Since opening their tiny 18-seater yiros shop on Seaview Road in Grange in 2016, Tony Yialas and Tracey Barnes’s Cheeky Greek has been packed out with customers every summer. Now, since the success of their seaside takeaway joint, the couple have opened another – a five-minute drive down the road – at Henley Beach.
The new digs opened last week near Henley Square, in a former pizza bar. The couple has also taken over the old chiropractor next door to extend the space into a large 50-seater restaurant.
“We saw an opportunity down at Henley Square to do something a bit different and offer people something new,” Yialas tells Broadsheet. “We wanted a place where people could walk in, grab a yiros and take it down to the grass or the beach.”
The menu is largely the same: fluffy pita stuffed with lamb or chicken cooked over coals (sub in haloumi, falafel or prawn if it pleases you), lettuce, tomato, golden hot chips and drizzled with house-made tzatziki. But now there’s the option of a yiros bowl, with the same ingredients served with sliced pita or rice. There are also salads, dips, dolmades and saganaki.
Yialas keeps his suppliers local – his butchers and fruit and vegetable suppliers are all within the western suburbs. This, he says, is why his yiros is among the state’s best. “We don’t buy the cheapest produce,” he says. “For us it’s about quality, not money, and we’ve kept the recipe pretty close to the traditional Greek yiros recipe.”
The new place pays homage to the Greek islands with a white-painted feature wall with blue shutters and door, complemented by a blue-tile counter and a polished concrete floor. The space is ample, and still casual enough to stroll into from the beach without shoes.