Jimmy Grants, St Kilda

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MELBOURNE | The original Jimmy Grants opened in Fitzroy in 2013, and was George Calombaris’ attempt to create a souvlaki bar with a focus on “Real Greek street food. Prepared slow. Served fast”. The concept was a success, and since then a further six Jimmy Grants locations have popped up across Melbourne, two in Sydney, and one in the Gold Coast. We were invited to visit the newest location in St Kilda and, being a fan of Calombaris’ style of casual Greek cooking, were keen to see if the quality at the new restaurant matched the others we’ve been to.

The space doesn’t quite have the warmth of the Fitzroy original (none of the other Jimmy Grants locations we’ve visited do), but is in line with the overall Jimmy Grants aesthetic. It’s an open space where tiles, concrete and wood are the materials of choice. Street art style decals and posters line the walls while blue and white accents add a Greek accent to the space. Large floor to ceiling windows make the most of the almost waterfront location, and outdoor seating allows diners to make the most of the afternoon breeze.

The menu will be familiar to anyone who has eaten at a Jimmy Grants restaurant before. A selection of souvlakis (or souvas as they’re called here), larger plates, salads, snacks and desserts. It’s not a big menu, but this doesn’t make deciding what to order any easier as there’s a lot that sounds delicious. We opted for what we think is one of the best value options on the menu, the $39.90 “Eat Like A Greek” which gets you 300g of lamb, chicken or a combo of both, a side salad of your choice, chips, a dip of your choice, and a pita.

The lamb shoulder, which is slow-roasted for 12 hours, is tender and full of flavour while the spit-roasted free-range chicken, which is marinated in oregano and olive oil is equally as good. The chips, which are sprinkled with garlic oil, feta, and oregano, and amongst our favourite in Melbourne. For a dip we eschewed the familiar tzatziki for the creamy, umami laded whipped salted cod roe taramasalta – along with a serving of the fluffy pita, it’s divine.

For salad, we went for the traditional Greek salad of tomatoes, cucumbers, olives, feta, onion, capers, hot peppers, lemon dressing and oregano. Well balanced and fresh. Another favourite of ours which we didn’t have on this occasion is the beet salad – roast beetroot, lemon herb dressing, tahini yoghurt, and smoked almonds.

There were two of us eating and we were both were starving, having only eaten salad for lunch, and were both very satisfied by the end of our meal. It’s just right for two people and if you order a souva as well, you’ll have enough food left over to take away for lunch for one the next day, which is what we did.

We usually go for the always reliable and tasty “Mr Papadopoulos” souva filled with lamb, chips, mustard aioli, onions, parsley, but this time decided to go for something different. The “Patris” is filled with juicy honey crisped prawns, honey, mayo, cucumber, mint, and coriander, and is delicious. The honey prawns give it an almost Chinese flavour which works well with the Greek flavours. We’d definitely order it again.

We didn’t order any salads or desserts on this occasion but highly recommend the risogalo which we’ve had many times before. It’s a creamy rice pudding with Nutella sauce and hazelnuts that really hits the spot.

Drinks wise it’s a selection of organic sodas and juices, and a fully stocked bar filled with a selection of wine, beer and spirits both local and from Greece. And of course there’s ouzo.

We’ve always been fans of Calombaris’ food – the original Hellenic Republic is one of our local restaurants and Gazi is a place we consistently take visitors from out of town to. There’s always a risk when a restaurant empire expands that quality will decline, but a visit to the St Kilda Jimmy Grants happily proves that this isn’t the case here. Back in 2014 a legitimate criticism of the original Jimmy Grants that we had was that it was overpriced (it seemed the prices went up and serving sizes declined overnight) but these days it’s right where it should be – a bit more expensive than the competition, but good value given the quality of the food. Definitely worth considering if you’re in the area and want a good feed.

Jimmy Grants (St Kilda)

7 Shakespeare Grove
St Kilda
Victoria 3182
Australia

Telephone: (03) 8419 8840
E-mail: n/a
Website

Open
Sun – Thu: 12:00pm to 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: 12:00pm to 11:00pm

Jimmy Grants Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Paul
Paul
Paul founded The City Lane back in 2009 as a place to share photos of his travels around Europe with friends and family. The City Lane might have changed quite a lot since those early days but one thing that’s remained constant is Paul’s passion for food, travel and culture, and a desire to photograph and write about his experiences. Paul has a strong inquisitive nature that drives him to look beneath the surface in order to discover what really makes a city and its people tick, and what better way to do this than over a good meal or drink, with a city’s locals, at places that people who live in that city actually frequent. Paul is also a co-host of The Brunswick Beer Collective, a podcast that may or may not actually be about beer.

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