260 Wardell Rd Dulwich Hill, NSW 2203
|Opening hours||Daily 7am-8pm|
|Prices||Cheap (mains under $20)|
Remember Toula, in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, explaining what it's like to have a Greek family? "Like, you never just have a minute alone, just to think, 'cause we're always together, just eating, eating, eating!"
Sounds like a typical day at Alevri, an old-school/new-school Greek bakery and cafe that's the latest concept from Aki and Kathy Daikos, co-founders of Instagram fave Tella Balls.
Opened in October 2019, Alevri has been a smash hit from day one, transporting customers back to the terraced cafes of Kolonaki with every bite of sugar-dusted loukoumas, or Greek-Aussie moussaka pie. Wait, did I say moussaka pie?
A smartly decorated, concrete-floored corner site at the foot of a residential building just down from the Dulwich Hill station, Alevri is loud and bustling, full of big tables of happy grannies, crying babies and young mums sharing custard-filled bougatsa and Greek-Aussie baklava cheesecake. It shows off its Greek bakers through a glass window as they spoon syrup over filo and slide vast trays of spanakopita into ovens. Out front, it's line-up-and-order then take a table number.
Food comes quickly, on wooden boards lined with sheets of graphically branded black and white paper. Turnover is high, and most people put in a second order for take-away as well. That's dinner sorted, as well as lunch.
The bakers make everything on the premises for both this Dulwich Hill HQ and the new Alevri Express in Roselands. Their filo – thick, with an almost wholemeal quality to the bite – has never seen the inside of a packet. Greece's much-loved spinach and feta pie is a thick, coiled snake of pastry with soft, cooked-down greens inside ($7), and boat-shaped breakfast peynirli (pizza) comes topped with a fried egg ($10).
And that moussaka pie? Genius. Potatoes, eggplant and a savoury beef mince are layered into an individual pie pastry base, topped with bechamel and baked until dark and blistered ($8). It tastes just as you would imagine moussaka inside a pie tastes – like the best Greek-Australian thing ever. There is a short brunchy menu of club sandwiches and breakfast boards, but let's face it, Alevri means flour. It has to be anything pastry, for the win.
The long row of giant tins of Nescafe instant coffee is a good sign, not a bad one. It means you can have frappe ($5), the tall, frothy, iced coffee invented in Thessaloniki in 1957 and widely adopted throughout Greece. Made with Nescafe, milk and sugar, it's strong and soothing; a smart way to get your coffee fix on a hot day. There's well-made espresso (medium-roast Gabriel beans, with good body and flavour), and traditional sandpit coffee as well, made in small copper cezve pots set into a bowl of hot sand.
Mostly Greek bottled drinks are lined up on the counter, but don't feel you need to order mastic water to become an honorary Greek. That happens just by walking in the door – and eating, eating, eating.
Loving The Aussie/Greek moussaka pie.
Not getting Plastic straws? Seriously?
Vegan factor There's a cheese-free spanakopita, filled with spinach, olive oil and dill.
Overheard "Are you going to eat all that sugar doughnut?"
Caffe latte $4 (frappe $5)