ENA Greek Street Food is the latest exciting addition to Southgate Melbourne’s ever evolving restaurant precinct. With an official launch in late April, this fresh spin on Greek dining opened quietly last week.
Translating to number one in Greek, ENA will serve up innovative, rustic offerings that are inspired by the streets and beaches of Greece.
Passionate foodie and TV show star Chris Stavropoulos (Reno Rumble and House Rules) has joined forces with Sean Cheshire and Funky Food Group (Lavezzi Gelati, Billy’s Kitchen, Billy Barista) to bring Greek street food to Melbourne.
ENA is an evolution of simple, fresh and flavoursome ingredients that Chris has experienced in southern Kalamata. His family have been producing olive oil and wine for hundreds of years.
“I was fortunate enough to grow up on food straight from our garden and local farms – that is how Greeks cook! Greek street food is simple while still being full of texture and flavour. There is something magical about the way Greek street vendors cook their food,” says Chris. “We’ve done our best to recreate this as much as we can with ENA, and my Yiayia has even had a look at some of the recipes to ensure they’re authentic!”
“After the success of our modern paddock to plate offering with the Billy Group, it made sense to expand on this idea,” says Sean. “We wanted to create something authentic and credible that people would be comfortable with.”
To Sean, ENA seemed like a natural fit for Southgate’s riverside restaurant precinct, which boasts many different cuisines.
“Melbourne is very multicultural – Southgate’s mix of restaurants is a great example of that. It’s also a great spot to relax and take in the city, overlooking the Yarra.”
ENA offers quality dining with a relaxed atmosphere and provides take away for the fast paced lunchtime traders. The use of communal dining spaces and a focus on share plates nods to the venue’s strong roots in Greece, where meals are a fun, social and celebratory affair!
ENA utilises authentic Greek cooking techniques, their meats cooked over a coal fire pit, the same tradition used in Greek homes and street stalls. Their slow rotisserie over coals gives their lamb, chicken and pork a smokier, crispier and more succulent flavour than the traditional gyros vertical spits.
Their mouth-watering menu includes dishes like Moussaka croquettes, chargrilled watermelon with radish, feta and olive, and Loukaniki – house made sausages infused with orange zest, oregano and fennel. Chargrilled corn with chilli mayo and cheese is a modern take on Chris’ favourite street food in rural Greece. For sweet tooths, a highlight from the dessert menu includes Loukomades – Greek donuts with warm honey, walnut and almond crumble.
Co-owner and Executive Chef Mathew English has worked in Melbourne for 23 years. Honing his craft for over 8 years at some of Melbourne’s finest hatted restaurants, Mathew is also the mind behind talked about restaurants Romulus and Remus and SUD.
Mathew’s passion for Mediterranean food is considered: “there is a unique commitment to the freshest home-grown produce and using locally sourced ingredients, as well as some of the most enticing flavour combinations I’ve experienced in the world.”
ENA has a strong focus on the freshest seasonal ingredients and sourcing the best cuts of meat from local Victorian suppliers. Coffee is blended in house and the wine list incorporates both Australian drops and an inspired variety of Greek wines.
Interior design company, Two Design, (Degani at Crown, Billy’s Kitchen) were called in to create a space with a warm, welcoming atmosphere that Greek family homes are known for. A combination of blues, whites, natural timbers and glossy tiles have been used to ensure customers feel as though they’ve stepped onto the beautiful islands of Mykonos and Santorini. Two Design were shortlisted for a 2015 Victorian Premier’s Design Award for their design of hip Carlton coffee spot, Vertue of the Coffee Drink.
Open seven days 11am-late for lunch and dinner, ENA also has a full takeaway menu available. Booking requests for ENA can be made online on the Southgate Melbourne website or by phone on 03 9690 6205.
ENA is located on the mid level of Southgate with a balcony overlooking the Yarra River, opposite Tutto Bene. It is one of several new venue openings at Southgate since 2014, following the critically acclaimed cocktail bar Waterslide, Bavarian bier bar grill Hophaus, and it’s sweetest new resident, dessert bar Damon Bradley. A range of boutique retailers including vintage fashion, art deco jewellery, books and stationery can also be found within the precinct.