Saint Barry A Serious Foodie Destination in Surrey Hills
Saint Barry eatery has attracted the attention of locals since opening its doors recently in Surrey Hills. A foodie haven for lunch and dinner, Saint Barry features first class modern casual dining with top chef Spyros Vrakas in the kitchen, a chic fitout, rotating beers and wine on tap, and locally sourced fresh produce. Recently opened Saint Barry has attracted many repeat customers. Also check out our Best Fish and Chips article and Best Melbourne Eastern Suburbs Cafes and Eateries.
The name "Saint Barry" evolved for the owners, who also run a popular fish and chips store in Lilydale. Saint Barry is a play on Saint Finbarr (anglicised name is Barry) who is meant to be the patron saint of Cork in Ireland. He is also seen as a patron saint of immigrants; of which Peter and Rebecca come from an immigrant history (Peter came to Australia when he was 16 years old). Saint Barry was a traveller and lived in a cottage in Cork. It's said the city of Cork owes much to Saint Finbarr (Barry) in its formation. Not only that, but Barry is a quintessential Aussie name. Peter and Rebecca are keen to celebrate all things "Barry".
Owners Peter and Rebecca Sprekos have done a first class job in bringing this foodie haven to Surrey Hills. Saint Barry is an ode to their foodie dream of savvy affordable food in an attractive casual setting. Says Peter, "We wanted to bring a quality inner city type experience to Surrey Hills. You don't have to drive into the city to experience decent restaurants." Saint Barry is also easily accessible. We also have parking nearby and at the rear of our restaurant."
Decent eateries in the eastern suburbs? Of course there is. The World Loves Melbourne is always looking for quality dining options in the eastern suburbs and expectations are not always met. But Saint Barry is a place we would like to return with friends and out of towners.
Saint Barry boasts the passion and innovation of Spyros Vrakas (ex Press Club and Head Chef at Hellenic Republic, as well as Head Chef at iconic Belvedere Hotel in Mykonos). He brings exceptional skill with affordable shared dishes and regular specials; casual dining with modern flair. Dishes are simply categorised as "Smaller" dishes and "Larger" dishes, along with compelling sides and salads. We note the Kids menu that has decent (not token) options.
Think classics with a modern twist. Kataifi prawns are a highlight; with chilli, coriander and ginger for extra kick. This is a spectacular dish where quality fresh prawns are wrapped by Spyros in a kataifi (finely shredded) pastry. The World Loves Melbourne enjoyed the crunch of the fine shredded golden Kaitaifi pastry with delicious tasty prawn wrapped inside. So rewarding.
Another smaller dish we imbibed was the Haloumi chips with sriracha salt and aoli. Comfort food of the highest order.
We also enjoyed the Peinerli (pide) which comes with option of fillings; known as the "Black Sea pizza". The World Loves Melbourne loves the story of how the sailors invented this dish out on the high seas, taking bread with them with tasty fillings.
Or how about the popular Beef burger (150g patty) with prosciutto chips, merino gold cream, tomato and golden chips. This gourmet burger hits the spot. The patty was juicy quality beef, while we enjoyed the crispy prosciutto (instead of bacon). We also loved the creamy cheesy sauce of merino gold; a hellenic style cheese (from Bill's Farm Victoria) that takes traditionally 2 years to mature. The burger was spot on in terms of char with nuance of smokiness, and the brioche from Brasserie a delight.
Merino gold cheese (pictured above) is superb when featured in a creamy sauce in the Beef burger.
Another addictive burger is the Beef burger with Swiss cheese, Parmesan cheese, house made aoli, and caramelised onion. The onion is caramelised in butter for extra indulgence.
The King Brown mushroom burger is also a treat, also including onion rings, grilled haloumi, garlic, aoli and chips. And we love the chips! We loved this burger; perfect balance of flavours and hero being both the mushroom and the haloumi. A nice foodie touch is the bacon salt for the chips, as well as decent pink salt.
Customers also enjoy the Chicken fillet burger with avocado salsa, tomato, sriracha aoli and chips; and the Trio of Sliders (pulled pork, beef, salmon fillet). The pork at Saint Barry comes from free range Victorian farms.
Daily specials are imaginative; think Wild Barramundi with Jerusalem artichokes and wild greens.
Beers and cider at Saint Barry come from local brewers in Moorabbin, Beechworth and the Ottway's. We love a Beechworth Pale Ale on tap; perfect match with the food. Interestingly Saint Barry also features a King Valley Pinot Grigio on tap.
Peter is also passionate to appeal to a variety of diners, including gluten free options. "We have designed the dishes to also be gluten free friendly," says Peter.
Adele Bates Design were behind the interior and print design; featuring modern menu, food packaging and even a funky food map. Fitout features exposed brick walls, modern lighting, use of plants, copper and brass, timber, large window and use of natural light. The look is clean, if not minimalist.
Saint Barry are soon to install (at time of writing) a cutting edge MAVAM coffee machine; featuring two independant boilers offering quality consistency. Coffee on offer is from St Ali.
Cakes, croissants and cronuts are from popular Rustica Sourdough.
House made is a feature at Saint Barry with many items made from scratch, including house made sauces for Shakes.
At night Saint Barry lights up and fairy lights bring charm. We're excited about a veggie garden out the back.
An attractive courtyard out the back is a winner; with attractive plants and decor.
Saint Barry is the place to relax and imbibe; an oasis in the eastern suburbs. Get on it.