The posh burger has been done to death in Melbourne so it’s not surprising that we now have the posh souva. Traditionally souvlakis are served up in greasy takeaway stores with meat turning on the spit for what appears to be weeks on end. But now George Calombaris has opened up Jimmy Grants just off Smith Street in Fitzroy and the humble souva has had a makeover.
Jimmy Grants name refers to an old rhyming slang word for immigrants and the decor plays on this theme with spray painted aeroplanes and boats on the walls. Forget the sticky lino of most takeaway stores, Jimmy Grants is decked out with wooden blue and white stools, polished concrete floors and even a bar.
There are historical and cultural references in the names of the souvlakis as well like the “Patris” which is named after a migrant ship. They’re around the same price as your standard souvlaki but smaller in size. What you get for your money is top quality ingredients. The lamb in the Mr Papadopoulous ($8) is tender from slow cooking while the chicken in the “Nonna Maria” ($8) is moist with a lovely smoky char to it from the spit. The bread is warm and pillowy and the whole thing is bound together with a slick of honey and mustard sauce. Best of all, the souvas come with moreish chips inside them – just like in Greece!
There’s also a more exotic option of a souvlaki filled with prawns along with a few different salads. Desserts are from Burch & Purchese and there is also the bargain option of a big bowl of Greek doughnuts for only $6. The doughnuts are doused in honey and topped with chopped walnuts for a bit of crunch.
I’ve been back twice already to Jimmy Grants because the souvlakis here are so addictive. They even taste good when eaten sober in broad daylight rather than the typical souva eating time of 1am in the morning while super drunk.
Details: Jimmy Grants, 113 St David Street, Fitzroy 3065. Open daily 11am – 10pm.
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve. It’s hard to spend more than $20 a head.