Jimmy Grants : 113 St David St, Fitzroy

November 5, 2013 at 10:01 am (Bar, Fitzroy, Greek, Victoria) (, , , , )

After tacos, burgers and hot dogs, souvlaki is the next fast food to get the cool-crowd treatment.  George Calombaris’ new souvlaki bar elevates the humble souva above the greasy stomach-filler barely tasted at 2am, but with prices that wouldn’t seem unreasonable at your local kebab shop.

Jimmy Grants

Paying homage to the owner’s Greek-Italian roots, Jimmy Grants’ tuckshop-style fit-out is inspired by the journeys made by Greek, Italian and Middle Eastern immigrants in the 50s and 60s, the eponymous Jimmy Grants as these post WWII immigrants were referred to.   The stories begin with street art murals of a DC-3 airliner and immigrant ship overlooking the main dining areas and continue through to the menu with Mr Papadopoulos and Nonna Maria giving their names to the lamb and chicken recipes they brought with them from Greece, a seafood number named for the ship that made 91 immigrant voyages to Australia and a combo souva taking its name from the Bonegilla Reception Centre, Australia’s first migrant centre that saw over 300,000 immigrants through its doors.

Jimmy Grants - Mural

Jimmy Grants - Souvas

Jimmy Grants is set up for casual dining and takeaway.  The best seats would have to be at the counter bar with a view through barred windows into the galley-style kitchen where chef Travis McAuley oversees an efficient operation; meats roasting on the spit, the deep fryer on the go for golden fries and plump loukoumades, souvas expertly wrapped and delivered via the pass or through a bi-fold window, food truck style.

Jimmy Grants - Bar

Mr Pap arrives neatly rolled, perfect for one-handed chowing on the go.  Sticky, 12-hour roasted lamb shoulder, caramelised onion, mustard aioli, parsley and fries, all wrapped in a warm pita.  Made with a yoghurt starter, the pita is exceptional; thick and pillowy, heated on stone to give it that charred, smokey flavour, and best of all, it doesn’t go soggy.  Nonna Maria’s lemon and herb marinated chicken lives up to expectations of that home recipe that’s been tweaked and perfected over years, smoky from the charcoal spit, to be enjoyed on its own or paired with lamb for the best of both worlds.  Or try the prawn souva with honey, mayo, cucumber, mint and coriander, which still won’t push you above 10 bucks.

Jimmy Grants - Mr Papp

The ‘Plate Me Up’ option is the kebab deconstructed; 200g of lamb or chicken simply served with tzatziki and lemon, bread on the side for mopping up the juices or dipping into hummus or taramosalata.  Balance the meat feast with a grain salad, plucked from the menu at Hellenic Republic, or crunchy Hellenic slaw dressed with honey and sweet balsamic mayo, and wash it all down with a Greek beer.

Jimmy Grants - Lamb Plate

Jimmy Grants - Table

Jimmy Grants - Hellenic Slaw

The donuts are a must; $6 gets you 6 golf-ball sized pieces of heaven, each piece moist and fluffy with a golden, crispy exterior, slathered in honey and crushed walnuts.  While you’re at it, pick up a wagon wheel for your afternoon sugar hit, courtesy of Darren Purchese.

Jimmy Grants - Loukamades

Jimmy Grants on Urbanspoon

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