Gazi

Written by THE FOOD SOCIETY on . Posted in $$ Moderately priced, CBD, Dessert, Greek, Mediterranean, Tapas, VICTORIA

Gazi
Location: 2 Exhibition St, Melbourne, VIC 3000
Contact: 03 9207 7444

Gazi has emerged straight from the shadows of its stylish predecessor, The Press Club, and boy; it does not disappoint. George Calombaris’ latest offering is a pared back, casual venue that capitalises on the fun & quirky aspects of ‘Hellenic dirty food’. Think wood fired meats, souvlakakia & yummy dips & bread, all placed within the gorgeous confines on a terracotta armied room.

IMG_3776 IMG_3778 IMG_3775 The Gazi menu is broken down into dips, hellenic dirty food, small souvas, meat off the wood fire grill or spit, and salads, vegetables, pulses & grains. A more substantial 10 course menu, labelled ‘doing it Greek style’ is also available – though I’ve heard that this is quite a lot of food to devour (and would be best on an empty stomach).

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Tzatziki with bread ($9.5)

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Tzatziki with bread ($9.5)

Dips can be ordered separately at $ 9.50 each or 3 for $ 19.00. We order the tzatziki; a punchy, smooth yoghurt blend drizzled with olive oil & served with still warm pita bread. There was way too much dip to bread, though thankfully the waiter quickly topped us up.

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Eggplant ($12)

I am quite fond of eggplant, and; though this one was tasty, I don’t think I’d feel compelled to order it again. Still, it was beautifully soft yet slightly chewy; a thick cut grilled & topped with a handful of seeds, kefalograviera, spring onion and gaia dressing.

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Eggplant ($12)

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Shortrib Moussaka – Short rib, eggplant, bechamel, goats curd ($16.50)

The moussaka, however, was to die for – thick and hearty, it was almost as if we were eating lasagne from a pot. The short rib was sliced into cubes & beautifully tender, with the bechamel sauce adding a richness to the dish. Definitely both mine & M’s fave.

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Shortrib Moussaka – Short rib, eggplant, bechamel, goats curd ($16.50)

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Chicken souvlakakia ($8.50)

At this point I had completely forgotten that we had also ordered souvlakakia & had been happily nomming away on the dips & extra bread. So when the souvlakakia came, it was a bit of a struggle to finish. The souvlakakias are mini versions of the usual souvas, with the chicken visibly juicy and crispy chips throughout. The pita, however, was incredibly thick, so much so that it ended up that the combination of flavours was quite a dry mix when bitten into, and it actually became quite difficult to taste the mustard mayo.

I am, however, keen to see how the souvas fare at Gazi’s brother, Jimmy Grants.

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Chicken souvlakakia ($8.50)

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Beef brisket souvlakakia ($8.50)

M opted for the beef brisket version, which also didn’t wow her.

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Risogalo jar ($14.5)

I absolutely loved the risogalo jar. I must admit that I was initially a little confused as to why I couldn’t see through the glass jar (it was an opaque white!), but as I levered the jar open, it became immediately clear why; there was smoke encased within my dessert!

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Risogalo jar ($14.5)

As it slowly drifted out, M and I were hit by a deliciously intense, incense-like smell. The smoke sat there happily for a good 30 seconds before dispersing.

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Risogalo jar ($14.5)

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Risogalo jar ($14.5)

With the smoke gone, I was left to completely enjoy the dessert – a cool collection of layers of rice pudding, banana, smoked almonds and salted caramel.  Not too sweet & with huge chunks of milk chocolate throughout, it’s one of those creamy desserts that’d put a smile on most faces.

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After dinner drink – muscat ($9)

M ordered an after dinner drink – a Campbells ‘Rutherglen’ muscat, which she said had a beautiful honey flavour.

I quite like Gazi; the reincarnation of the Press Club is a more approachable space, with the type of casual yet chic atmosphere that seems to do so well amongst the Melbourne crowds. By 7pm it is fully booked out; make sure you phone in advance.

IMG_3766 Gazi on Urbanspoon

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