Jim's Greek Tavern

5/28/2007 10:33:00 AM

Last week, some friends and I headed out to Jim's Greek Tavern to celebrate my good friend Timmy finishing another module of his horrible accountancy certification. (His words, not mine... well actually, his words are "fuckin' shit accounting" but I thought I should clean it up for the blog... and whoops I've gone and cursed. Sorry.)

Anyway... back to the food.

Jim's Greek Tavern
32 Johnston St
Collingwood VIC 3066

Jim's Greek has been around forever, which by Australian standards means longer than 30 years. They serve good standard Greek food in a bustling atmosphere. There isn't a menu; the waiters will simply come up to you and tell you what they've got. I've heard that you've got to be assertive with the waiters, or they might push you to order too much, too expensive options. We did not have this problem. In fact, quite the opposite. Our waiter (who was busy and stressed) basically ignored our table, while pretty much every table around us was getting special treatment. One nearby table held a minor Melbourne celebrity and his demanding friend, another table had some regulars, and the other table near us had 2 young ladies in low cut tops. Ahem. It took ages for him to come over and take our orders, even longer for the food to arrive, our plates got empty and cold before he came over to clear them, and it was a mission trying to get his attention to order the next course.

Thank goodness I'd remembered to bring a bottle of wine (Jim's is BYO). And the food, when it finally arrived, was very good.

Warm bread. (Dips, vegies and pickled octopus pictured above).

Saganaki. Fried cheese. All kinds of delicious.

Fried octopus with garlic and lemon.

We eat the delicious food until it is all gone... there is a half-hour wait... the waiter then asks us what we want for our main meals... he says "scallops, fish, octopus, lamb, lamb, and lamb"... we say "scallops and lamb please"...

...another 30 minutes later...

Lamb. It was so tender and crispy and juicy. Man, it was good.

Fried scallops. Crispy and oily and good. There were 4 of us eating, but only Timmy and I ate the scallops. I managed about a quarter of them, and Timmy "I just really hate to waste food" ate the rest.

Greek Salad. Tastes good, cuts through the grease.

...we eat, get progressively more tipsy... wait a good long time for the waiter to clear our plates... wait longer for him to take our order for desserts and coffee... but we do get it, in the end...

Baklava. Not the best I've ever tasted. I think this one was a bit heavy on the flower water. Most importantly, I think baklava is best in teensy tiny little diamonds, rather than whacking great big pieces.


Greek Coffee.

Timmy: Man, that was good coffee!

So much food...

The bill turned out to be $116, which was a lot cheaper than I expected. The food was good, the company was better, the service was slow, but we left full and happy.

Jim's Greek Tavern on Urbanspoon

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  1. Oh man, that looks so good! The lamb & the octopus!! Next time you know to wear a lower-cut shirt and you'll get a free saganaki ;).

  2. Anonymous11:12 PM

    i haven't been there in years. it still looks really good.

    so, who was the 'melbourne celebrity'?


  3. Anonymous9:42 PM

    Sarah! I thought I saw you at Shanghai Dumpling Restaurant today - well it might not have been you, maybe a long-lost twin or something. And I'm not stalking, just love your blog :)

  4. Sarah it sounds as if your waiter probably worked in Athens. Years back this type of service was quite normal, We'd go for dinner and our dishes would arrive one at a time often with one of our "starters" arriving long after we'd eaten our main course...then trying to get the waiter attention to pay the bill usually took another hour or so

  5. Anonymous10:53 PM

    Great food but terrible service. Food was almost thrown in front of us and 3 requests for water was a waste of time, as we never received it in our 1 1/2 hour stay. Couldn't stand it any longer in the cramped and hot environment so finally received the bill and left, never to return!

  6. Anonymous3:00 PM

    Its not 'custard'. It is called 'yallakto-bouriko' (literally milk loaf) and is made with semolina on premises. That it is made so well shows you how close they get to custard. This is probably the BEST example of this desert in Melbourne. I kid you not, I am obsessed with eating the best version of this and theirs beats alot of my family's version hands down and I am talking about recipes and methods handed down across 4 or 5 generations!



My email address is sarahcooks [at] hotmail [dot] com.