Sunday, December 2, 2012

Discovery XXI

In keeping with Discovery tradition of keeping it local, keeping it within the group of four, keeping it early, and keeping it to Tuesday, on Wednesday a group of three discoverers made their way out to Oakleigh to Euro Bites, with a booking at 8.00 pm.

This change to the normal routine allowed us to to sample the favourite local of two of our friends, although sadly Mr 28 was unable to join us. Two discoverers travelled by train from the city, after a short detour to Siglo. Meanwhile I drove the short distance down the Princes Highway from Caulfield, after a couple of hours distributing type at the Ancora Press. Our two friends drove from their nearby home.

I haven't really been to Oakleigh (other than passing through on the train) since I lived there for a short time while I was studying at Monash, so it was very pleasant to reacquaint myself with the lively shopping and eating precinct. I was lucky to find a parking spot just a few doors from the restaurant, so I didn't have to brave the monster car park which has mysteriously appeared near the railway station.

Soon the group of five was seated and enjoying some Mythos while we tried to make sense of the menu. It seemed easier to leave the choice up to the locals, who warned us that we only needed a couple of main dishes as the servings were massive.

Dips at Euro Bites
And so it proved to be. First we had some shared light mezze, including a platter of dips (tarama, melitzano and best of all the tyrokafteri), with feta, olives, grilled peppers and pita bread. You can see the tyrokafteri on the right of the photo. It is made with feta, ricotta and graviera cheeses and spices and is an exciting change from the more familiar dips. I do urge you to try it.

Next came kourkoti: delicate fried zucchini slices with skordalia, a lovely creamy mashed potato and garlic dip. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of the kourkoti until they were nearly all gone.

No sooner had we disposed of the mezze than a dish of potatoes nicely seasoned with lemon and oregano appeared, followed by rice; a gyro piato lamb platter with tzatziki and Greek salad; and kipouro meze, a vegetarian tasting platter with probably the best spanakopita I have ever tasted, along with gigandes (big white beans in a tomato sauce with carrots and spinach), roasted peppers, more olives and feta, felafel and hommus. And a little bit of salad. And more pita bread. Trust me, you will never leave Euro Bites hungry.

Kipouro meze
Kipouro meze
Some people found room for coffee and sticky sweets. Others found room for more Mythos.

After dinner and farewells in the warm almost-summer night we took the almost-traditional trip down the Princes Highway to Orrong Road, through the dark leafy streets of Armadale and Toorak, over the river to Richmond then back over the river to the city of Boroondara.

Oakleigh and Euro Bites - go there. Discover them for yourself.

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