Sunday, September 3, 2017

Kentro, Oakleigh by Bureaucrat

Having lunch at Kentro was not our first choice, or indeed our second or third choice.  But with a full house happening in a Aroma Grill House (our first pick) and also at Meat Me Souvlakeri, we looked at a neighbouring Greek restaurant that looked good (but they were only able to offer us a tiny table that was squished between more tables - an unappealing choice since we needed space for a high chair and there wasn't even enough space for us to wheel our pram through to get to the table) before settling on Kentro.  Kentro is big and bustling - as is most of the eateries in Eaton Mall - but unlike its competitors it still had a few tables free.

Kentro, Oakleigh, grilled calamari
Grilled calamari

First impressions of the place was that there was chaos.  The staff look frazzled, harried and didn't seem to take note that there were about 10 people standing at the door all waiting for a table.  Instead of waiting to be served, I walked up to the counter and asked if they had a table for two plus room for a high chair and pram.  The woman said yes to the table but advised they don't have high chairs.  This was an odd statement to make because surely a family restaurant of this size would have high chairs and I could spot two vacate high chairs in the room.

Being led to our table, we got switched at the last minute from a spacious 4-seater table to a two-seater table.  A lot of Greek was being spoken/shouted between the two staff members about where to put us.  While I understand during peak times that a restaurant would want to save the bigger tables for more (paying) adults, the reality here was that there were more than enough tables to accommodate another 20 or so diners should they have turned up right there and then.

Kentro, Oakleigh, cakes
Cakes galore

With our orders placed, we waited for a meal.  While we waited, we watched the staff continue to be frazzled; other less busier staff stood around and chatted while diners were trying to get their attention for service; and we saw the wrong dishes being brought to tables.  All in all, Kentro was not making a good impression.

Kentro, Oakleigh, lamb gyros
Finally our food arrived.  The lamb gyros plate was big and heaving with food.  The lamb looked and tasted a tad over-cooked.  It wasn't as luscious as the lamb we had at Meat Me Souvlakeri.  Similarly, the pita bread seemed more chewier than the fluffy ones at Meat Me.  The chips were plentiful and came without any seasoning as per our request.

The grilled calamari was very tender and bountiful (see first pic).  It was tender enough for Boy Chick to snaffle a few, finely sliced pieces (along with a good handful of chips).  Good flavour but it wasn't quite what I was hoping for.  I was hoping to get the octopus that Obelix had a Meat Me Souvlakeri a while ago.

Kentro, Oakleigh, Greek coffee
The Lawyer also got a Greek coffee.

Kentro, Oakleigh, cakes
While the cakes did look delicious, we decided to get our desserts elsewhere.  And where else would we go?  The answer is: Nikos Quality Cakes!

Verdict

We liked it
We liked it.
Mid value
Mid value.

Overall

The food was okay - but not rave-worthy.  We had plenty of leftovers to take home with us, which will do very nicely as my lunch for tomorrow.

Service can be improved so that it's more responsive to diners.  Having said that, there was one waitress who was nice and had a pleasant manner.

Overall, I can understand why Kentro still has vacant tables when its competitors nearby are all booked out.

Find it at

Kentro
27-29 Eaton Mall
Oakleigh VIC 3166
Phone: (03) 9939 6372

Kentro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato 

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