Authentic Greek? Yassas please!

By Jack Hayes

When it comes to authentic Greek cuisine, Pawan Narang, owner of the recently opened Yassas – The Greek Way at The District Docklands, has it down to a fine art.

Bringing a modern Melbourne twist to the authentic Greek street food, Yassas offers customers the best of both worlds - the vibrant atmosphere of Greece with a Melbourne edge.

Located on the ground floor below Hoyts, directly adjacent to the Melbourne Star Observation Wheel, Yassas is already adding to the growing culinary identity of The District Docklands.

According to Mr Narang, Yassas is already proving to be a hit among locals and visitors.

“The reaction from everyone has been great. We haven’t done any marketing at all and have had a constant supply of bookings,” Mr Narang said.

“There is always a lot of unknowing when opening a new restaurant. So, to have this kind of response, it has been fantastic.”

No stranger to Hellenic hospitality, Yassas is Mr Narang’s sister restaurant to the widely popular Ena Greek Streetfood in Southbank.

 “Unlike our Southbank restaurant, where people go out with a particular location in mind, Yassas Docklands is not about planning. People are coming from the movies, games or the Melbourne Star, and looking for a good quality meal,” he said.

“Because of the broad scope of businesses and experiences in the area, we want to provide people with a mixture of both casual and fine dining.”

Docklanders can expect a menu filled with all your favourite Greek classics, from mouth-watering gyros and home-made moussaka to Baklava and loukoumades – a traditional Greek doughnut.

As is often the case for Mediterranean cuisine, Mr Narang has placed massive importance in the quality of his produce.  

“We are sticking strictly to Australian-grown produce - that is incredibly important to us. All of our lamb, seafood, beef and chicken is sourced locally,” he said.

“Although Greek food is often very meat-centric, we offer several vegan and vegetarian alternatives, like our vegan moussaka.”

“We are also bringing variation to your traditional souvlaki with the trial of a tofu-based wrap but making sure our flavours remain as authentic as possible.”

Mr Narang explained his menu would continue to grow and evolve over the coming months to align with his new demographic in Docklands.

Although opening a restaurant in a growing shopping precinct provides its challenges, Mr Narang has been pleasantly surprised with his new landlords.

“The District Docklands has been incredibly helpful with the whole process. Given our experiences with landowners in the past, I couldn’t have asked for a better team to deal with,” Mr Narang said.

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