I’m a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I have a thing for Stalactites’ fish soup. It is a lemon rice soup (and I add extra lemon) with fish. Every now and then, usually sometime between midnight and 3am, I get the craving and I just need to have it! It often occurs after a particularly long and trying day. It is my comfort food – tasty, easy to digest and $9.50! And available anytime because Stalactites is open 24 hours.
Stalactites’ most popular food is take-away souvlaki. It does a roaring trade as the nightclubs close – and you never know who you will see there. My friend was strolling by one night and spotted Suzi Quatro enjoying a souvlaki at a window-side table. Stalactites has also been known to feed hungry tennis stars too. Marcos Baghdatis famously dropped in after playing at the Australian Open.
You might wonder about naming a Greek restaurant Stalactites. Check out the mock stalactite ceiling!! What can I say? It’s like putting a pink tutu on a chihuahua – some things just shouldn’t happen. This is certainly not fine dining – but it is a Melbourne icon. The Konstandakopoulos family has owned and operated the restaurant for more than 30 years. Good on ‘em I say.
Stalactites is open 24/7. During the gas crisis some years ago in Melbourne, when many businesses had to close temporarily because their ovens could not run without gas, the joke was that Stalactites could not. It had been open 24/7 for so long that no-one knew where the keys to the front door were!
Update January 2014: Stalactites has recently renovated. The menu remains the same. The toilets are in better nick, but remain upstairs. It’s a sobering experience walking down them after a big night out! There’s also dining upstairs (as there was before) in addition to the area downstairs.