Kingsville is a sleepy little triangle sandwiched between Yarraville, Seddon and West Footscray. Within that sandwich is a tiny strip of shops on Somerville Road and within that tiny strip of shops is a fantastic Greek bakery and cafe called Olive Oil and Butter.
You can’t miss it because when it opens in the mornings (7am weekdays, 8am weekends) the flashing Hollywood lights get switched on along the front awning. It’s Vegas meets Kingsville!
Inside the decor has a few touches of Hellenic culture on the walls and wooden tables tightly tucked in together. The focus is all about appreciating the long cabinet of savoury items like pies and rolls and array of Greek pastries and sweets. Their Facebook page is droolworthy!
Last weekend they launched their all-day breakfast menu and we were really impressed by our meal. The sort of dishes that you don’t see everywhere (no smashed avo to be seen), beautifully presented and very reasonably priced – in a trendier area you’d easily be paying $3-$5 more for the same food. The kitchen is run by the young owner’s Greek mum.
We tried the Kalamboki, roasted corn polenta with grilled avocado, gigantes, romesco salsa ($15) with an option for adding a poached egg for $2.50. It was a hearty dish of slow baked butter beans in a tomato and oregano sauce with a mound of creamy polenta, kernels of grilled corn scattered about and then my favourite touch – a sprinkling of fried shallots and shredded spring onion – which gave it an almost Asian twist.
For sweet tooths I highly recommend the Tiganites, fluffy Greek pancakes drizzled with pomegranate seeds steeped in honey, a dash of marscapone and candied walnuts ($14.50). Those pancakes were much fought over at our table that I even considered ordering a second serving!
Even the museli isn’t run of the mill – its made of boiled wheat with toasted almonds, berry compote, sultanas, honey and poached pear ($13.50). A dish worth trying if you’re a bit of a muesli snob like me.
We tried a round of their spanakopita ($9) with a light spinach and feta filling twisted around home made filo pastry. It’s large so an item to be shared.
Of course while you’re there you should try some of their Greek sweets which are made from scratch in the kitchen on site.
Their koulourakia came in several forms – little twists of crumbly cinnamon-spiked shortbread or vanilla and orange scented rounds. Perfect for dunking in your coffee or tea. If you don’t like sweet biscuits then try the kritsinia – sesame covered bread sticks.
Unfortunately my appetite didn’t allow me to try their baklava or kataifi but I couldn’t leave without having a slice of galatoboureko. The slab of custard filo pastry was huge but I think the pastry had been sitting in the fridge for too long and had gone soggy. The semolina custard filling was just right, not too sweet and creamy but sturdy.
Being a family business the service at Olive Oil and Butter was friendly and welcoming and they were great with our traipsing, messy kids too. It’s a suburban gem and full of homemade Greek goodness. We’ll be back!
Olive Oil and Butter, 196 Somerville Rd, Kingsville 03 9315 1060
Mon – Fri: 7:00 am – 4:00 pm
Sat – Sun: 8:00 am – 3:30 pm