Food: Fig Saganaki, Loukaniko, Papoutsakia, Calamari, Greek Meatballs
Soaking up the village style living that Yarraville has to offer, expect a warm, family style welcome at Eleni’s Kitchen and Bar. Portions are big, and they want you to leave full, dining on the dishes they grew up with. There’s plenty of choice, from smaller bites to larger mains and the menu is flexible enough to be enjoyed as a sharing style dinner or an order-your-own meal.
The restaurant itself is cosy, softly lit, and family friendly. We dined in the upstairs area, which is a little brighter thanks to the sky lights, and with its own bar area it would serve as a great room for a function. There’s a lot of pride in the venture, and many of the recipes do come directly from the owner’s family cook books as they carry on a long family heritage of sharing their fine Greek food with the Yarraville community.
Meat is sourced locally, and only the top quality cuts and meats are selected. This does make it a little more expensive that your average Greek place, but you’re getting both quantity and quality here so it’s well worth it. We started out with the Fig Saganaki and the Loukaniko, followed with the stuffed eggplant (Papoutsakia), Fried Calamari and Greek Meatballs.
They started out strong with the Saganaki, which on it’s own had a beautiful saltiness, yet was balanced perfectly by the house made fig jam (they sell the figs too – sourced from Greece – if you fancy trying to recreate the dish at home). I could eat this dish for hours – our favourite of the day. The Loukaniko had lots of flavour, and was so juicy – a great little snap shot of what was to come.
For mains, we began with the Papoutsakia – eggplant halves stuffed with vegetables. This was cooked with a rich tomato sauce, which will have you dreaming of holidays in Athens, or Crete – it’s just packed full of those strong, Mediterranean flavours and, accompanied by some crispy roast potatoes and a fresh salad, was such a tasty dish.
We then moved on to the calamari and greek meatballs. The calamari was again well presented with a great texture, tossed in a flavourful crumb. The individual pieces were quite large, so while it initially looked like a small portion, when each piece is half the size of your hand (well, my hand) you’re soon well stocked with calamari.
The meatballs were so soft, falling apart as you cut into them.We liked how the individual meatballs were large, yet not overwhelming to eat. We felt leaving this until last might have been a mistake, but they managed to balance a strong meatiness, with a lightness that made them very easy to eat. Again, served with a rich, well seasoned sauce and some of those delicious potatoes.
We managed to sneak in a glass of Greek wine and their gin based Eleni’s Donkey cocktail to wash it all down with. Served in a copper coloured cup, the Eleni’s Donkey is a refreshing and quirky little cocktail, while the Greek wine was just the perfect complement!
Address: 28 Anderson Street, Yarraville
Tue 12pm to 10pm
Wed 12pm to 10pm
Thu 12pm to 10pm
Fri 12pm to 3:30pm and 5:30pm to 10pm
Sat 12pm to 3:30pm and 5:30pm to 10pm
Sun 12pm to 10pm
Parking: There’s numerous street parking spots on and around Anderson Street, or a public carpark on nearby Simpson Street
Getting here on PT: It’s just a couple of minutes walk from Yarraville Train Station, a mere 20 minute trip on the Williamstown or Werribee lines.
Disclaimer: We dined as guests of Eleni’s Kitchen and Bar, Yarraville. Reviews are honest and based on our own personal experiences. We cannot guarantee things at a cafe won’t change including, but not limited to, menu items and opening hours, so please confirm any details with the venue before visiting.