Guidebook Channelling the love of thousands of Greek grandmothers

Best eating in town

Channelling the love of thousands of Greek grandmothers

Owner and maitre d Angie Giannakodakis greets guests with hugs, “her slick black suit and spiky hair as timelessly stylish as the antique fireplace in the dining room,” writes Besha Rodell in Eater. Located in a Victorian terrace house overlooking one of the city’s stately parks, the menu at Epocha in Carlton is multicultural and eclectic: “The UK might show up in a black pudding that comes alongside the rabbit loin; a green sauce-bedecked lamb shoulder — basically a heap of fat and juices — channels the love of the thousands of Greek grandmothers who live in the city.”

And from the same team at Epocha comes Elyros in suburban Camberwell -- where they serve “the best lamb I have ever tasted,” writes Larissa Dubecki at Time Out. “After hitting a low-temperature oven for upwards of 10 hours, the meat is juicy, salty and finger-licking, the fat toffeed into a dark caramel chew and lifted by an underlying smoosh of oregano and garlic,” she explains. It’s part of a menu that “manages to convey Crete’s hardscrabble sentiment without making diners feel they’ve donned a hair shirt.” And despite its “home-spun hospitality and big heart, this handsome restaurant inside a former bank is polished -- from its marble-topped tables to its savvy service,” notes Gourmet Traveller. Favourites like taramasalata and fava dip are “menu fixtures,” and when you add a “stylish mezze and wine bar with its own menu,” then “everybody's happy.”

George Calombaris has built a “mini-empire devoted to high-end Greek food,” explains Besha Rodell in The New York Times, headlined by his city establishment the Press Club. Its intimate dining room “resembles a luxe disco insect hive, with curved cream leather booths and a ceiling of brass podlike ornamentation,” and the substantially-priced tasting is “as artfully plated and elegant as any fine-dining meal, and it is emphatically Greek.” The Press Club’s signature dish is taramasalata, “the cured cod roe dip that is ubiquitous in Australia,” which is “mild and creamy (in texture and color), topped with fat trout roe and served with loukoumades — Greek doughnuts.”

Best eating in town
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