• Baklava meets cheesecake (Alevri)Source: Alevri
Sydney's Alevri evokes the feeling of picking up fresh-made pastries and coffee in Greece – with an Australian twist.
By
Aimee Chanthadavong

25 Sep 2019 - 1:14 PM  UPDATED 25 Sep 2019 - 1:14 PM

During Aki Daikos' annual family trip to Greece – whether it’s to the capital city of Athens, one of the many islands, or back to the north in Thessaloniki, where his family is originally from – he would wander down every morning to the local bakery after a brisk walk to pick up some freshly baked bread, pastries, sweets, and of course, coffee, for his family.

“It’s a bit of a ritual,” he tells SBS.

And it’s this experience of being able to taste and smell just-baked Greek treats that Daikos and his wife, Kathy, have tried to recreate at Alevri.

“Walking into Alevri is like going to your local bakery – whether it’s on mainland or the islands – where you can go and get some freshly baked bread, pastries, sweets, or traditional coffee,” he says.

All the bakers at Alevri, who can be seen kneading, rolling, and baking phyllo pastry through the kitchen window at the Dulwich Hill store, originally hailed from different parts of Greece. Daikos says it was intentional, to ensure recipes used in the kitchen were as authentic as possible.

“This is one of the closest places you can get outside of Greece when it comes to traditional baked goods and pastries,” he says.

Alevri, which means ‘flour’ in Greek – the core ingredient of almost every product in the bakery – has many just-baked savoury and sweet goods on display at the counter.

On the savoury side, there’s koulouri thessalonikis (sesame bread rings), spanakopita, and flaky tiropita (pie).

There’s also peynirli, a boat-shaped pizza, available in four flavours: bacon, egg and cheese; three cheeses; and souvlaki lamb or chicken.

Equally appealing to the eye are Alevri’s sweet offerings, such as tin trays of kataifi (almond syrup pastry) or galaktoboureko (custard pie), which are available for takeaway. “You even get to keep the tins like you would in Greece,” Daikos says.

“This is one of the closest places you can get outside of Greece when it comes to traditional baked goods and pastries."

To match the food, Alevri also brews coffee a Greek way: over hot sand, a version known as hovoli. Daikos explains: “The coffee boils slowly and when it thickens up, it creates a different flavour to other coffees.”

For a cold option, there’s freddo cappuccino, with black coffee, sugar and condensed milk, or the frappe, made using Greek Nescafe, water and sugar.  

In addition to traditional items, Daikos has also come up with a few of his own creations: a signature moussaka pie and baklava cheesecake.

“Both the moussaka and baklava are traditional dishes in Greece, and Aussies are famous for their meat pies and they love their cheesecake, so we decided to combine them together,” he says.

The moussaka pie at Alevri is inspired by the Aussie appetite for meat pies.

But it’s not just about the food, according to Daikos, it’s also about creating a new meeting place for people.

“There's an old Greek saying that says, ‘san to spiti sou’, which loosely translates to 'feel at home' and that's our aim.”

Alevri may have just opened, but there are already plans in motion to open a second “express” store in another part of Sydney before the end of the year.

“I want people to experience the Greece I experience when I’m there,” Daikos says.

 

Love the story? Follow the author here: Twitter @achanthadavong or Instagram @aimeech33.


Alevri

260-264 Wardell Road, Dulwich Hill, NSW

Daily 7 am – 8 pm


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