#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

« Home | Caffeine AND calcium » | Diesel @ the Campsie Food Festival » | Upcoming events » | WBW #10: White Pinot » | Campsie Food Festival » | Iron Chef » | Italian National Day, Wharf 8 » | Upcoming events » | Cyril's, Haymarket » | Sydney Writers' Festival »

Monday, June 13, 2005

Greek Islands Taverna, Earlwood

Earlwood, a sleepy suburb in Sydney's inner west, has always had strong Greek connections. The general public probably best know Earlwood for not only giving us Alex Dimitriades, but John Howard as well.

Greek Islands Taverna, on the other hand, has no such high profile aspirations. Its entrance is via a tiny alley off Homer Street, with sweeping views of a council carpark; the windows are delightfully off-set with sturdy security grilles, and the outdoor signage has been patiently weathered since the early 1980s.

But that's half the charm of this "rustic" taverna style restaurant. And the predominantly Greek crowd of families, young couples, and a posse of pensioners further reinforces the gut instinct that tonight will be A Good Feed. And owner John Hatzikiriakos, for the most part, doesn't disappoint.

Mixed mezedes platter for four $40.00
Spanakopites, tyopites, haloumi cheese, dolmades, taramosalata, tzatiki and fresh bread

Our table of eight starts off with a platter of delightful Greek fingerfood, dips and nibbles. The spanakopites (spinach and cheese pies) and the typopites (fetta and ricotta pies) are always a crowd pleaser, and the fried haloumi slices have a pleasing rubbery saltiness to them.

I've never been a huge fan of dolmades (sorry, but unless it's vinegared rice with sugar ie. sushi, it just doesn't do it for me) but I dig into the salty taramosalata and garlicky tzatiki with carb-enthused gusto.

BBQ Octopus $12.00
Tender marinated octopus chargrilled

This dish wasn't much to look at, served humbly on a silver oval platter, but its tender and caramelised goodness had us squabbling over the final sticky morsels.

Saganaki prawns $23.90
Panfried king prawns in a tomato and fetta cheese mushroom cream sauce

Ahhh.. now we're talking. The sauce was creamy, salty and tomatoey with chunks of fetta strewn throughout. The prawns were almost audibly sighing amidst the blanket of comforting flavours. This was rich, but good.

Lamb casserole $17.90
Cooked in a fresh tomato sauce with Kritharaki (little pasta)

This was the only mild disappointment of the night, the lamb primarily full of bone and drowning in an avalanche of kritharaki. I've never actually had kritharaki before and found my eyes were constantly telling my tastebuds to expect firm rice granules, only to be confused by a mass of slithering slippery pasta shapes. It was like a party going on in my mouth without advising the landlord!

We amused ourselves for a couple of minutes pretending to be the giggly actress from Iron Chef ("Ohh, it feels so slippery in my mouth" whilst blinking wide-eyed with amazement) until our attention was diveted by the moussaka.

Moussaka $15.50
Potato, eggplant and beef mince topped with bechamel sauce

A little heavy on the bechamel sauce, but otherwise the moussaka was well-flavoured and without any of the tongue-coating grease you get with cheap moussaka and lasagna. The bechamel excess also meant most of relieved that we were sharing this dish into quarters (we ordered two for the party of eight).

The rocket on the side gave a nice palate cleanser to the dish.

Baklava $4.80

Of course one can't have closure without dessert. There were only three desserts on offer here: the baklava, galaktoboureko and kataifi, and somehow we ended up with two of each.

All three had been re-heated which meant the filo pastry had lost much of its delicate crisp flakiness. The galakoboureko (custard in pastry), the kataifi (honey and nut-filled pastries which look like vermicelli fingers), and the baklava were sticky and sweet although personally I was left craving the flaky ones fresh from a Greek bakery.

Good hearty, traditional Greek food in a cosy "authentic" atmosphere. Squint a little at the back mural of a Greek island view, and you could almost be in Santorini.

Greek Islands Taverna
Shop 2, 360 Homer Street, Earlwood, Sydney
Tel: 02 9558 3334
5 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Anonymous on 6/13/2005 06:30:00 pm


  • At 6/14/2005 1:21 pm, Blogger pinkcocoa said…

    Oh everything looks so delicious! The Saganaki prawns and the lamb casserole look most delicious ;-)

    I am also never a big fan of dolmades but I love greek dips! *yum*

  • At 6/14/2005 2:29 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    You need to stop eating all that baklava when you go out. It tastes so much better when you make it at home. Trust me!

    Otherwise, the dishese here look good! =)

  • At 6/16/2005 8:06 pm, Blogger Reid said…

    Hi AG,

    Well, who says you can't eat it all? =P hehe!

  • At 7/03/2005 2:36 pm, Blogger deborah said…

    Hey AG - Thanks for submitting this to Omnivoribus Australis. Great to have such a culinary explorer out there sourcing the food of this nation. Keep an eye out for the June Collection!

  • At 7/06/2005 9:58 pm, Blogger Anthony said…

    Eek it's greek. I can't think of a good traditional greek restaurant in Perth. Tsk. I should look harder. That *is* a lot of bechamel.


Post a Comment

<< Home

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts