This place beats the shi*t out of Hellenic Republic - hands down below zero.
I am very appreciative of George Colambaris' contribution to the development of the food culture beyond the inner city rim of Melbourne but, I don't like people thinking that Hellenic Republic is the best Greek food in Melbourne, cos it ain't.
We went to Alpha Ouzeri for a little Christmas Eve dinner - every Greek man and his wife with her santa hat and his dog and his daughter dressed in an elf suit (with an embroidered black and silver belt) was in da house.
Maybe not as good as my grandma's cooking but the chef pulled out some of my all-time favourites.
Simple grilled calamari not overcooked and perfectly salted.
Shiftalias - pork and lamb meatballs wrapped in lamb intenstines and barbequed. Sounds gross but you will love it, especially with a few drops of lemon.
Yemista - tomato and capsicum filled with rice in sauce. I was a bit freaked out that these ones had no minced lamb but they actually pulled the vegetarian ones off very well.
Chicken souvlaki with lemon potatoes - usually dry at most places but this chicken was succulent. The lemon potatoes were a gem.
We then ordered some dips which were quite good although the tarama was not the best.
Finally for dessert we tried the loukmades - greek donut with honey and walnut. Just like the old aunties used to make.
And the service was warm and friendly and jovial for a pre-Christmas affair.
$40 each including a glass of good wine.