A souvlaki named after Hellenic tennis hero Stefanos Tsitsipas is back on the menu at a Melbourne restaurant during the Australian Open, with 100 per cent of sales going to bushfire relief.
The CBD eatery will re-launch the “Tsitsipas Souvlaki” on Friday, with proceeds going to the Country Fire Authority and Wildlife Victoria.
Stalactites restaurant has already donated $10,000 to the organisations but wanted to do more.
“We approached Stefanos a few weeks ago and asked him if he’d be interested in us bringing back the Tsitsipas souvlaki to raise money for bushfire relief and he just loved the idea,” restaurant managing director Nicole Papasavas told AAP.
“Last year I think we sold about $16,000 worth of the souvlaki in two weeks so we’re hoping to match that, or even beat that, this time.”
The restaurant had approached the 21-year-old Greek gun last year to create a souvlaki following his stunning four-set win over Roger Federer in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
It had only bestowed the honour once before – naming a slow-cooked lamb souvlaki after Greek Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis during his fairytale run to the 2006 Australian Open final.
Tsitsipas went for a more modern take on the classic, picking lamb, tomato, tzatziki, pomegranate, fresh basil and mint, crumbed feta, chips and a touch of chilli for his souvlaki.
Ms Papasavas said the restaurant has been delivering Greek food to Tsitsipas and his family since they arrived in Melbourne earlier this week.
“He’s very strict with what he can eat leading up to the Australian Open but the rest of the family aren’t. Their first order was the Tsitsipas souvlaki,” she said.
The world No.6 played in the Australian Open’s Rally for Relief on Wednesday when superstars including Novak Djokovic, Federer, Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams helped raise $4.8 million for bushfire relief.
Australian Associated Press