When Lukumades owner Exarhos Sourligas was a boy, his mum would fry up a batch of Greek doughnuts, drizzle them with a little honey and cinnamon, then scream, “Hey! Come here! Eat these now!”
“With loukoumades, timing is everything,” Sourligas says, “You can’t take them home and try them 15 minutes later. In fact we try to discourage takeaways. They have to be eaten fresh, straight out of the fryer.”
It’s one reason Sourligas started his Lukumades food truck business a year ago: to bring that fresh-fried taste of childhood to Melbourne. Since then it’s become a bit of a cult favourite on the city’s food truck scene, dishing up nuggets of golden dough from Thornbury to South Melbourne, with people often travelling for miles just to get a taste. On the back of that success, Lukumades has opened their first bricks and mortar store in Peel St, West Melbourne, across the road from the Queen Vic Market. It’s a cute spot, cozy and warm, with a few laneway tables for those who want to kick back with an industrial-strength Greek coffee.
The doughnuts are as Greek as Zorba, but they’ve been given a pimped-out Melbourne kick. Sourligas perfected his loukoumades recipe by scouring the backstreets of Athens, talking to flour-dusted grandmas and local chefs, tinkering and experimenting with the dough…then he went and added epic toppings like caramel, Nutella, vanilla ice-cream and Oreos. The result is insane: perfectly fried doughnuts, made fresh to order, skewered on little wooden forks and eaten hot, right out of the fryer. And the good news keeps coming: “Our loukoumades are vegan too,” Sourligas says. “No milk. No eggs. Very little sugar. They’re practically good for you!” Sure…let’s go with that.