Melbourne has the largest Greek population of any city outside of Greece itself. And with that comes delicious Mediterranean cuisine that is well established and that we at times take for granted. Greek restaurants in Melbourne have given us many gifts over the years, beautifully cooked lamb, calamari, taramosalata, tzatziki and spanakopita to name a few.
But there's one menu item that is a stock standard order every single time we end up in a Greek restaurant; saganaki.
I mean how can you go wrong? We all known cheese is on the god tier of food, but when you go and add it to a frying pan it reaches some sort of nirvana state. We've put together the best places to grab saganaki in Melbourne, you're welcome.
Jim's Greek Tavern
You can never go wrong with a visit to Jim's. There's no menu to speak of, so sit down, tell them what you feel like eating, and it will be set down on your table in record speed. Everything here is on point, which of course includes the saganaki.
A favourite amongst the Richmond locals, Salona serves up contemporary Hellenic fare in a stylish venue. Grab some saganaki and wash it all down with a selection for their amazing wine list.
Another top-notch Greek restaurant in Richmond, Bahari is the home of 'gringlish' food in Melbourne. The menu from Masterchef alumni Philip Vakos plays with modern interpretations of Greek dishes and desserts, but you'll definitely find a classic saganaki on the menu that's seasoned with oregano and lemon.
Brunswick, Kew, Brighton & Williamstown
The brainchild of George Calombaris, Hellenic Republic has been filling the stomach's of hungry Melburnians since 2008. Now with three locations around the city, you're never too far from stopping in for a spot of saganaki.
Another restaurant brought to us by George, Gazi has prime position in the old Herald Sun building on the corner of Flinders and Exhibition Street. All your Greek favourites are here, from souvlakis to fish straight from the wood-fired grill. Of course be sure to grab some saganaki, served with kumquat glyko.
Anyone who's had a few too many beverages and stayed out late in the city has surely set foot in Stalactites at some point in their drinking career. It's open 24 hours and serves up all of your 3am souvlaki needs, but don't forget about their saganaki. It is bang on.
Venture out into the leafy 'burbs and pay a visit to Plaka in Ivanhoe for all your Hellenic food needs. Keeping things traditional, there's a wide array of dips, sides and large meat plates to share. Order a saganaki or three and enjoy a piece with every meal.
Inspired by traditional and modern Greek cuisine, Kyma serves up everything you'd expect, but it's saganaki we're after and you know damn well they're going to serve you up a delicious portion.
The Duke Of Wellington
It's not every day you get to order saganaki when you're sitting down for a couple of beers while watching the footy. The Duke serves up a generous portion of saganaki with a bit of oregano and honey thrown in for good measure.
Not into saganaki (are you crazy) or just in the mood for something more substantial? Here are Melbourne's best souvlakis.
Image Credit: Hellenic Republic | Annika Kafcaloudis