Niko Giourgas greets every customer who comes into Omeio by name. He hands out coconut sorbet to kids, and enthuses over a new chocolate, offering people a taste.
Omeio (rhymes with “Romeo”) is a neighbourhood deli and cafe on a residential street in Paddington. It’s the sort of spot where locals will pop in to buy milk (from micro dairy, The Pines, in Kiama) and run into their neighbours for a chat.
Originally an online food business Giourgas missed the chance to interact with customers. He is French and Greek, and grew up all over Europe; his parents were in the hotel business. Good service is in his blood, as is quality produce.
Most of Omeio’s suppliers are local. Sourdough is from Organic Bread Bar on South Dowling Street; pickles from Sydney’s Westmont, and smoked hot sauce from Church Farm in Billinudgel, NSW.
The cafe menu is made from whatever is in the shop; the menu changes daily and includes home-made Greek-inspired meals, such as moussaka and spanakopita.
The European influence is strong. The plat du jour is a Parisian sandwich spread with cultured Pepe Saya butter, smoked ham and brie. There’s also a classic Italian salad with croutons, mozzarella and rocket. Avocado toast is done on brioche.
At the deli counter, there’s a small selection of meats and cheeses, ready to be taken on picnics. Obeca, a manchego-like cheese with a rosemary crust, pairs well with the Wagyu beef bresaola. Triple-cream brie complements the truffle salami.
Coffee comes from boutique roaster The Big Marquee and the beans are grown exclusively in Queensland.