Kerasma Souvlaki Merchant

Get your hunger on at Kerasma Souvlaki Merchant.
Get your hunger on at Kerasma Souvlaki Merchant. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

324A King Street Newtown, New South Wales 2042

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Opening hours Tue-Sat noon-11pm
Features Cheap Eats, Licensed, Accepts bookings
Prices Moderate (mains $20-$40)

Today's fun fact: you can send live bees in the post. Imagine the squeals of delight from your friends and family members on receiving a parcel accompanied by the low hum of a swarm of live bees!

There's only one thing I've always wanted to send in the post more than the contents of an apiary, and that's a box of snails. It'd be quite soothing, I think, opening a package filled with very slow pets.

Or, in this case, a very slow dinner. Each morning, this newish Newtown souvlaki bar receives a fresh snail shipment from Victoria, destined to be cooked over charcoal and served all garlicky and juicy with a side of pita bread. 

A classic Greek salad with a big sheet of salty feta.
A classic Greek salad with a big sheet of salty feta. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

It's a menu heavy on the interesting grills, all done over natural Australian charcoal.

There's hot, fatty tongue (definitely not a favourite – the thickness of each slice and lack of salt is something we just can't get past, but maybe you can) and loukaniko, a deeply porky sausage with plenty of chew.

There's liver, and rich-as-all-get-out sheftalies – a kind of lumpy Cypriot sausage made of a mix of lamb and pork wrapped in caul fat.  

A soft pita pocket.
A soft pita pocket. Photo: Sahlan Hayes

You can order one of two ways here. Create your own flavour party by starting with a souvlaki such as a big, puffy creamy brick of haloumi, then choose a salad.

A classic Greek with chunks of tomato, raw onion, olives, dried oregano and a big sheet of salty feta affords the diner a double cheese adventure. Maybe you'll go for a few pickled caper leaves and some tzatziki, all in a soft pita pocket.

The only thing missing is a KEO – that ultra smashable, highly refreshing Cypriot beer they stock alongside Athens brew FIX. There's Bilpin Cider, too, if you want to keep it local.

It's a fairly basic set-up here. Rust-coloured walls, a plain tiled floor, dark wooden tables and chairs, wrought-iron lamps. It's as old school and rustic as you could want from a place specialising in grilled meats.

They may want to look at getting a better lock on the loo, though. Just call me the Mayor of Awkwardville USA after walking in on my waiter using the facilities.

You're definitely not here for the double cloths and silver service. 

It's all about the grills and the Greek beers. This is good, messy neighbourhood fun made for big groups. Get your hunger on and order everything. 

Pro tip This is big, gutsy food. Take a crew, or risk being brow beaten for not finishing everything.  
Try this Order like a boss and go for a juicy snail pita pocket.
Bottom line Mixed pita pocket ($15.50); souvlaki ($15.50-$18.50).
Like this? Try Gyradiko for their pork and hot chip gyros. 309-313 Forest Road, Bexley. 0452 543 202