Jimmy Grants Emporium

Logo from Emporium Melbourne
Upper Foodcourt, Emporium 287 Lonsdale St, Melbourne
Date visited: 1st June 2014

I've been a fan of George Calombaris' Greek ventures - Hellenic Republic, Gazi and of course, Jimmy Grants.  MerlinFan and I had visited the original branch in Fitzroy some time back, and I really enjoyed their souva and chips, however was not too into the whole super hipster atmosphere + too lazy to travel the distance.  So when I heard it had opened up at Emporium, I had to pay it a visit when MerlinFan suggested trying out the food court. 

I had the same Nonna Maria, which was chicken, mustard aioli, chips, onion and parsley.  I admit I was a bit disappointed - somehow the chicken wasn't as tasty and there wasn't as much aioli, so it paled in comparison to the original in Fitzroy.

Nonna maria $8.50
I haven't had the Greek doughnuts from Jimmy Grants, but I was betting it was like the ones from Hellenic Republic (which I love).  I wanted to get some, but they had run out  >:(  Anyway I couldn't stop thinking about them, so we returned the next weekend on a rainy day where I got them for dessert.

Greek doughnuts, walnuts and honey $6

The doughnuts were awesome.  Soft, hot and fluffy on the inside, and the deep fried shells remained crispy and crunchy even after we finished our main meals.  Drizzled with a generous amount of sticky honey, walnuts and cinnamon, I was in sweet loukoumades heaven!  A bit messy to eat, but I loved them.  So happy it's so close to home.

Verdict?  Obviously I prefer the souva in the Fitzroy branch, but this branch is still new, so they could improve.  Would return over and over just for those damn doughnuts.

Date visited: 5th October 2014

Just an update -  I have noticed the greek doughnuts have not been available at the Emporium food court for some time, at least whenever I go.  

Today, I went to grab a quick bite with the 200g Slow roasted lamb shoulder with tzatziki and pita bread.

There were two rows of patrons sharing three open counters.  The middle counter opened up and the girl behind the counter asked "who's next?" beaming at the tall guy to my right.  Since I got here first, I stepped up and the counter girl's smile faded and she suddenly became the sullen and unsmiling.  Erm, I think it's still a prerequisite (or courtesy, at least) to appear friendly even when the patron doesn't look like they could be your new potential boyfriend!  First come first serve, man.  Geez.  Customer service is generally pretty good in Melbourne, so any deviation from normal does spark a WTF moment.  Was pretty disgusted.

Anyway, food wise, the lamb was tender enough but under seasoned.  The pita was thick and lacked the flavour and chariness I had come to associate with the pita at Hellenic Republic and Gazi.  Pretty lacklustre.

Not impressed.  Anyway, with the Greek doughnuts gone, there goes my reason to bother going back.  Please do yourself a favour and visit the original Fitzroy branch because this one is subpar in both food and service.

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