Gazi – New Greek Souvlaki Bar

Posted by cuizine | August 16, 2015 | Food and Drink - General, Restaurants

Gazi

There’s been a notable increase in new restaurants north of the Umgeni River. And dominating that scene are reliable, bankable cuisine style favourites: pizzas, pastas and burgers. And mostly no complaints from me, but I am a little burgered-out. Enter Gazi, a little Greek souvlaki cafe in Umhlanga, which emerged a few weeks ago and one which I’ve been drooling in anticipation for since hearing of it. For a coastal city, we are surprisingly starved of Greek eateries. We have the climate and the ingredients but surprisingly, the variety of Mediterranean-style restaurants on offer are a little lacking. That is not to say we don’t have any, but it’s limited to less than a handful scattered around the greater Durban areas.

Gazi is a district in Athens, surrounding the old industrial gasworks precinct, that is now known as a vibey neighbourhood for its clubs, cafes and art spaces and has inspired the name of the restaurant. That, and the fact that they cook on gas and coal (load shedding be damned!). It’s a catchy little name and it speaks of the simplicity of the food on offer.

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The menu is just two pages (excluding drinks section) which is great; in my hot-so-humble opinion, restaurants should focus on doing a few items well instead of many items badly. The premise of the food is simple: it’s mostly light food, skewered or served as part of a mezze. Souvlaki just means skewer – kebabs, sosaties or whatever you call impaling various bite-sized food pieces on a stick and roasting it.  We had a moussaka, chicken souvlaki with tzatziki, lamb keftedes and some hummus and pita on the side. The tzatziki is creamy, no skimping on cheap yoghurt for that one. The coal-roasting came through on the chicken souvlaki pieces, giving them a fire-roasted flavour, the moussaka was rich (the heaviest thing we ordered, really) and I regretted not ordering the keftedes for myself – they were little meatbally nuggets of awesome, especially when smothered in the tzatziki (which I ended up putting on and in everything, except my coffee.)


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The decor is light, and sets the Greek-island theme well, with the roughly laid prerequisite white pebbles along the walls, rustic whitewashed and light wood furniture, quaint shelving and a bright open-plan interior. It’s perfect for Durban summers (and winters), seated outside and enjoying a breeze.

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The service could be a little better, as it was a bit slow and the waitrons did not seem as confident about menu knowledge as they should be, but they are new so I’m sure that will be addressed.

I’m looking forward to spending a lot of lazy lunches there, throwing back many brikis of hot, sweet Greek coffee.

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Blog Comments

Hmmm, would be interested in trying this. Love the idea, we need some good Greek options. The salad served with the souvlaki looks a little like a sad airliner salad tho – hunks of tomato, iceberg lettuce, raw onion. Does anyone like raw onion?

Sorry, I wasn’t clear in my photo. It comes with a pita bread so traditionally, you take everything off the skewer, shove it in the pita with the salady bits on the side and smother it with sauce and devour.

What a gorgeous looking restaurant. I think I need a holiday to try all durbans new eateries.

You must drag your bum to the coast, Jess 😉

Sounds awesome- would love to try it. Where I’m umhlanga is it?

Hi Bianca, it’s on Chartwell Drive, right next to the George & Dragon, where Gringo’s used to be 🙂

Looks like a nice change! Are there any decent vegetarian options?

Yes, they do a variety of veg souvlakis and you can also do mezze with the various dips and dolmades and whatnot. I think this kind of nosh lends itself very well to vegetarian.

This looks really good. I am vegetarian and would love to peek at the menu. I have tried searching online and cannot find one anywhere? Any idea where I could get one before I pop in and try this place out?

I would like to see a traditional gyros on the menu….much better that souvlaki

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