One of the best parts about living in Melbourne is that we are absolutely spoilt with some of the most amazing restaurants, from street food to fine dining – we have it all.
So, when asked about ‘your favourite restaurants’ it’s safe to say there’s a lot to consider.
Yet for a number of years now when I have been asked about my selection of Melbourne favoutires, George Calombaris’s Gazi has always made the list – so when I was asked to be one of the first to try Gazi’s new menu…
Well needless to say there was plenty of screaming, jumping, texting everyone I know – basically the equivalence of an excited child on Christmas morning.
The truth is Gazi has always held a special place in my heart, from the mind-blowing menu (I literally once hosted my birthday there just for the soft-shell crab souvlaki) to staff that make you feel right at home – Gazi is an experience that makes you want to stay for hours, and come back again the next day.
So what can be expected from the new menu?
It may be the most overused word in both the food and fashion world – but really, it’s a journey.
Each dish tells the story of travels, passion and childhood memories.
I had so many highlights…
From Prawn Kataifi to the Spanakopita Gyoza and a Greek-Pecking duck that will blow away any foodie… really, it’s an experience in itself.
The sharing-style aspect of the menu, has always, and continues to make guests feel like they are sitting around the big beautiful family table – whether they have known each other for years, or just met at a tasting event…
And because I have a very big sweet tooth – I was in dessert heaven from the Loukoumades and Chocolate Baklava.
In addition to being a big fan of his food, I am a huge fan of the master him, and so it was an absolute delight to be able to as George about the new menu, and what makes Gazi such a special part of the Melbourne food scene.
What was the inspiration behind the new menu?
Gazi is so busy, fun and electric and we have such a loyal following we wanted to always keep the offering fresh and exciting for our customers. The ideas are from all of us, we meet about menu innovation each week, play around with new ingredients and present dishes.
This is a reflection of the team at Gazi, what they love and what they know our customer wants.
There’s definitely a sense of fusion with every dish, which countries and flavours are you most inspired by?
I am lucky enough to travel with my work and draw inspiration from around the globe and if I am not travelling, some of the best an most influential chefs from around the world come to Melbourne.
It is a melting pot of what Melbourne loves and what has captured our attention.
I will also stay true to my Hellenic roots however adding in a little Indian flavour or Asian fusion just makes it all pop.
What would be the signature dish from the new menu?
The butter chicken moussaka. This has been a huge takeaway from my recent trip to India. Combining my favourite butter chicken into the classic moussaka style just makes my mouth water!
Gazi has to no doubt have one of the best vibes in the Melbourne restaurant scene – what do you attest that to?
My incredible team who are my heroes – they bring their A game every day and deliver this experience for our guests.
It is credit to them, they love their work and it shows in the atmosphere. I cant thank them enough.