A freelance writer from the country, living in Melbourne.
Published November 30th 2014
Move over kebab vans of Melbourne, Ionio's here
Although lately I feel like all I've been writing about is Greek food, here I go again!
Amongst the varying venues at Knox Ozone, there are a few diamonds in the rough; my new favourite jewel in the crown is Ionio - consistently well-prepared, well-priced and ingenious Greek cuisine.
My partner Ash and I were on the hunt for a lazy Saturday lunch that would hit the spot in my stomach, but not hit the wallet too hard. We headed to Knox to inspect the latest culinary offerings and decided to take our chances with the relative newcomer to the scene; Ionio.
Upon being seated by the friendly and attentive wait staff, the decor of Ionio made an impact, it was calming and created a warm ambience with wood and beautiful blue tones.
After soaking up the atmosphere, we set about narrowing our choices down to an item each for lunch.
I chose the Pork Belly Burger - a cheeky twist on the ever-popular pork belly, this little beauty consisted of a melt-in-your-mouth slab of unctuous pork belly, pickled fennel, a chipotle slaw and a side of chips with chipotle mayo.
This burger was exactly as delicious as it sounded, and was a great portion size - not too food coma-inducing, and not too stingey. The chips were golden and perfectly crunchy, a welcome departure from neglected boring chips that so often accompany stellar burgers!
Ash chose the classic Lamb Souvlaki - this was served platter style which was a fun take on a classic. The lamb itself was incredible tender, the pita warm and soft like a hug from Yia Yia. With no exaggeration, this might have been the best souvlaki I've ever tasted. Once again the chips were golden and crunchy, served with a sprinkle of feta and rosemary!
Another fantastic point about Ionio, is their incredibly reasonable price point. I often find with Greek restaurants you are looking at a minimum of $25 for a main, and often paying for quantity over quality. Ionio offers a range of great options for value for money prices, particularly the Souvlakis which start at $13 for chicken.
10 Words or Less: Affordable, mouthwatering, modern Greek.
Pros: Well-priced, well-presented & great variety
Cons: Minimal, possible the only thing I could criticise would be staff's knowledge of the food - ignorant little old me had to enquire as to what Loukaniko was (Greek sausage for those of you playing at home) and the waitress had about as much idea as I did! Only a very minor quibble though, not off-putting in the slightest but could be improved.