EATS: Vanilla, Oakleigh

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Every Sunday, well most Sunday’s, me and a group of friends try and catch up and explore different cuisines and places to eat. It started off with my friend Mel and I down Glenhuntly Road in Elsternwick for Korean BBQ, something I had never experienced. From then we vowed to try at least once a week to catch up outside of work to experience cuisines we have never really tried. So far we have done Hungarian, Russian and Turkish and a couple weeks ago we ended up, with a few others, in Oakleigh for a spot of dessert. Oakleigh has a massive Greek community, with Eaton Street filled to the brim with Greek cuisine. As soon as I walked down that street at 8.30pm I felt like I was in Greece. Europeans are know for their late dinners, and judging by the busy-ness of the street, dinner barely just started.

A friend we were with suggested a place called Vanilla, a huge two story Greek restaurant with an entrance filled with cakes as far as the eye can see. It was beautiful! We put our name down and waited about half an hour for a table, which at first I thought was ridiculous, but I soon realised that it was totally worth it! As we waited I scanend through each sweets cabinet, contemplating on the choice. I decided to be extremely naughty and order two desserts for two reasons.

  1. There was a full sized cabinet dedicated to just baklava, which I absolutely love, which meant I just HAD to buy a baklava, there was no other choice.
  2. The other 2 large cabinets had the most pretty desserts that I HAD to try!

So it was simple, Rach must have two!

We finally got a table, so we sat and ordered a bottle of wine. As conversation kicked in we paused for a moment to order our sweets then continued. Vanilla has a loud, vibrant atmosphere. I looked around at large tables filled with families laughing and talking loud and in between were the smaller tables with couples eating dinner and friends doing what we were doing and catching up for sweets and drinks.

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After about 15 minutes our sweets arrived and filled up our table with sugar goodness. I went for a Turkish Delight Baklava, which was interesting, much sweeter than the traditional baklava. I ate half then swapped the other half with my friend who had the traditional baklava, which I much preferred. My second choice of sweets was a Strawberry Paste, a classic Greek sweet. It was a layered cake of chocolate sponge, chocolate mousse and strawberry mousse topped with a strawberry gel. It was everything you could hope for when eating a strawberry mousse dessert! It took a while, but we all got through it all with full bellies and a small sugar high, enough of a rush to get ourselves home and into bed, as by the time we left it was 10pm-10.30pm.

It was a great experience, for me at least, as I had never ventured to Oakleigh before or been to a restaurant with a selection of cakes like that. It is somewhere I definatly will be returning to, as a matter of fact I am feeling a little peckish now, an have really made my mouth water thinking about that night at Vanilla, I might even pop down now!

Vanilla is about a half an hour drive from the CBD and is tucked away in the Eaton Street mall and is worth a trip for dessert!

Located: 17-21 Eaton St, Oakleigh VIC
Open: Everyday 7am – 1am
Cuisine: Greek

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