Spitiko - Greek @ Monday, October 27, 2014

Today's event was dinner with jas at Spitiko, a Greek restaurant that starts with a funny z sign that in maths means "the sum of". Google translate says 'Spitiko' means homemade, which suggests nothing that's packaged in foil or frozen somewhere far far away.The philosophy here is simplicity and freshness of great, home cooked Greek cuisine.

The Bar

I've never really had Greek food before, other than an unblogged birthday lunch a couple weeks ago and solvalaki from Jimmy Grants, so expectations weren't really set. We're open to trying new things - just not raw fish. 

We started with drinks, I had orange juice while jas ordered 'Nissos Greek Imported Pilsiner Beer' which he said was nice. I don't know anything about beer, so no comments on this.

The Scene

I do love entrees!

We first started with mixed dips of tarama (caviar dip), melitazanosalata (eggplant dip), and tzatziki (yogurt mixed with garlic dip) served with pita bread. $17*

The bread was a bit oily but other than that all good. I do like tzatziki, I have never (to my knowledge) had eggplant before, though it was ok, like the caviar. Which wasn't fishy, and I like the shimmery finish to it. 

Served with the dips & pita was two other dishes including 'Saganaki – fried kefalograviera cheese' $16.50*  Cheese I like, so I liked this, especially as it was served like a slice of pizza, as in the shape and size. We sliced this up and had it with the bread and dips. 

Our third entree was 'Spetsofai – Sausage with Red Wine' $18*

A rustic spicy Greek dish made with thick country sausages and peppers in a rich tomato sauce.. Perfect over a glass of red wine I am told. Jas liked it very much and ate almost all of it, quite a feat as we were still on entrees. I didn't try this as I don't eat pork (I'm really scared of pigs, normal people take their kids on a tour at the chocolate factory, we went on the slaughter house tour).

We were almost 80% full after entrees as cheese is filling and that was a lot of food for entrees. An idea would be to have a meal of only entrees, little dishes, not a small pasta as pasta sometimes does come in two sizes. 

The main feature of the evening was well, the main, a "mixed grill 
including chicken gyro, lamb and pork skewers" $28* per person. 

The lamb I loved though jas said was a bit dry, we'll take his expert opinion as he loves lamb like le beau loves salted caramel. Chicken was very flavourous too. Jas said the pork skewer was good too. 

Discussion. Were you ever taught how to eat certain things? Like skewers when a knives and forks are provided. Jas had a fun time there, while I held down the lamb (one block at a time) and pulled the skewer out. There is no way I was taught that because I've only ever had skewers/kebabs once in home economics class and often at festivals. To me skewers and festivals go together. Moving on.

Patates Lemonates – Lemon Roast Potatoes $8.50

I like my meat accompanied by a carb (though preferably salad says le beau) and so with the grilled meats we had potatoes. These were seasoned well, and with a squeeze of lemon. The lemon I would serve on the side instead, as with all the flavours of the grill and marinade it was too much. I'd also add a big dollop of sour cream. 

We had lots of food, but if we didn't  in hindsight we should have ordered a salad. As a meal should ideally be 50% salad 25% protein 25% carbs. 

Do we have a dessert stomach? Jas says yes but doesn't know when it activates. Me, yes I can't do a lunch buffet, but I sure can do a high tea buffet, I will be sick afterwards but it's so worth it, and it was always considered a good decision at the time. 

Dessert was "a serving [for four] of loukoumades – Greek style doughnuts" $13.

"A pastry made of deep fried dough soaked in sugar syrup or honey and cinnamon and sometimes sprinkled with sesame." It was bland really, a bit less if dipped in the syrup (that in my opinion was not anywhere sweet enough to call itself a syrup). I would have served it with a pot of honey. This was completely new as I've never had these savory doughnuts before. 

We were very full at this point and as it wasn't sweet enough for me to recognize as a dessert, so that was interesting. I like my desserts sweet, though did like that we had a greek dessert rather than ice cream. 

Service varies depending on who you get. John was great, though our second waitress was not so good. Jas observed that she was grumpy, and service took a while and they weren't busy at that point. Also she scraped two dishes onto another in front of us. You're not meant to clean up in front of the customer. It made jas feel messy. The goal of customer service is not only to mere satisfy but delight, that's a big goal.  

The atmosphere was nice, warm and the lighting was varied, half the room was in a shadow, add some candles and it's perfect for a date. There were some couples out to dinner and grandparents. It seems like a place that is marketed at anyone who loves Greek food.

Around the place there were pictures, newspaper cuttings and other memorabilia. And also huge pictures of grandparents, my guess was maybe the founders, or who the recipes came from. But they opened in 2012 and so I think it's the later. 

We paid $49 for dinner through a group buy deal/offer, they said it's worth up to $104.80 (depending on which drinks you pick). Great experience and price. I would recommend the grilled meats definitely. On pricing this place is more pricey that where we normally go, though we were very happy with what we paid. 

* Means I took the prices from the menu, though we got a set so I'm not sure if you ordered everything on its own if it would still be the same size as in our pictures. I'm looking at the sets and this looks like the 'didimi' set at $40pp (minimum 2 people) but add a salad and minus drinks.

*click to enlarge*

Will we be back? Yes! That also means we do highly recommend Spitiko for a great night out, whether it be with friends, family or for a date. I'd like to come back for lunch for the lamb sovalaki, that is my picture above, but it didn't turn out very well.

The location is out of the city but still close by, to get here take tram no.1 South Melb Beach and get off at the stop after the one journey planner recommends, Spitiko is on the right, my first picture should help you find it. :)

Spitiko on Urbanspoon

  Have you been to a Greek restaurant? 
What's your favourite dish? Any recommendations? 

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