The value of doing one thing well can never be over-rated. The latest enterprise of the Bellas family, Spanakopita, in Newstead follows this principle. They do pie, Greek pie. The kitchen is in a glassed in area at the back and when you walk in there is always something warm waiting to be eaten.
Spanakopita is a modern space set up as a bakery and cafe. They cook a range of both savoury and sweet pies, as well as other Greek treats such as yoghurt cake and chocolate and fig baklava. Whole pies ($30) can be ordered for functions and parties and slices available for takeaway or to eat in the cafe.
Slices are generous ($8) and as well as spanakopita, there is prasokolokithopita (leek, roasted pumpkin and garlic) and an agginarotiropita (artichoke and feta). The pastry is crunchier than shop bought filo and nicely browned. The flavours of the fillings are robust with the spanakopita filled out by wild weeds as well as spinach and feta.
From the sweet menu I tried the galaktoboureko ($4.50), the Greek citrus custard tart. Sitting in a light, sugar syrup, the custard was perfectly set with subtle undertones of vanilla and citrus. Not at all heavy, and a very different experience from the sweet, soggy Greek pastries I was used to.
Spanakopita is a simple formula, perfectly executed. It provides high quality Greek pies that expand the repertoire of the normal Aussie Greek experience and the owners have designed the perfect space in which to do this. The cafe is modern and bright, with the added advantage of the Bellas trademark modern art on the walls. I have been there a number of times and am always surprised there is not a queue lining up for a slice. It is the sort of place that once you have tried their food, you will be looking for a reason to drop by and pick up another slice.
Address: 32A Chester Street, Newstead
Phone: 385 24130
Hours: Open for breakfast and lunch Weds-Fri 8am to 6pm; Sat 8am to 4pm; Sun 8am to 2pm.