43 Chester St
Oakleigh, VIC 3166
Nothing like good bread and meat, amirite? If your poison is souvlakis, then Kalimera Souvlaki Art is the go-to. Opening almost 10 years ago, they’re one of the first places to bring real deal traditional souvlakis to Australia; the secret is female pigs for a milder flavour, and a handful of chips stuffed into the chargrilled pita along with the meat. And I’m lucky enough to have this little gem of a spot just down the road from my new place. Shame they close at 8pm though; wtf guys??
Rating: 13/20 – but chris insists it’s a 16 in his heart.
To-order: pork anything.
A mere handful of change will net you one of their lauded Souvlaki ($12.5), either in pork or chicken. If like me, you’ve grown up on the Aussie take on souvlaki, you might ask – where’s the lamb? But it’s actually the pork souvlaki you want if you’re after the traditional Greek taste. This is simple, but oh-so-perfect. The pillowy bread is wrapped around a heft of succulent meat carved off the spit, along with fresh tomatoes, sharp, sweet onions, and a thick house-made tzatziki. The chips are, of course, in the souva.
The Skepasti ($25) is a lesser-known Greek street food, and frankly I have no idea why it hasn’t taken off. A cross between a pizza and a quesadilla, each slice is stuffed full of gyro meat and vegetables, with at least two types of cheese melted through. This one is a team effort for sure, especially with the handful of chips thrown over the top.
Greek salad ($15, large) is underwhelming at most places, but not here. This is fresh and crisp, with plenty of good quality olive oil and sea salt, and a generous slab of good quality feta for that addictive saltiness with each bite.
The Cretan Dakos ($15), though also billed as a salad, can double as a meal. With a base of hearty barley rusks, topped with ripe tomatoes, crumbled feta, and olives, this has summer evenings written all over it.