KEFALOGRAVIERA. It sounds like a cheese version of supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, or some new fusion dish you tried to impress your foodie mates.
But a quick Google revealed it’s a hard Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk.
Blake Street Merchant chef Navarre Top serves it the traditional Greek way, rolling the dense slices in seasoned flour and lightly frying them.
The puffy parcels of cheesy deliciousness were served on a bed of quinoa, laden with coriander, spring onion, and toasted pine nuts ($14).
For good measure I added a corn and potato hash ($5) and a serve of mushrooms, creating a perfect combo of flavours— from the sharp cheese to the rich almost creamy mushrooms and the chunky, moist potato cake.
Co-owner Angie Taylor, along with her brother and mum, were behind the old Beaufort Street Merchant and Angie was keen to revive the brand on Blake Street.
So was her partner Nathan, who had been successful in the corporate world but was itching to sink his teeth into sustainable food processes.
Meanwhile, Top had been working for Taylor for years and was keen for a kitchen of his own.
“And Blake Street Merchant was born,” she says.
The trio was keen to make their eatery the sort of place locals would come back to time and time again: “To see people two times a week; not two times a year.”
Vegetarians and carnivores are looked after with a mix-and-match lunch menu called the “plus section”.
There are seven salads, including maple roasted Japanese pumpkin with sweet potato; garlic yoghurt and sun dried tomato pesto; and cumin spiced eggplant, dukkah, smoked yoghurt and baby cos (all $14).
A variety of meat or fish can be added to the salads, including soy and ginger marinated chicken breast, smoked beef flank ($10), soy braised lamb rump and house smoked salmon flakes ($8).
“You choose your base and choose your protein,” Taylor says.
And there’s plenty of in-house made cakes to choose from too.
by JENNY D’ANGER
The Blake Street Merchant
4 Blake Street,
open Sun–Wed, 7am–5pm,