Thursday, 12 December 2013

Gazi has a bit of a ring to it and it's not just the din coming from inside. George Calombaris' new-old venture is stirring up a storm, serving Athenian style street food or vromiko. Shunning the fusty traditions of the table-clothed (namely The Press Club, which is reopening on Flinders St), Gazi is a casual venue oozing styleLocated in the heart of the central business district, Gazi is a restaurant for all occasions (including take-away, office slaves). Not taking itself too seriously, it is destined to become a go-to for Melburnians and visitors alike (me!). 
Stepping in, you are hit with a trendoid crowd of suits and heels. This is lunch hour ramped up a few notches

The restaurant is named after the Gazi district in Athens, an industrial turned hipster area. The restaurant site itself has undergone a complete transformation itself, being completely gutted and (half) done again. The ceiling itself is unmistakeable; adorned with an undulating sea of terracotta pots. Oak booths along the windows look to have been 'knocked up', the exposed concrete adding a grungy, too-cool feel.

Another snapshot of Gazi's interior by March Studio, also credited with the ridiculously good looking Baker D. Chirico in Carlton Photo: Australian Design Review

In such a refined setting, you'd almost expect a two course lunch with glass of wine. If it weren't for the noise, the energy from the open kitchen and general hubbub and cheer you'd think you were in for fine dining. But no, the food is put together in a matter of minutes as meat is carved of the rotisserie and dishes are quick-fired in your direction. It is all about good food and drink for the masses with minimal fuss. Ouzo is optional, of course. Gazi is the very best of a souvlaki shop distilled and bottled.

Chicken souva with parsley, onion and mustard mayo and side of chips ($8.50). Unfortunately there is a distinct lack of greenery in this souva and I had to transplant some lettuce into it. I will mention though that the chicken is succulent and pull-apart tender

The Bend-Over Box ($27.50): the most popular lunch option, these babies were flying off left, right and centre. For when you want to try a bit of everything (or getting hangry)  there's a selection from the rotisserie, grilled fish of the day and a sweetie to finish

Signed, stitched, delivered: my photo editing skills are reaching a whole new level here (jokes, obviously). The taramasalata (fish roe dip), swordfish and chicken (both with delicious walnut dressing) and chips (topped with salt + feta) were the highlights

George Calombaris is another who seems to be amassing an empire in Melbourne. Gazi is Greek food for the everyman, to be enjoyed with a few drinks and the best of friends. Calombaris himself, was seen to be enjoying a coffee there the day we visited. He has succeeded in creating something thoroughly modern in a quickly shifting food culture.

After the rush: there is a frenetic 2 hour window on weekdays as the suits march in for a quick 'business' lunch (booze included)

More notes on Melbourne to follow <3
Thanks for reading!
xGourmand Gazi on Urbanspoon


  1. Oh, wow! I ADORE the design of this restaurant! How crazy that it's casual. :) Love it!

  2. The placemats look pretty groovy and lol at the name of the Bend-Over Box!



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