The last time I had a souvlaki was about 10 years ago when I was in Athens, so it's been a while. I couldn't tell you where to even find one in Auckland, we just don't have the Greek population that Melbourne does. So I was excited when Jimmy Grants opened up in July and I FINALLY visited last week- accessible, cheap, no doubt tasty Greek- I was feeling hopeful about our Wednesday night.
Located just off Smith Street, Jimmy Grants was pumpin' when we arrived. There were loads of people getting takeaway and the place was full so we popped our names on the list with the friendly maître de and grabbed a couple of drinks- a glass of Pacha Mama riesling for me and an Angry Man pale ale for TBS. We loitered near the entrance with our drinks as there isn't really anywhere else to park yourself. About 15 minutes later we were seated at the bar in front of the action. Note that you have to go up and order/pay for your food at the front of the kitchen.
The menu consists of 6 souvas, salads, snacks and dips and a couple of 'plates'. We decided to keep it simple with a souvlaki each and a side of chips. I chose The Bonegilla- chicken AND lamb, mustard aioli, chips, onions and parsley- heck yes! TBS went for the Nonna Maria- chicken, mustard aioli, chips, onion and parsley.
My all important first bite was extremely satisfying. I got the perfect mouthful of pillowy, charred bread, succulent, melt in your mouth meat, sweet mustard aioli and a well salted chip. The combination of chicken and lamb was incredible and I loved the moistness of both meats. If I was going to be very picky, I would have liked a wee bit more aioli dotted throughout as it seemed to be concentrated at the top and the bottom of the souva. Otherwise, no complaints whatsoever. TBS scoffed down his Nonna Maria and said he could easily have had a second.
At first glance, the chips arrived with only a smattering of feta but we were delighted to discover numerous nuggets hidden at the bottom of the bowl, when found had turned gooey from the heat of the chips. The garlic oil was a great addition and very fragrant. Delicious!
I will definitely be returning to Jimmy Grants. The food is tasty and affordable and the atmosphere is buzzy and fun. What more could you ask for?
Good to know:
Angry Man pale ale $8.50
Pacha Mama riesling $8
Nonna Maria souva: chicken, mustard aioli, chips, onions, parsley $7.50
The Bonegilla souva: combo chicken and lamb, mustard aioli, chips, onions, parsley $8.50
Chips, garlic oil, feta, oregano $6
113 Saint David Street
Open 7 days 11:00am to 10:00pm
Images: T B Southam