Oh Demetri’s Feast.
If only you weren’t so small. If only your food wasn’t so good. If only your service wasn’t so friendly. If only you weren’t so cool.
Then it’d be easier to visit you all the time.
Demetri’s Feast was crowned Melbourne’s best breakfast in The Age’s Cheap Eats 2010 and that accolade has no doubt brought the crowds in. But I’m sure it wouldn’t have retained its favourite status with the local clientele if the Greek food wasn’t so darn good.
Kat and I visited for lunch one weekday and were lucky to be snag a table just before the lunch crowd arrived. At lunch time there is a daily ‘feast’ consisting of a soup, salads and sandwiches. But the Wild Spanakopita from the standard menu caught my eye – hand made filo pastry rounds combined with wild greens, herbs, ricotta & feta ($10) served with a side of the day’s salad of roasted pumpkin, rocket, onions and feta ($5.50).
This was the best example of a spanakopita I’ve had in a long time. So often it’s a soggy, oily mess, but was a beautifully presented spiral of the lightest, flakiest filo pastry with just the right proportion of filling. It’s a spanakopita worth crossing town for.
We also shared the semolina dusted calamari with ouzo aioli ($16) as our first choice, the crispy whitebait, wasn’t available. It was a moreish plate of lightly fried calamari rings, tender and fresh, though I would have preferred the aioli with more of a garlicky bite.
Their breakfast menu is available until 3pm and what a fantasy of interesting breakfast dishes it contains. Nothing is run-of-the-mill here, with most dishes showing some Greek influence in the ingredients.
If you like sweet breakfasts, the baclava french toast or the semolina pancakes are the dishes to try (each $14.50). We ordered both and each preferred one over the other. I liked the french toast with the bread soaking up a subtly fragranced orange blossom syrup and especially the liberal dusting of crunchy walnuts praline for added sweetness and textural interest. Kat preferred at fluffy pancakes which came with rose jam, pistachios and the same syrup. Both come with a dash of yoghurt which offset the sweetness of the dishes.
Demetri’s Feast states that their food philosophy is, whenever available, to use seasonal, organic and free range products. This attention to the provenance of the produce shone through in quality of the dishes we tried. Combine this with friendly service, reasonable prices and cute courtyard seating for sunny days, and it’s a winner.
PS They are cash only but there’s a NAB ATM right next door.
Demetri’s Feast, 141 Swan St, Richmond +61 3 9428 8659
Tuesday to Saturday 7.30am to 5.00pm
Sunday 8am to 5pm