When you walk through the orange doors of the tiny Lukumades Greek-doughnut shop opposite Queen Victoria Market, you’ll smell deep-fried dough, melted chocolate and freshly brewed coffee.
“How would you like your balls today?” a member of the crew asks – it’s a drill fans of the Lukumades food truck are familiar with.
The truck’s loyal following (it launched in June last year) is the reason owner Exarhos Sourligas decided to open this West Melbourne storefront.
“Our customers wanted to buy our doughnuts any time, not just at festivals and events. They kept asking us to open a shop and eventually the time was right,” he says.
The colour palate and fit-out of the compact space (designed by Sydney-based Infinite Design) is the first hint Sourligas isn’t a traditionalist.
“My brief to the designer was Greek, but not too Greek,” he says. You won’t see any Santorini blues, or Grecian-inspired art. Similarly, the Greek doughnuts, known as loukoumades, aren’t typical of the version you’ll get in Greece, where they’re served with walnuts and honey syrup.
Sourligas spent two years perfecting his loukoumades recipe, trying out various flavours and toppings, and experimenting with different types of dough to get the right consistency and crunch.
Except for drinks, this is a doughnut-only menu. The Twix Fix comes with melted milk chocolate, crushed Twix, salted caramel and vanilla gelato. Let’s Jam is topped with peanut butter and jam. Oreo Balls come smothered in white chocolate, crushed Oreos and a generous scoop of cookies-and-cream gelato. And Grandma’s Pick is served with sour cherries and vanilla gelato.
You can enjoy your loukoumades inside the shop on a comfy, cushioned bench, or take your tray of golden dumplings to the seats outside in the cobblestone laneway.
83 Peel Street, West Melbourne
Mon to Fri 10am–10pm
Sat & Sun 10am10pm