Dining / Taking Greek to the street

“It’s kind of a glorified fast-food operation, but a licensed one. Pitas are a highlight as are souvla, Greek salads and sides,” writes dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON

The soft-shell crab pita… lightly fried and packed into the pita with special slaw, preserved lemon mayo, caramelised onions, sweet chilli and coriander. Photo by Maddie McGuigan

ZEUS Street Greek, on Genge Street, is a simple, casual eatery – a place to pop by for a quick bite if you’re working or hanging out in the city. You order at the counter, pay upfront, grab your number and settle into a seat outside or in.

Wendy Johnson

Wendy Johnson.

This is Canberra’s first Zeus Street Greek and if you like honest street food you’ll find something to satisfy.

The menus are prominently placed behind the cash register and backlit. It’s kind of a glorified fast-food operation, but a licensed one. Pitas are a highlight as are souvla, Greek salads and sides.

The dips were delish and came with an amazingly generous serve of pita bread ($14.50 for three). The creamy tzatziki was lovely and lemony, the eggplant smoky (although not overly so for our taste) and we adored the beetroot hummus, which looked as beautiful as it tasted (the beetroot lifting the hummus up several notches).

The soft-shell crab pita caught our attention and we were impressed with the flavours ($13.50). The crab was lightly fried and packed into the pita with special slaw, preserved lemon mayo, caramelised onions, sweet chilli and coriander. It was all tightly wrapped in paper and served on a narrow wooden platter. My only thought was that the slaw was too sweet. I tired of it by the time I’d worked my way through.

We were surprised with the presentation of the souvla ($17.50), expecting the lamb to come on skewers. Instead it came in a dish with a lid and a black sticker exclaiming it was “naked”. We confess we didn’t read the menu well enough to realise it only came with tzatziki and lemon. The dish cried out for more, perhaps a Greek salad.

Souvla came in a dish with a lid and a black sticker exclaiming it was “naked”. Photo by Maddie McGuigan

The souvla was tender, but the gristle wasn’t attractive and it seemed the meat had stewed somewhat in the pot, changing its texture. We would have loved more herbs and spices. It was our least favourite dish.

We indulged in Yia Yia’s Chips ($6.50), created with locally sourced potatoes “from grandma’s kitchen”. I was told, when ordering at the counter, that they would be “amazing” and they were. We bet Yia Yia’s feta and oregano chips would be amazing, too ($9.50).

Other sides include spinach and cheese pie ($9.50), grilled haloumi ($11.50), calamari ($14.50) and pilaf ($6.50).

Beer and cider range from $7.50 to $9 and wines are neatly packaged – reds and whites are $9 by the glass or a flat $36 by the bottle.

We sat outside in the sun, but would have been happy inside. The décor is fresh, bright and fun. Family life is celebrated with kids’ colourings hanging on one wall.  

Zeus Street Greek is open Friday and Saturday, 11.30am to 10.30pm and all other days 11.30am-9.30pm. Call 8315 5678.

The dips were delish and came with an amazingly generous serve of pita bread. Photo by Maddie McGuigan

 

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