With a roof lined with a wave of terracotta pots, it’s hard to miss Gazi on the corner of Flinders and Exhibition St. Unless, of course, you’re me. A few hurried texts to Meutz later (‘Is it Russel St’ ‘Exhibition babe’) and our Friday feast at George’s Melbourne institution was underway.
It was deliciously great – each dish incredibly moreish and layered with well thought-out flavours. We started with a soft shell crab souva each – crispy crab and honey mayo a revelation for Meutz. Fried saganaki arrived bubbling on a hot pate blanketed in fruity kumquat glyko – perhaps too intensely sweet and salty to be shared between just two.
Crispy fried brussel sprouts were paired with pastourma butter, hung yoghurt and chestnut for a rich vegetarian dish. The grilled octopus was a favourite of the waiter, and now one of mine, with black garlic and orange butter lifted with preserved lemon and thyme. All that with a massive side of crunchy chips and feta, and we were happily smashed.
But not enough to pass on dessert – a glorious Baklava Greek-brest pasty choux filled with baklava buttercream. Not a fan of buttercream myself, I didn’t mind this version at all, although traditional baklava would’ve made for a perfect ending.