Greek taverna comfort food that never goes out of style.
March 13, 2012
Comfort food, Greek taverna style, has never been so hip. In a room stripped almost bare with vaulted ceilings, peeling cream plaster and warm lighting, The Apollo is the newest dining hotspot in Potts Point. Once you've tasted the food, you'll wish everyone else wasn't so clued in and that it was simply your local Greek.
For those who have had a run in with Greek food that was heavy, oily and served with a cucumber-saturated Greek salad, now is the time to give Greek a chance. This is food that it would be tempting to eat most nights: lemony, zesty and full of fresh herbs. Jonathon Barthelmess, last seen serving his fabulous Italian-accented food at Manly Pavilion, has the lightest of touches when it comes to the food of his heritage.
Cocktails form a small part of the drinks list but are among the best in town. There are, of course, nods to Greece, including rosewater, and figs and honey. Similar references are dotted through the wine list, although this features fewer Hellenic inclusions.
Back to the food. You can go 'The Full Greek' and be sent out all the signatures as part of a very affordable feast for $55, or pick and choose from the small but perfectly formed menu with all dishes designed for sharing.
We suggest trying a series of smaller dishes to start. Taramasalata ($12), served in a small Greek style yoghurt pot with warm, slightly charcoaled pita bread, is pale, creamy and topped with pearly mullet roe. It will well and truly ruin you for the bright pink supermarket versions. Deep-fried king prawns ($6 each) are worth the fiddling to remove the shells for fleshy, juicy meat with a hint of charcoal, and grilled octopus with chickpeas and pickled cucumber is as tender as they come. The already renowned wild weed and cheese pie ($18) is a must, like no spanakopita you've ever eaten. It's lemony and light, full of the good weeds.
You have gone Greek, so for the main you really should go with the slow-cooked lamb rib. You won't regret it or the lemony potatoes which help to mop up the juices. It might just finish you off and ruin you for a good Greek dessert, but the walnut filo pastry ($12) or, if you fancy boozy fruit, the ouzo-marinated watermelon are worth making room for.