When Michael Roach, Laurence Greenfield and Philip Arnold (also behind Vinotto, Community Coffee Co) took over the iconic blue and white site of George’s Meze in late 2022, they had big shoes to fill. George’s, a Greek restaurant run by mother-son duo Eva and Nick Kanakis, serviced Subiaco for 21 years, drawing people away from Rokeby Road and into the backstreets with its satisfying seafood claypots, spanakopita, saganaki, Greek wines and pre-dinner ouzo shots.
And if the regular crowds in the olive tree-lined courtyard at Yiamas are anything to go by, it’s lived up to expectations. Much like George’s, Yiamas pays homage to Greek classics, but adds its own twist with plenty of influence from Cypriot, Turkish and Levantine cuisines. The house-made dolmades, for example, add Turkish-style cherries for extra tartness, while the rice is swapped out with textural bulgur wheat and lentils. They’re made on-site daily, and beckon to be eaten with your hands. Another standout is the octopus, which is cooked on the charcoal grill and served in a bright, acidic sauce of tomato, olives and plenty of seasoning. Fire plays a big role across much of the menu. Animals like goat, lamb and suckling pig are butchered on-site, slow-roasted on the rotisserie over coals, and served hot for your share-friendly feast.
Even the Greek-style baklava – which Arnold’s Greek mother Eleni makes fresh every week – has its own twist here. The kitchen staff split it in half and lodge a bay leaf parfait in the centre, creating an ice-cream sandwich spin-off that’s certainly worth your time.
To drink, there are cocktails spiked with Greek gins and vermouths, as well as mastika – the sweet liqueur from the Greek island of Chios that’s said to aid digestion. Of course, there’s ouzo too, which you can start your meal with, either neat or diluted Greek-style with ice and water. Or, if you’re after a slower burn, there are Greek, Lebanese and Georgian wines to spend a few hours sinking into.
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