Souv Baby is a Greek-inspired takeaway and dine-in restaurant that was borne out of a COVID-19 pivot.
In 2018, childhood friends and westside locals George Tarwill and Isaiah Inocencio decided to renovate and launch an intimate, 28-seat restaurant focusing on steaks and sharing style food.
In just two years, On the Bone built up a loyal following. They became renowned for their Mod Oz/French-influenced dishes paired with natural wines and for always providing an excellent dining experience.
Then March 2020 arrived – and shuttered On the Bone.
George and Isaiah had to decide what to do next. Translating the On the Bone menu as takeaway was not going to be an option for their style of food; they felt that it would compromise on the quality of the experience.
The two friends decided that they would sell souvlakis by preorder. Being of Lebanese and Filipino heritage respectively, they had grown up with barbecue and had spent years putting on spits for family and friends.
The preorders proved to be a huge success, regularly selling out to loyal On the Bone customers who were keen to support the business during this challenging time. Customers loved the housemade meat marinades, the sauces made from scratch, the fresh lettuce and tomato (no pre-cut vegetables here!) all wrapped up in a pita bread from Gerry’s Pitas in Braybrook.
Customers liked the souvas so much that they even helped name the new business.
“One of our customers was pregnant and in the middle of eating one of our souvas, her waters broke! Two weeks later she sent us a photo of her son Leo, nicknamed Souvlaki Baby!” laughed George. “We thought ‘Souva Baby’ was a great name for our new restaurant – and now our kids’ meal is named after baby Leo.”
So while COVID-19 was a blow for On the Bone, George and Isaiah are excited about the future for Souv Baby.
“Food is love, food is connection and food brings people together,” says George. “We love to feed people, to look after them and to give them something positive in their day. So even though this year has been challenging, we wake up happy every day doing what we do.”