I am an academic and writer living in Melbourne. I love to travel and I also love writing about all the things Melbourne, regional Victoria and other parts of Australia have to offer.
Published October 4th 2017
Hello or Yasu, Greek Food is Waiting for You
Can't get to Greece in the near future? Never mind, at Alatonero (Greek for saltwater), the minute you see its blue and white colours, you will feel like you are in Greece. And yet you are only an hour and a bit from Melbourne CBD.
From the moment you step into the garden and onto the deck, Alatonero invites you to leave your problems behind and to drink, eat and be merry, just like if you were on a Greek island holiday. The restaurant is open Wednesday to Sunday for lunch and dinner until November and then 7 days a week until February. Mezze (small plates and bite-size parcels of deliciousness) can be had all day on those days and breakfast is served on Saturdays and Sundays from 8 am.
Under the olive trees. Image:Willowcreative.com.au
Sitting in the restaurant or bar, enjoying the sun in the newly rejuvenated outside space under the olive trees, the blue and white surroundings and the sound of the Port Phillip Bay's gentle waves will have you thinking you are indeed in Greece. The passion for all things Greek comes from Jacqui Poulier, the owner, who, after her first trip to Greece as a teenager and who calls herself a 'pseudo-Greek' has poured a lot of love into this restaurant. This love, passion and inspiration can be seen in the feel of the restaurant spaces, with quirky, cosy nooks everywhere, and the stylish, yet casual, blue and white decor, but equally so in the food. Regular trips to Greece ensure that Jacqui and her chefs learn all about new trends in Greek cooking and hone their skills even more.
All the Greek traditional favourites are there; dips, saganaki, lamb kofta, moussaka and DIY souvlaki but the menu also features specials and dishes based around fresh, local produce such as pork belly with local quince and McCrae foreshore succulents. If you can't decide or if you are in a group and want to make life even simpler, go for the Greek Feasting menu for the whole table ($60pp.). You won't be disappointed. Check out the menu here.
The old favourites and new Greek food too. Image: Willowcreative.com.au
If you are looking for a fabulous space for an event, small or large, make sure you consider Alatonero. Catering for small family celebrations, corporate functions as well as weddings, you can have access to different packages utilising the entire restaurant space or separate areas such as the bar. More details on function options can be found here.
A special occasion? Look no further. Image: Willowcreative.com.au
For special events such as Christmas and NYE celebrations, as well as other events, Alatonero has those on offer too, so make sure you check them out. You can also get updates and see lots of fun photos on Facebook.
Why? For food and ambience that could be on a Greek Island but is actually on the Mornington Peninsula.
When:SUMMER (Nov-Feb): Open 7 days a week. Lunch and dinner. Breakfast from 8am on weekends. WINTER (Mar-Oct): Wednesday – Sunday. Lunch and dinner Lunch: Midday – 3pm Dinner: 5.30pm – late Mezze menu:All day