A Camberwell haunt that's serving up all the Greek classics.
August 01, 2023
Melbourne's Gracie Greco feels like Greece. It's airy and bright, the furnishings are wooden and worn, whicker baskets act as chandeliers lending a soft orange glow late in the evening, and the room is always full of laughter, boisterous conversation and plenty of hugs and back-slapping. The two brothers who opened the restaurant grew up around the family business, which taught them to have a passion for food and hospitality. It was always their dream to open a restaurant together, and luckily for the people of Camberwell and all of Melbourne generally, they've gone and done it.
The cuisine here has a special focus on the sea and everything is chargrilled or spit-roasted. To start with, look towards the caviar dip with pita bread, some marinated olives in fennel oil, grilled haloumi with honey and toasted sesame along with some eggplant dip and tzatziki.
Moving on to the small plates, which are designed to be shared, order a plate of chargrilled octopus with lemon and oregano, some spicy, shallow fried school prawns, Hellenic croquettes with potato, fish and tarama aioli and a bowl of traditionally cooked whitebait. Pair them with a Cypriot gran salad of grains, nuts and pulses with yoghurt dressing. A bowl of lamb or chicken gyros completes the starters.
For mains, highlights include the moussaka, a traditional beef, eggplant and potato bake; a gemista with peppers stuffed with beef, rice and seasonal vegetables; barbecue grilled calamari; char grilled king prawns or the fish of the day.
If you've left room for dessert we're impressed, so treat yourself with a baklava, a custard filo or some Greek doughnuts.
When it comes to wine, it's got an approachable and well-curated list, with Aussie, Greek and French drops intermixed. There's the obligatory list of ouzu, too, as well as beers and cocktails, including a few classics, such as negronis, cosmos and mojitos.
Gracie Greco is clearly focusing on the classics, doing them to the book. It's not reimagining the cuisine. It's not trying to be fine dining, either. And there's absolutely no need to when you're working with Greek dishes and drinks that have been perfected over centuries. If it ain't broke.
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