Ramsgate, in Sydney's south, has been enjoying a recent surge in popularity. Loved by locals and visitors to the area for its sparkling coastline, laid back lifestyle and perfect proximity to the airport and city, and fondly adopted as a new home by many in the wave of Greeks pouring into the city post-financial crisis, there has been an increased demand for all things Greek, from traditional sweet shops to cafes and restaurants.
The latest addition has been worth the wait. ‘grk Meze Grill’, newly open, and a stone's throw from the beach, is captivating diners and passers-by alike with its tantalising aromas wafting around its reputable, instantly recognisable grk logo.
Sitting through the grk Meze Grill dining experience will make you wonder what Ramsgate ever did without it. Evoking warmth, style and a share food concept, seasoned hospitality professionals Arthur and Sophie Balayannis have gone to great lengths to bring everything that is loved about dining in Greece to their tables, with resounding success.
“It's the quality, consistency and fresh ingredients of grk Mascot that everyone knows and loves, with an array of meze weaved through the menu,” Arthur says.
That selection of meze has been masterfully created, as a favour for his close friend Arthur, by the renowned chef who introduced Modern Greek cuisine to Sydney, Peter Conistis. His name alone a draw card for the public, diners know they can expect magic if Conistis has had anything to do with the menu, and his latest meze creations are no exception. From the stand-out crispy pumpkin and three cheese filo pie ($12), to the divine, melt in your mouth beef brisket kontosouvli ($20) and the delectable pastourmas, manouri and pear salad ($15), each dish takes the tastebuds on a fully fledged, delight in every bite journey of the best flavours of Greece.
All the favourites of grk Mascot are there too, including the infamous kotobacon souvlaki ($19), the hand cut fries with sea salt, oregano and feta ($9) the divine house-made pita, the juicy pork ($18) and lamb ($21) souvlaki and the organic spoon sweets ($6).
An impressive element of the menu is its vegetarian offerings, showcasing vegetables to their fullest potential, instead of the afterthought status they are often given in some Greek establishments. The baked feta, laced with thyme honey in crispy filo ($12), potato salad with cucumber, pickled chilli and capers ($11) and the mushroom and celeriac gyro ($16) are enough to grab the attention of even the most carnivorous diners.
Any thoughts of not having room for dessert will evaporate as soon as you feast your eyes on the rice pudding topped with glistening, vibrant hued homemade quince and cinnamon ($8), Greek yoghurt ice cream with thyme infused honey and walnuts ($8) and the indulgent Nutella pita topped with baklava crumble ($7), all of which exceed expectation.
The restaurant is both spacious and intimate, family friendly yet also an excellent date night option. The feature wall of plates, and the framed photos of Greece's most beloved faces (including the iconic wedding photo of Aliki Vouyiouklaki and Dimitri Papamihail), adorning the walls alongside understated Greek art and the staples of Greek cuisine- olive oil, wines and herbs serve only to enhance the ambience of ‘filoxenia.’
Just like you would find in Greece, everything has been designed with sharing in mind. The seating arrangements, comfortable interiors, generous portion sizes and design your own meze selection are all conducive to a night of great food with great company- the Greek way.
And if you get stuck trying to make a decision on what to order, the attentive and expertly trained staff are on hand to help you and your parea navigate the seemingly impossible choice.
• O P E N I N G P A R T Y •
You are invited to celebrate the opening of grk Meze Grill at Ramsgate Beach. There will be plenty of meze, drinks & music. Come along with your family & friends to celebrate in true grk style.
When: Wednesday 24 July 6.30pm
Where: grk Meze Grill at Ramsgate Beach (Shop 2, 203-207 Ramsgate Road, Ramsgate Beach, NSW, 2217)
Phone number: (02) 95297761
Website: grk souvlaki