What and where?
Gazi, a Greek restaurant in the Melbourne CBD.
2 Exhibition Street, Melbourne.
Awarded one hat in The Age's Good Food Guide, I was always going to visit this restaurant eventually. However, photos of the duck souvlaki (shown below) kept taunting me whenever I was searching for good food options in Melbourne, helping it skyrocket to the top of my list.
How was the food?
The duck souvlaki was a revelation and might've been the best thing I've eaten in terms of a single item since the first time I had a pork bun at Momofuku in New York. The duck itself was perfectly roasted and plentiful, and the mayonnaise and pear provided a nice companion to the meat. The souvlaki wrap itself was the right balance of thick and chewy. And the chips thrown in with the souvlaki? Well ,the perfectly fried chips just made a great dish perfect.
The prawns were pretty good too. Cooked on the grill, the prawns had that nice smoky flavour and chewy texture. I don't know what the prawns were marinated in but it worked.
How were the drinks?
As it was lunchtime and boiling hot outside I decided to go with the non-alcoholic house made watermelon and blood orange soda. It was really good and refreshing, the strong watermelon flavour helping to ease the richness of the food itself.
How was the venue?
Fine – a relatively big venue with options for bar and table dining. I've only ever sat at the bar but the tables seem reasonably spread out. The bar seats are quite comfortable and spaced apart enough that you're not rubbing elbows with the people next to you (unless that's what you want!). I appreciated the contemporary music, which was not too loud when sitting at the bar, and I thought the empty flowerpots covering the ceiling provided an interesting touch.
How was the service?
Again fine – I sat at the bar on my own so there wasn't much need for intensive service from the staff. Drinks and food orders were taken promptly, which was appreciated, and everything came out relatively quickly. I appreciated the staff giving me an extra prawn, even though I'd only ordered two pieces, because they thought the others were too small. A nice gesture that showed the restaurant was paying attention to ensuring customers got what they paid for.
Would you go again?
Definitely – in fact, I have been twice in the last fortnight!