Devour Gazi’s new menu just in time for Christmas
Mr. Portokalos from My Big Fat Greek Wedding will tell us that the word Gazi is derived from the Greek word meaning gas. Raising our satisfaction levels as rapidly as a hot air balloon, Gazi hits all the high notes.
Gazi has established itself as a modern restaurant serving authentic Greek cuisine with a twist. Stroll along Exhibition Street and you can judge its popularity by seeing a restaurant full of happy patrons devouring a Greek feast.
Previously home to George Calombaris’ The Press Club, Gazi brings us a casual setting to get our hands dirty under a canopy of terracotta pots.
Gazi have gone wild, releasing their new menu and boy, is it good. Featuring our favourite Greek dishes but with a hint of Asian influence, the menu is far from ordinary.
Start with a cheesy saganaki slider, with a generous amount of beetroot relish and coleslaw. Then savour grilled cuttlefish with Byzantine dressing, and hope that you get a juicy grape in your serving.
Also try the cuttlefish’s cousin by crunching your way through the prawn kataifi, swimming in an Aleppo mayo with smoked almonds.
An added surprise for your tastebuds is the spanakopita gyoza. It has the expected flavours of spinach and feta filling, but with the added twist of crispy rice, all encased in a gyoza wrapping. If you didn’t think Greek and Asian cuisines were a match, be sure to try this winning yin and yang combo.
Carnivores will delight in the flavoursome chicken keftedes kalamaki and the lamb kofta kalamaki.
If you’re like Ian from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and “don’t eat no meat”, there is no need to forage for your vegetables. The grilled asparagus with tarama butter and almonds is the perfect flavour hit for a vegetarian side dish. Or, if you prefer, the char-gilled broccolini generously topped with sambal feta.
Still have room for more? If you have no qualms about getting your hands dirty, ask for the DIY Greek-Peking duck souva, with a range of yummy condiments. With a side of oregano, garlic oil and feta chips, it’s heavenly!
No Greek feast is complete without dessert, so indulge in loukamades covered with milk chocolate, peanut and caramel. It is a taste sensation more delightful than your favourite chocolate bar. Or, try the chocolate baklava, a deconstructed version of the traditional dessert.
The Hateful 8 cocktail menu is far from pedestrian. Try the mother of the Olympian gods and goddesses, Rhea, featuring Skinos, Dolin Dry, cucumber and Yuzu.
For something a touch sweeter, opt for the Demeter, the goddess of agriculture, fertility and harvest. She mixes Aperol, pink grapefruit, vanilla, Demerara, lime and basil for a delicious tipple.
All are worthy nectar for the gods.
To wash down your dessert, finish with the Eos, better known as the Espressotini.
With Christmas around the corner, Gazi is the perfect venue to share some food and have a few drinks with family and friends. In a relaxed setting and surrounded by chatty people and good food, you can’t help but feel like you’re a close friend invited to the Calombaris household for dinner.
2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne
(03) 9207 7444
Open: Daily 12pm-10pm