I venture across to the other side of the city past Bambini Trust to the Hellenic Club, where a new restaurant has opened, serving a mix of modern and classic Greek food. When I arrive, I find my dining companion waiting for me. We greet each other and chat about how impressed we are with the venue, it certainly has its charm.
The communal atmosphere inherent in the Greek culture is on full display, while the stone walls reflect the historic architecture of Greek civilisation. I am almost, for a second, transported in a gaze of wishful thinking to a classic Greek Island, where I am wearing a toga and chewing on juicy vines of grapes… anyway back to reality!
We discuss the happenings since we last met before we start ordering.
Thympiopolous Young Vines Xinomavro Naoussa (2012)
We start thinking about wines and my dining companion decides to stick with the sparkling mineral water… however I can’t pass up the opportunity to sample some lovely Greek wine.
The wine I have chosen is from the Xinomavro grape and is the estate’s youngest vines. It is fresh and similar to the wines from the Beaujolais region in France. The wine is very much dominated by the upfront taste of the full fruit flavours (primarily berries), along with some hints of herbs. It is light and dreamy…enough to have you thinking about reclining in a plush sofa in a little villa over the Mediterranean. I am really starting to enjoy this.
Taramasalata Dip (White Cod’s Roe Dip)
A traditional favourite. The rich creamy, salty “flavour of the sea” meze dip is spread on a soft oily pita bread to provide an amazing taste sensation. It’s such a treat as the soft pliable dip, just oozes the distinct roe flavour with a little tang from the mixture to round out the experience. It’s such a strong dish to get the taste buds moving.
Barrel aged Feta Tou Fourno with Chilli, Roast Garlic and Oregano
The next course is fresh from the oven, with the olive oil bubbling away continuing to cook the feta at our table. The soft rich creamy feta flavour, which exudes a quality salty, sour and peppery taste is on full display. The spice of the chilli, oregano and the garlic flavours are present but do not overcome the pure taste of the feta. The pickled green chillies add a lovely tang to what is a beautiful Mediterranean dish. The distinct flavour of the olive oil also decides to join the party to deliver a fantastic flavoursome dining experience.
Wagyu Beef Keftedes with Coriander Yoghurt, Roast Tomato Saltsa
The soft crunchy keftedes are amazing, with the juices from the wagyu intact and flowing from meatballs on first bite of the crunchy outer coating. The coriander yoghurt is beautiful and offers a light refreshing and cooling offset to the strength of the wagyu’s flavours, while the tomato chutney provides a beautiful juicy and tangy flavour to round out the experience.
Baby Snapper, grilled over Bay Leaves with an Oregano Dressing
The intense fragrance of the bay leaves and oregano permeate the flaky soft succulent snapper flesh to provide a light and fresh flavoured dish. The lemon adds some additional zest and provides a light offset to the soft bitter oregano flavour. The fish does have a few bones, which makes extra work of the dish, but its worth it. Fresh beautiful fish, simply cooked with no fuss. The perfect main course.
I have another glass of the Thympiopolous Young Vines Xinomavro Naoussa, and we decide to skip dessert. We continue the conversation as we make our way to the exit, both agreeing that this was an amazing dining experience and we are definitely coming back!