The other lovechild of George Calombaris, Gazi is the newer-more-stylish-less-expensive-simpler-street-food younger sister to the old Press Club (where a main would go for about $50, or, your left arm). I immediately love the decor, which takes you to the streets of Greece, terracotta pots are placed on the ceilings in a lazy wave, and the superstitious "Evil Eye" or μάτι (mati) which features heavily through the deor.
|Gazi Dips and bread; three for $19.0|
|Miso Melitzanosalata: eggplant dip with miso paste|
|Taramosalata, prawn crackers|
Seared local calamari, pinenuts, greek dressed vegetables, babaganoush ($16.5) was a good introduction into what was to come. The calamari was tender, and not overly chewy, with the pinenuts and babaganoush adding an earthy base to the dish.
Let's face it, the caption of Ethnika Vromika (Hellenic Dirty Food) is what drove me to try the traditional fried cheese dish of Saganaki, kumquat glyko ($14.5). It didn't dissapoint. The thick melted cheese coupled with the sweet kumquat syrup was indulgent.
|Wood Fire Spit|
Deep fried Soft shell, mint, coriander, honey, mayo ($12.0) souvlaki with the signature Jimmy Grants stuffing of shoestring fries. Genius. There was just enough oil soaking through the brown paper wraps to remind us why these are the greatest cures for hangovers. Next time I would choose a souva with more meat though, the deep fried crab didn't have enough meat on it.
Roasted Beetroot Salad, pearl barley, hommus, red onion ($12.5) was a nice salad dish - I am a big fan of beetroot, although to be honest, it's a bit of an empty taste, if not overly sweet - which may be why I like it so much. There was nothing out of the ordinary about this salad, it wasn't dressed in much, but the flavours were there, especially with the hommus.
Brulee, rosewater, pistachio, kataifi, honey syrup ($12.5) is the first dessert, in the form of a Greek-style crème brûlée, with the crystallised sugar shard top layer being omitted for a straight silken custard-textured dessert. It was definitely made more interesting with the honey syrup and kataifi noodle net, but I prefer traditional brûlées more.
The Acropolis Now, strawberry mousse, coffee soil, strawberries ($12.5) was a very picturesque dessert, paying homage to the ruins of Athens. However the flavours were not very exciting. The strawberry mousse was considerably firm, and didn't quite melt in your mouth, and while the soil looked like soil, it was too dry and hard to meld well with the mousse.
Finally the most traditional Greek dessert of all, the famous Loukamathes, salted caramel, peanut praline ($10.5). Probably the best dessert of all three, simply because you can't really go wrong with pastry (carbs) and salted caramel (sugar). It was enjoyable, served piping hot, but became very sweet very quickly. Not a dessert to tackle on your own, unless you are about to see the Diabetes Specialist soon.
TL;DR A nice jaunt into what Greece has to offer
[Protip: if you want to upstyle, go to Press Club, and down style, Jimmy Grants]