I was out with some boys who like meat and who like wine. Walking into Gazi, it was very happening and we were feeling very happening.
There's a big bar on entry and lots of tables dotted around. Everyone looked really cool.
But then there is the detail. The hundreds of terracotta pots on the roof freaked my friends out and on a closer look were actually just plastic. "They lack context" which was the most intelligent remark of the night.
The acoustics were bad and we had to shout at each other. And on a closer look, the lighting made everyone in the room look and feel cooler than they really are.
Looking at the menu, the boys agreed that when you are too rich for Stalactites you just come here.
My friend ask me, the Greek, "so how do you categorise Greek wine?".
Charactertise? There is good and then there is bad - that's it - Greek's don't characterise anything or even use that word in their vocabulary or even know what it means.
We started with a Greek sparkling which had an edge of sweetness at the end, quite nice actually. The red for me was way too heavy but the boys loved it.
We ordered a menu of whatever comes out you eat. There was a choice of 5 souvlakia - chicken, duck, beef, pork and soft shell crab. My friend said "I will never be too pissed to order soft shell crab souvlaki".
More to the point I asked "is there no lamb?"
No lamb, ok there you go no lamb.
We first started with the taramousalata - not bad but Georgie you have done better before. The bread was excellent.
The saganaki with cumquat, well was not sure about that - George paired this cheese with figs at Hellenic (which my dad hates) but I think that cumquat is way too cute and does not really match well.
The prawns were good.
Then came the souvlaki - I liked it but did not love it. I really would have preferred lamb.
Next came some pork with red capsicum, some chips and then more pork.
You can order as much as you like, the food just keeps coming. For dessert we had a good pannacotta and average/bready loukmades.
Overall a bit inconsistent and, sad to say, the best thing was the bread.
I bumped into other friends who also had an inconsistent experience, the meatballs were terrible.
The best thing was the conversation. Look around said my male friends, look at all the women with women. It is a fact, women love to dine with women, men like to dine with women and men only drink with men.
The boys changed their mind in the end - you would only go to Stalictites for a souvlaki and never return here.
To sum it up, one commented "there was no defining feature".
For $120 per head, another said that "you would expect a deconstructed souvlaki and it is an act of the crime to serve souvlaki without tzatiki".