Originally published on Broadsheet.
Contemporary takes on traditional Greek dishes – and dairy-free baklava.
“Greek food isn’t always slabs of moussaka and big masses of meat,” says George Loupos, who recently opened Rebel Blue in Windsor together with partners Vinny Diaco and Rody Kaka.
“My mum has been a massive influence on the menu,” says Loupos. “She’s helped with everything from how the olives should be prepared to the flavours of the meat.”
The olives are complimentary; a nod to the warm welcome guests of a Greek host can expect. The rest of the menu, by head chef (and Santorini native) Dionisios Pouliezos is akin to a Greek tapas experience, featuring classic flavour combinations and dishes that have been downsized and modernised.
There’s eggplant with slow-roasted beef shoulder, spanakopita “bites”, and chargrilled octopus with broad bean puree. Diners can boost their fries with feta, and souvlaki is served deconstructed – think skewered, grilled king prawns served with tzatziki, feta and capsicum dip, or taramasalata. Pita bread is an optional extra.
A dairy-free baklava has enough flavour and moisture to compete with the regular recipe. Kaka’s sister Rezan makes the dish, which is loaded with dairy-free butter, pistachios, and a cardamom-spiked honey syrup. It’s not always available though; it will rotate with the regular sort.
Some cocktails feature Greek spirits, including tsipouro, a white liquor made from distilled grape skins. The Rebel Blue cocktail pairs it with blue curacao, vanilla vodka and egg white, while in the Vinny Haha it’s mixed with tequila and pineapple juice.
The build and fit-out is by Black Milk Design and takes inspiration from urban Greece. Exposed blue pipework features throughout the restaurant. Blue neon signage is another nod to the venue’s name.
127 Chapel Street, Windsor
(03) 9533 2581
Tue & Wed 5pm–11pm
Thu to Sun 5pm–1am
Photography: Jake Roden.