A taste of Greece in Ocean Grove

June 29, 2024 BY

It's all about family at Kala Greek with Kylie and Andy Symeonakis, Luca Guadagin and Amy Springer working hard as they bring people together for shared dining experiences. Photos: CAM WATTS

At Ocean Grove’s newly opened Kala Greek, be prepared to be welcomed into the restaurant and treated like family by the team as they fill the room with their warmth.

Andy and Kylie Symeonakis, Amy Springer and Luca Guadagnin are the names behind the newly opened restaurant.

With Andy as the chef and Amy the front house manager, the pair are at the centre of the action, while Kylie and Luca work their magic behind the scenes.

It’s a huge family affair at the restaurant with sisters Amy and Kylie working closely with Amy’s partner Luca and Kylie’s husband Andy.

The name Kala represents the four partners, using an initial from each of their names, and means “all good” in Greek.

“We’re really just trying to make it from the moment you walk in saying the name, it’s representative of us just trying to do all of this as a family,” Amy said.

Kala Greek look after their customers like they’re family when they walk into the restaurant. Photo: CAM WATTS


Kala Greek took over from what was the Kyosk Café in December, and have since transformed it into the Greek restaurant, reopening their doors at the end of May.

Amy said owning their own business was something that happened very naturally as she worked alongside her brother-in-law in different restaurants.

“I think it had been a universally cycling long-time coming. Andy and I have both worked in hospitality for a very long time.”

“We’ve lived in different states and different places but always kind of came together.

“My sister and Andy lived in Sydney for a little while and so I went up and started working at a restaurant with him there just to work together.

“I think it was always going to be, it’s just finally worked out.”

Along with Greek food, cocktails are also on the menu. Photo: CAM WATTS


Since taking on the business, the four owners and family members have been able to spend more time together and it has provided them with more of a balance in their lives.

For Andy, he’s always worked hard both in and out of the kitchen, putting in countless hours and, at times, working two jobs.

“Most people say they love their job; I love my job, I love it, I’m sickly addicted to it,” he said.

Andy is an award-winning chef and well-known in the culinary world.

Having worked for some of the best in the industry, he’s built up quite the reputation.

Most recently, he was the head chef at Geelong restaurant 1915, where he was awarded best chef in the Golden Plate Awards in 2022.

Local produce and meats are used where possible in the dishes with some items also imported from Greece. Photo: CAM WATTS


Andy is dedicated to his craft, using the best ingredients and making what he can from scratch.

He’s no stranger to the pressures and fast paced environment of the kitchen and is ready for the rush that will come with summer.

“I’ve done the process and the hard work and found the easiest way to do things and how to get volume out.”

Cooking is in Andy’s blood. His parents were both chefs, the skills are second nature to him and he’s perfected the art over the years.

The menu features several items and since their opening the chef’s choice has been a crowd favourite, with people open minded about trying new things.

“People are hungry for a difference and that’s what we’ve noticed,” Amy said.

“The amount of people that have walked through the doors in these first three weeks that say, ‘Don’t show me a menu, bring me anything’, is so beautiful.

“Here you have come into what we feel is our home and we want to supply you with the best stuff that we’ve managed to come up with.”

The family run business has been something that formed naturally for the business partners. Photo: CAM WATTS


The inclusive menu offers something for everyone, with plenty of vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Andy said the goal for the business was nice, simple, clean and healthy food, helped by the inclusion of local produce.

“The protein speaks for itself. We’ve got lamb coming from out near Lorne, direct from the butcher.”

They also import some of their other produce straight from Greece, including some of their wine and other alcohol.

The restaurant’s décor features large tables, designed for people to be able to sit together and share.

“We’re really trying to bring back that community side of eating and dining and you’re not going out to sit in a quiet corner and hide with someone, you’re actually going for a night out,” Amy said.

“We’ve had beautiful nights where there’s been a couple and a couple and by the end of the night, they’re sharing a bottle of wine together.”

Kala Greek reopened their doors at the end of May this year with a fresh new look. Photo: ABBY PARDEW


As part of the transformation into Kala Greek, the team have enclosed the space on the side and opened the front of the business up to accommodate more people.

The restaurant is also working on its takeaway menu, which is different from their regular menu.

Amy’s reasoning is you can have it twice in one week and not feel guilty because it’s not the same thing.

For more information, head to kalagreek.com.au or check out their Instagram page @kalagreekog

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