partitions and little hooks to hang your coats/umbrellas.
Even though it’s late to be walking in for lunch, the staff are friendly and seat us next to the window. We look through the menu, which is filled with Greek food we know little about. We’re a bit uncertain about the portion sizes (but we’re also greedy to try a couple of things). The staff are super nice and suggest a half-half for the Wood Fire Spit.
Gazi’s menu has quite a lot to choose from. There’s things for sharing, street food style snacks, through to more substantial mains and eventually dessert.
Our food comes out hot and we can’t wait to gobble it up:
Hmm cripsy lamb brains? Gray matter disguised under batter! I think there’s about 3-5 pieces in there and it comes with a bed of salad. PS. the salads are really good! This comes under the menu’s heading of “Hellenic Dirty Food”. As expected, the brains have the ‘offal’ taste, being internal organs. They’re soft and mix well with the crunch of the batter. The brains are surprisingly small, kind of like an egg.
This was our delicious, big two pieces of pork belly. It was SO good. I also loved the extras on the side – white beans and apple.
This was the other ‘half’: amazingly tender and tasty chicken. They gave us HEAPS. What would a whole serving be like??
We also had a salad. I can’t recall which one now, but, like I said, their salads are pretty tasty! And they’re an interesting blend of flavours and greens, which you wouldn’t normally encounter (unless you eat Greek food a lot).
All in all, D2D and I agreed that this was our new favourite restaurant in Melbourne! The food is really good and surprisingly cheap for a place decked out nicely and owned by a celebrity chef.
Nice work George. We’ll be back next time.