Restaurants with staying power often come with one or more of these traits – good food that’s value for money, passionate owners and service staff, and nostalgia in spades. Stalactites come in with all three, and I am glad they came through Covid unharmed.
Found on Lonsdale Street, a buzzing street of the CBD, the delicious restaurant accommodates to everyone’s Greek tastebuds, but since Covid they were not open 24/7. However Stalactites is still the place to go to indulge in some Hellenic cuisine.
Reminiscent of the caves of Diros, the adorned Stalactites ceiling is a memento of the beauty in Greece. Daily specials are scribbled on the blackboard like a mad professor and his formulas. Service is hectic because the place is always packed to the brim during meal times.
Homemade Cabbage Rolls
Traditional dish of rice and minced beef mixed with herbs and spring onions,
rolled in cabbage leaves, simmeredin a tomato based sauce
Lahanolmades is a traditional Greek food whose roots are found in Asia Minor. The Greek people who lived at the seaside villages of Asia Minor brought the recipe for lahanodolmades with them, when they came as refugees from Turkey to Greece in 1922. The rolled cabbages have a filling of rice, onions, ground beef and fresh herbs, and usually topped with a lemony cream sauce.
I usually would not order this because of the cream sauce but I enjoyed the variation they had done, by stewing it in tomato soup. The “sauce” could be thicker, but all the flavours were in the rolls.
Mixed Giro Platter
Premium-grade lamb shoulder and marinated boneless chicken, sliced from the spit
The portion was huge for one person, and luckily we ordered one portion to share. It was really delicious. The lamb was tender and well marinated so every morsel of meat was full of spices. The chicken skin was grilled to a crisp and added that needed satisfaction that can only come from burnt meat. Now you just need some pita bread and dips to make your own kebabs.
Includes tzatziki, hommus and tarama dips,dolmadakia, feta cheese, kalamata olives, smoked pork sausages, Greek beef biftekia and chicken fillet skewer, served with pita bread
I enjoy these Mediterranean dips, and even better if they include some grilled items like this appetiser platter that came with four types meat and four dips and a basket of pita bread. The pita bread came in handy for the gyros and you can make your own schawarmas. Taramasalata (the pink dip) was not as strong s I wished it would be, but the hummus and tzatziki were spot on. I enjoyed the grilled chicken thigh on the skewers but made a mental note to skip the pork sausages next time.
Marinated lamb cutlets, chargrilled and served with Greek salad and chips
This was not the best lamb cutlets I had tasted, but I was craving for some and they delivered.
Layers of filo pastry with walnuts and honey served with vanilla bean ice cream
It wasn’t what I expected, the Turkish style square bites. But this came like Chinese spring roll spiced with a copious amount of cinnamon. The vanilla ice cream tasted like the supermarket variety simply made the baklava soggy. Skip the dessert and go down the street (just next door to them) for some proper Greek-style sweets.
The name is self explanatory; false plaster stalactites claw at you from the ceiling, making for a sort of faux cave vibe. Though it’s been updated slightly over the years, this questionable decor remains as endearing as ever, particularly when all you need is moussaka at the end of a big night.
Stalactites Greek Restaurant
177 – 183 Lonsdale St, Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Tel : (03) 9663 3316
Visited Jul 2023
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