The whole point behind Bahari was to shake up Greek cuisine. Four years and one expansion later, that’s exactly what they’re still doing. In fact, the guys just unleashed a brand new second-floor eatery space.
Head through the ancient wooden door, past the Komboloi (Greek worry beads) and up the stairs—you’ll find a more intimate dining and bar area. Like an older sibling who’s taken the band posters off their bedroom wall and now uses words like ‘fiscal’.
The moody space was designed by owner Phillip Vakos’ wife Heleena, and built by good friend, Stell—picture dark floorboards everywhere, hanging plants and a fully stocked ouzo bar. Long tables line the walls and can be booked for large groups and functions on Sundays.
Vakos is Masterchef alumni, chef and bartender all in one. He calls the new menu ‘Gringlish.’ It’s Greek food, but probably not the sort you tried on your last Mykonos bender. Most of the stuff is designed to share, including Loukaniko (Greek sausage) corn dogs, Gringlish loaded fries, BFC fried chicken and our personal favourite, a Moussaka (eggplant lasagne) toastie (seriously, so so good).
Other additions include squeaky Saganaki sliders, stuffed eggplant with haloumi and feta and the zucchini flowers with feta, mint and lemon. The flavour combos are classic, but everything’s been given a playful kick.
Downstairs, Bahari is still rocking a banquet-style feed. Depending on the season, the menus won’t really cross over—bar snacks and loaded fries are definitely more an ‘upstairs proposition’, but the banquets are all still available up here too.
Also exclusive to upstairs is the Tsai tou Bounou, (or, in Gringlish) Mountain Tea—a Tequila-based cocktail served in a teapot. Other cocktails include a Greek coffee martini and a Mastiha Aperol spritz. If cocktails aren’t your thing, the wine and beer menu is extensive and includes both Australian and Greek options, available by the glass and bottle.
Vakos says he and the team couldn’t be happier with the new space.
“We’ve been waiting forever to expand upstairs so when we finally could, we snatched it up.”
Their success, Vakos says, comes down to the support from loyal Melburnian foodies.
“People have been so supportive, and we can’t thank them enough. Four years on and it’s really our community we have to thank for sharing their time with us,” he says, “We’re really looking forward to this next chapter.”
Bahari is open from Tuesday through to Sunday, takes bookings and offers catering for events. For more info and to book, click here.
Image credit: Bahari