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Lifestyle : A Taste Of Greece Special Report
1HERSA1 0017 AUTHENTIC GREEK CUISINE Level 5, 251 Elizabeth Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000 l Phone 02 9261 4910 LUNCH BANQUET $33.50 per person DINNER BANQUET $36.50 per person 11 Barrack Street Sydney 2001 • 9262 2624 www.athenian.com.au ATHENIAN GREEK RESTAURANT iG5447035AB-301012 MEDUSA AUTHENTIC AND CREATIVE GREEK CUISINE 2 MARKET STREET SYDNEY (CORNER KENT & MARKET STREETS) 9267 0799 9267 4811 look@ medusagreektaverna.com.au www.medusagreektaverna.com.au T F E G5406462AA-291012 We invite you to sit back and relax, as the Greeks say "Kali orexi" -- Happy Eating! 336 Pitt St, Sydney 2000 Ph: 02 9267 8956 www.diethnes.com.au G5406586AA-291012 iG5406355AA-301012 17 goodfood The Sydney Morning Herald Some of Sydney's best Xanthi, Level 6, Westfield Sydney, corner of Pitt and Market streets, Sydney, 9232 8535. The Apollo, 44 Macleay Street, Potts Point, 8354 0888. The Athenian, 11 Barrack Street, Sydney, 9262 2624. Corinthian Rotisserie, 283 Marrickville Road, Marrickville, 9569 7084. Medusa Greek Taverna, 2 Market Street, Sydney, 9267 0799. (orzo-like pasta), roasted suckling pig and duck. ''Few people know that there is a long tradition of wood-fire cooking in Greece,'' he says. ''In the village I grew up in, every house had a wood oven.'' Tsirekas says regional Greek food remains largely unexplored in Sydney. ''There is a huge difference in the food from the north of Greece, which is heavier and has Slavic influences, and the Aegean Islands,'' he says. ''In the Aegean you have a Venetian influence and even British. During World War I and II, British troops were stationed on the Aegean islands and the legacy of their time there remains in the food. There are a huge range of influences to use as a starting point in creating a dish.'' Some dishes require little, or no reworking -- foods that originated with the ancient Greeks remain common today. ''Macedonians were one of the first cultures to cultivate oysters,'' Tsirekas says. ''They wasted nothing, they used the shells to adorn their battle helmets and their body armour.'' Oysters are on the menu at the Athenian in Barrack Street, Sydney. Co-owner Manoli Tressos and family have run and owned the business for the past 12 years. The menu features classic Greek dishes made from local produce. ''We cook Greek food like your Greek grandmother or mother-in-law would cook,'' Tressos says. ''We make everything from scratch: taramasalata, tzatziki and vine leaves. We have 10 people in the kitchen rolling vine leaves several days a week.'' An entree of snapper cakes (in Greece made from red mullet, known as barbounia) uses snapper cheeks, the most tender part of the fish. The bones and heads are used for soup. ''Greek people waste nothing,'' Tressos says. Beetroot tops become salads, served with roast lamb and other traditional Greek side dishes including chicory or spanakorizo (baked spinach and rice). At the Corinthian in Marrickville, the Giannakelos family has served classic Greek dishes for the past 32 years. Maria and Frank Giannakelos arrived from the island of Lesvos 42 years ago. With their son, George, they feed hungry locals (many of them Greek) six days a week at lunch and dinner. ''I've lived here longer than I lived in Greece,'' Maria says. ''I still cook the traditional food every day -- lamb, lemon potatoes and lots of vegetables.'' Roast lamb is sold by the kilogram. There are also generous helpings of moussaka, okra, spanakopita (filo, spinach and feta pie) and yemista (capsicums and tomatoes stuffed with rice). Somewhat confronting to the uninitiated are slow-roasted lamb heads, kefalakis arnisio. Made to a recipe from the family's native Lesvos, they come complete with eyes and brains. While Greek food in Sydney proudly remains tied to tradition, Tsirekas says it has evolved and now also reflects Australia. ''A national cuisine cooked somewhere other than its country of origin always reflects the place in which it is cooked,'' he says. Barthelmess agrees. ''Greek food, and all of the cooking across the Mediterranean, is based on using what is around you to create a great meal.''
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