Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Orexi Souvlaki Bar Cafe, Oakleigh by Big Fil

As Footscray is associated with Vietnamese food, and Coburg with Lebanese and Turkish, you can associate Oakleigh with Greek food.  Greek style sweets, souvlaki bars, men (generally, before more families started to appear later in the morning) sitting in cafes drinking strong cups of coffee, you don’t hear much about Oakleigh but Eaton Mall would have to be one of the more vibrant suburban enclaves in Melbourne.  It felt like ages since we had last popped in but with a hankering for souvlaki it was off to Oakleigh we went.

Given that we hadn’t picked out anywhere in particular to try the first thing Snooze and I did was take a leisurely stroll around the shopping strip.  At just after 9am the shops were just starting to come to life, people were out doing their grocery shopping and we were able to sample some mighty fine chicken and herb sausages complements of a butchers at the indoor food market.

Eventually though stomach grumbles started to be heard and it was time to pick somewhere to eat.  Wandering around we saw a few places that looked ok without anywhere particularly standing out.  Eventually we settled on Orexi Souvlaki Bar Cafe, and I am very glad we did.

From a first glance nothing really distinguishes Orexi from most souvlaki joints around town.  I am not really sure why we chose it.  The lamb though, oh the lamb.  It’s one of the simpler style of souvlaki, not too many ingredients or sauce, which is good in that allows the quality of the lamb to shine through.  By the way, did I mention I liked the lamb in my souvlaki?

Cut thicker than normal, what this allows is a contrasting texture between a slightly crunchy outer layer and a soft, moist inner layer.  Beautiful rich lamb flavours in a nice, stiffer than usual bread, the only slight negative was the way the sauce soaked and leaked through the middle of the bread, leading to a careless case of sauce-in-lap-idis.  I was enjoying it so much at the time though that I didn’t mind.  As Snooze said, I simply inhaled this.

Snooze’s mixed dips on the other hand were a bit of a mixed deal, a case of the ordinary, the good and the very good.  The ordinary was the avocado dip, overly liquid and lacking any real flavour.  The good was the eggplant dip, with a well balanced flavour and slightly chunky consistency.  Outstanding though was the tangy hummus, which I was forced to finish off to allow Snooze to preserve room for later sweets.  Yuummyyy.

Nothing flash but deliciousness in a wrap.  Rumour has it the chicken souvlaki is equally as good as the lamb.  While I find that hard to believe confirmation either way will need to wait for another day.  Service is fine if more functional than friendly, and prices are reasonable.

Food – 8.5 (let down by the avocado dip)
Service – 6.5
Ambience – 8 (in the mall)
Price - 7

3/18 Eaton Street
Oakleigh VIC 3166
Tel: (03) 9569 1151

Orexi Souvlaki Bar Cafe on Urbanspoon

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