Kalimera Souvlaki Art takes its souvlaki seriously. As the name says, it’s not just a souvlaki, it’s art.
Located slap bang in the middle of Melbourne’s Greek heartland Kalimera is next door to a traditional Greek christening store and just down the road from Eaton mall’s famous cake stores it’s a battle to score a table at Kalimera Souvlaki Art. The restaurants fans are prepared to wait for the well priced food that transports you straight to the Greek islands.
Lights hung from thick ropes, distressed furniture and shades of blue and white give the place a casual slightly nautical feel while a constant queue waits for takeaway by the door.
Under the expert guidance of my friend Vicky, who’s a regular here, we order platters of chicken ($18) and lamb ($18) served with puffy, soft flat bread and thick cut chips so you can construct your own souvlaki. Yes there are chips for the souvlaki, just like in Greece. The meat is cooked on skewers over coal leaving it succulent and slightly smoky and accompanying dips are made in house. The Cretan Dakos salad ($11) is a house specialty featuring layers of diced tomato, crumbled feta and tangy olives. It’s a great combination of salty and sweet.
Everything we tried was good but the standout was the lamb kebab ($18) which is a thick sausage shape. The meat is moist with a bit of spice and punctuated with lots of fresh herbs which Kalimera Souvlaki Art imports from Greece.
Herbs imported from Greece? Yes they are serious about their souvlaki here, and I for one applaud them.
Details: Kalimera Souvlaki Art, 41 Chester Street, Oakleigh (Ph 03 99393912) Open 11am-9pm. Closed Mondays.
Damage: Such a bargain my mother would approve.
Kids: High chairs available and there are lots of families here. No kids menu but what kid doesn’t love souvlaki with chips?