Olive Oil and Butter Kαfé is a family-run business that has earned itself a reputation for serving all-day Greek-inspired breakfast and lunch to the wider Yarraville community.
The owners go a long way in providing honesty, authentic moments and a unique atmosphere thanks to the cosy house setting that feels like you’re sitting in your yiayia‘s kitchen. The café also offers outdoor seating and takeaways, as well as catering services.
Olive Oil and Butter specialises in traditional Greek dishes and pastries, all made in-house from scratch and using only extra virgin olive oil, butter and the freshest ingredients. Every dish is full of flavour and every bite will make you feel one step closer to Greece.
In its third year, the café is run by Pelagia, 24, and her brother Chris Alexiou, 39. Their mother is responsible for the secret recipe behind their famous spiral filo pastries and many other traditional Greek delicacies passed down through generations.
Olive Oil and Butter’s popular extensive range of mouth-watering spiral filo pites includes spanakopita, tiropita (cheese pie), kreatopita (meat pie) and the original Thessaloniki bougatsa.
Unlike most new Greek businesses in Australia, Olive Oil and Butter was not an outcome of the crisis. It was more an effort to reunite as a family, as half of them lived in Greece while the rest remained in Australia.
“The best choice at the time seemed to all come back to Melbourne, and it proved right,” Pelagia, who came to Melbourne nine years ago with her mother, tells Neos Kosmos.
“The idea to open a café was my mum’s; she wanted to open up her own place and start making more traditional foods and recipes.”
Pelagia had always loved food but never before had she properly delved into it and actually cooked.
“There had always been a discussion within the family to venture into the food industry, as my mum’s cooking is rather unique and has always gotten great reviews.”
Pelagia was the only one who had experience in the hospitality business, having worked as a waitress in the past, but not in the kitchen. Chris, on the
other hand, always wanted to create a family business.
“We are all fussy eaters and very much into the healthy lifestyle,” Pelagia explains, “which is why our menu features so many gluten-free, dairy-free and vegan recipes. So we wanted to do this together. Do something of our own as we couldn’t find a place to eat what we wanted how we wanted it.”
Not long after Olive Oil and Butter opened its doors, Pelagia started to cook and implement her ideas in the menu in collaboration with the chef following her mum’s example, while Chris has taken over the business side of things.
“We’re called Olive Oil and Butter because we only use olive oil and butter in our products and focus on doing traditional village style cooking.
“My mum makes everything she creates from scratch. I know that everyone says that, but we actually do it. We are adamant when it comes to quality.
“I also cook and make everything you see, from breakfast, lunch, to cakes and pastries.”
It’s not only their top-notch pastie swirls that will titillate your tastebuds. Their home-cooked lunch menu is so popular, locals have been requesting them to open at nights and also be part of the night market.
“We are preparing for that,” Pelagia says. “We take pride in our slow-cooked meals and we would like to be more than ready before we decide to take on more hours or projects so that we don’t compromise our standards.”
The menu includes breakfast items that hero at least one Greek ingredient, authentic mains and other specials that will make you feel like home as well as an open souvlaki option.
Olive Oil and Butter’s different vibe has been attracting many Melbourne foodies eager to know more about traditional Greek cuisine.
“We are more than just souvlaki and gyros; We are the real deal,” she adds.
“Our clientele does not just consist of Greeks, it’s mainly Aussies and locals − people from neighbouring suburbs. We have, however, several Greek customers who will happily make the trip across town to enjoy our food.
“It tastes like home!”
* We’ll second that. Neos Kosmos did visit the unassuming cafe and we still can’t get over their hearty soup list which features kreatosoupa (beef soup), psarosoupa (fish soup) and kotosoupa (chicken soup), let alone the most aromatic and flavoursome lentil soup, a Greek favourite.
Apart from the usual suspects no one can resist − see mousaka, saganaki, Greek sausage, roasted lemon potatoes, feta mushrooms, and calamari − we suggest you give in to some more hard to find Hellenic culinary temptations the likes of:
– Tiganites: Greek pancakes with pomegranate honey, mascarpone and candied walnuts
– Kalamboki: roasted corn polenta with grilled avocado, yiyantes, romesco salsa dish and poached egg
– Vrasto sitaree muesli: boiled wheat with toasted almonds, berry compote, sultanas, honey and seasonal fruits, served with yoghurt and milk
– Youvetsi: braised beef and orzo casserole in a rich tomato sauce, oven bake finish topped with kefalograviera cheese
– Gemista: stuffed peppers with rice, vegetables and herbs
– Keftethes: Greek meatballs, scrambled egg hot-pot baked in tomato base with sourdough and smoked pork belly
– Strapatsada: scrambled eggs with feta, tomato, confit onion, with roasted lemon potatoes and sourdough or sausage
Olive Oil and Butter also offers traditional Greek desserts. Galaktoboureko, revani, baklava, saragli and melomakarona are always in high demand, alongside freshly baked cakes and koulourakia. There is also an extensive list of Greek beverages covering everything from soft drinks and coffee to beer, wine and liqueurs.
For more information and updates, follow Olive Oil and Butter on Facebook:
Also, follow @oliveoilandbutter on Instagram for more delicious photos from their feed like the ones below