Kalimera's pork gyros conquers the New York Times


'How Did I Not Know About Pork Gyros?' starts one of the most read articles in the New York Times, penned by food editor Sam Sifton right after he visited Oakleigh.

It wasn't the expensive dishes of Melbourne's much hyped restaurants that had him reliving every bite over and over again in his head, it was Kalimera Souvlaki Art's humble pork gyros.

How Did I Not Know About Pork Gyros?

The NYT Australian bureau's food editor describes having Kalimera's classic as a life changing experience "an orgiastic feast for the senses".

Sifton goes on to say that days later, "I was still thinking about the meal. I had a long flight home, there wasn't much to do. I thought about pork gyros for the better part of 14 hours. Then I dreamed about them while I slept".

Trying to recreate Kalimera souvlaki's distinct flavours, he has been cooking pork gyros ever since, "in the oven and under the broiler, on the grill".

An honest, unbiased review, straight from the heart -or the stomach- came for Kalimera owner Thomas Deliopoulos, from the food editor most chefs around the world only dream to please.

"The dish was as marvellous and strange to me as a wallaby or a kangaroo. Imagine not knowing about strawberry ice cream, then eating your first bite. It was a little like that. You wouldn't tell anyone. Too embarrassing," Sifton describes, adding that "There was a rich oregano flavor to the meat and a rush of lemon acidity on top of it, set off with a dusting of paprika and the salty char of the rotisserie."

Without a doubt, this review vindicates Thomas Deliopoulos' and Sylvia Gabriel's decision to introduce the original Greek favourite, pork gyros, to the Australian market.

"Most people, including friends and family, did not support our idea to serve pork gyro in a lamb dominated market," Thomas tells Neos Kosmos.

"Apart from the local success and people's love and support that we have been receiving since opening our doors, this comes as yet another proof of how right we were; how much Melbourne was missing this flavour."

What is such a strong flavour, deeply rooted in Greece's street food culture had not yet found its way to the Greek diaspora.

"We are still in shock, and we can't believe the extent of good publicity we have received," Sylvia enthuses. "Thomas' family have a long tradition in this kind of cuisine; pork is their specialty actually and he [Thomas] is a very talented person; a good chef.

"Apart from locally sourcing the meat and securing the freshest ingredients for our daily dishes, we only use oregano imported from Greece. We make sure we cook everything with love and extra care; we serve our customers only the most authentic food we ourselves enjoy to eat."

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