because I can't cook
Spitiko in South Melbourne
|Address||270 Park Street
|Visited||25 July 2012|
Casual yet pretty remarkable was Spitiko’s relaunch in its South Melbourne home; same old venue but brand new menu, layout, and crew. Recently joining the team was co-owner Phil Vakos who was also the “master chef” (MasterChef Series 2, 2010) of Spitiko.
The room was full of people, the drinks were flowing, the delightful food was abundant. The event was very festive indeed, reflecting the strong Greek theme of the restaurant. The restaurant itself was fitted with a combination of traditional brick fixtures and minimalist wooden furniture. Adding liveliness to the ambiance was framed photos and decorations on the walls, and a bar on one side of the restaurant.
The event was opened with such a classic Greek starter; warm fresh pita bread and creamy mixed dips; Tzatziki (Greek-style yoghurt with garlic), Tarama (caviar dip), and Melitzanosalata (eggplant dip).
Then there was the succulent lightly fried calamari served in paper cones, and on the lighter sides were crumbed green olives and Kolokythanthoi Yemistoi (stuffed zucchini blossoms with rice) that was juicy and flavourful that made a nice light entrée.
Next were some scrumptious souvlaki teasers; one on a stick and a mini one in a pita unique with tzatziki chips and mustard – quite wicked!
The last round of entrées was angel hair pastry wrapped prawns also known as Garides Kataifi (succulent prawns with crunchy exterior - yum!), and Kaltsounia which was spinach-and-cheese-filled pastry which had a bit of a kick to it.
The evening got even merrier when George Columbaris made an appearance and Phil Vakos gave a brief speech on his journey to become Spitiko’s chef/co-owner, while letting us build appetite for the main.
Spit-cooked lamb, served fresh off the spit with pilaf (Greek rice) was the main course that evening. Crispy, generous-portioned, tasty lamb with flavorsome pilaf leaving me very content that I couldn’t possibly have more food at the time! Except for dessert .
Still very much Greek-themed, dessert consisted of a few special treats:
- The sweet chocolate/olive oil and ouzo-flavoured macaroons.
- The even sweeter profiterole with what tasted like caramel custard on the inside (I can’t really remember what was Greek about the profiterole but something in it was!).
- The refreshing ouzo-flavoured pudding in a shot glass topped with cucumber and watermelon pieces.
- The creamy Rizógalo (rice pudding) served with cinnamon on top. My favourite dessert that night. The pudding was not too milky (where most go wrong) and the cinnamon was just right that it made the pudding fragrant without overpowering the pudding.
- The cool Yiaourti, also known as mastich-flavoured Greek yoghurt ice cream, was very sweet and uplifting especially after the long series of feed!
Spitiko is cheap-and-chic, and is certainly great for one of those casual dining/big feed nights.