Skip to main content

Jimmy Grants

George Calombaris is widely known in the foodie world, if not for his enthusiastic, friendly-but-firm guidance to Masterchef contestants, then for his ever-expanding portfolio of successful Melbourne eateries. Along with his partners, Calombaris is responsible for the somewhat cult-ish Hellenic Republic, new-ish Greek restaurant/bar Gazi, sophisticated The Press Club, consistent Good Food Guide Hat-winner PM24, pasta joint Mama Baba south of the river, classy Middle Eastern-focused Maha Bar & Grill, and more. A month or two ago, he added Jimmy Grants (113 St David Street, Fitzroy): a funky, clean souvlaki joint not at all like the fluoro-lit, greasy, early-morning kebab pitstops you're probably familiar with. Jimmy's (not to be confused with the nearby Jim's Greek Tavern) is presided over by Chef Travis McCauley of Hellenic Republic, and is already a runaway success.

Kitchen counter

Named after the Australian rhyming slang term for 'immigrants', Jimmy Grants gives a cool nod to Australia's (and Calombaris' own) immigrant heritage. Confident industrial design gives the site the feel of a converted garage, with features such as an aeroplane and ocean liner painted by artist Dan Wenn on the white brick walls, rustic exposed light fittings, blue and white retro tiling, white wooden stools, and a folding counter at one end of the kitchen, reminiscent of Melbourne's so-hip-right-now food vans.

These people were not happy with my photo-taking.
So I blurred them a bit NYERRRRR

Happily, Jimmy Grants is licensed, offering wine, ouzo and beer, including Mythos Hellenic Lager. Its hours also cater for the traditional takeaway crowd: 11am to 10pm daily. I met friends there for a quick midday meal on a Saturday in August, not long after the venue had opened. A lively buzz emanated out onto the street, and customers loitered territorially inside, waiting to order from any one of the counters, or for their prized food to appear (fortunately not a long wait). The lanky chap who served me was warm and generous with his time, despite the myriad demands on his attention. Appreciated, buddy. 

We started with a grain salad, a dish handballed from Hellenic Republic, for which I am utterly grateful, as it was DELICIOUS. 

Grain salad


We then devoured a souvlaki each, all beautifully wrapped in crisp blue-and-white paper and presented upon a white plate. The bread was deliciously doughy, the meats beautifully cooked, and fresh, 'clean' (as my mother would say) flavours enhanced each souva, with additions such as mustard aioli, honey, fresh herbs, cucumber, even a few potato chips. 

My friend was a fan of his Patris (prawn)

Nonna Maria (chicken)

Mr Papadopoulos (lamb)



Apparently, a pork option will also be available soon, adapted with a Korean Kim-Chi twist, for something different. 

Desserts, provided by Darren Purchese of Burch and Purchese, include a "Jimmy's Wheel", which had sadly run out the day we were there. We settled instead for the house-made Greek doughnuts, and OMG they were AMAZING. 

Greek doughnuts with walnuts and honey

Word on the street is that a home delivery option is on its way for the Fitzroy venue, and new venues will be opening in the CBD and Ormond. 

I was highly impressed by Jimmy Grants, and recommend you get your buttola there in a hurry to sample the wares. 

Jimmy Grants on Urbanspoon

Popular posts from this blog

The Lui Bar

In my opinion, some places are simply better experienced than described. This post features many photos which hardly do The Lui Bar (Level 55, Rialto Towers, 525 Collins Street, Melbourne) justice, because no matter how many pictures I show you or words I write about it, there is just nothing like viewing Melbourne from 55 floors up, handcrafted cocktail in hand, listening to jazz.

The Lui Bar stems off Shannon Bennett's revered restaurant Vue De Monde, the degustation meal of which is absolutely on my bucket list. The restaurant was moved to the Rialto site in 2011, and its adjoining bar has also been making waves ever since.

Iconic in location, the venue not only occupies the top level of what was, in 1986, the tallest building in Melbourne and the Southern Hemisphere at 251 metres, but offers spectacular city views of up to 60 kilometres on a clear day. Even the Eureka Tower, currently Melbourne's tallest building at 297.3 metres, looks smaller from the Rialto's former …

Steak Night and Pub Meal Specials

Want Melbourne Patron blog posts delivered straight to your inbox? Click on the "Subscribe" button at the top of this page and follow the simple instructions. Magic!

I am a sucker for a good steak, and lately, what with moving house and all the extra expenses that incurs, I've been on the lookout for great pub specials such as steak nights. I've been keeping a list on my phone of some of the deals I've found at venues around my home and work (mostly in the CBD, Fitzroy/Collingwood, Richmond/Abbotsford, South Yarra/Prahran/Windsor, South Melbourne) - and there are lots, so please note I haven't tried them all. Several of my friends have asked me to send them a copy of the list - so I figure this way, I can share it with everybody who might be interested!

PLEASE NOTE: This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the pub specials in Melbourne (there are many websites for that already!), nor is it necessarily current. I will do my best to keep it up-to-date - if…


Minamishima A Japanese den by a sushi master, hidden in Richmond 
If you're the sort that baulks at $150-per-head set menus, you'll never truly appreciate a place like Minamishima (4 Lord Street, Richmond).

Sure, it's got a price tag. But for foodie purists, every cent is worth it. You are not just paying for supreme-grade ingredients, some of which are regularly shipped in from a Tokyo fish market, prepared by world-class, highly skilled chefs, presented impeccably and all melt-in-your-mouth, oh-my-God orgasmic. You are paying for the anticipation. For the ever-filled water glass and replenished napkin. For the hushed, dramatic mood of the restaurant itself. For dishes timed to perfection, and the en-pointe realisation of your most specific drink requirements. You are paying for the entire experience.

In my opinion? It's better than a weekend away, which is hella more expensive.

Minamishima opened in October 2014 with no fanfare. Owner-chef Koichi Minamishima spent t…