There are a few cuisines that are under represented, even in our very cosmopolitan culinary scene here in Sydney… so I’m shining the spotlight on Greek delights from my most recent gastronomic adventure.
I was recently invited along to lunch to sample the smorgasbord on offer at Alpha Restaurant in Sydney with some spirited fellow foodies. Everything in the medley was delicious, but there were some definite favourites and highlights.
But, as alway, I need to first set the scene…
The restaurant is located in a beautiful historic building in the very centre of Sydney’s CBD. The interior design by Paul Papadopoulos from DS17 manages to capture the essence of seaside glamour seen across the Mediterranean coastline and serve it up with a comfortable and unstuffy vibe.
It is a large, breezy restaurant with a stunning bar and marble top island. The majestically high ceiling is thoughfully adorned and illuminated. Crisp mediterranean whites, blues and beachy hues together with weather-worn rustic wooden and wicker pieces. All under a canopy of dramatic pendant lights that pay homage to seaside elements like fisherman’s baskets, lanterns and sails.
The whole space is a dreamy sea of calm (pun very much intended) amongst a bustling CBD locale.
And feast we did! On a selection of some very exciting Greek favourites with a modern signature touch from Head Chef Peter Conistis. They have an extensive menu and just about everything on it is meant to be shared. The serving sizes are generous without compromising on delicate and authentic flavours.
All the dishes were scrumptious, but my favourites would have to be these:
- Melitzanosalata (eggplant dip)
- Slow roasted lamb spare ribs with thyme, honey and ouzo glaze
- One of their signature dishes (a vintage from 1993) the moussaka of eggplant, seared scollops and taramasalata.
Take a look at their menu here to match my feast photos.
If you want to keep the Greek adventure alive well after your feast, exit out of their food store for a look through the selection of preserves, oils and traditional pastas. There are also quick cafe favourites like freshly brewed Greek coffee and a sampler of some of their restaurant dishes in pie form: spanakopita, chicken, mushroom and saffron, three cheeses with caramelised onion and mint.
The lunch feast was so extensive, that not even a spirited group of foodies was able to make a dent in the ginormous and oh-so-delicious Greek spiced slow roasted lamb shoulder with crispy lemon potatoes.
The serving fork barely even touched the dish before the meat just fell away from the bone. We were all incredibly full and there was talk of catatonic states and siestas, yet no one could bear to part with such a dish… so making some puppy dog eyes at the attentive waitress proved to be fruitful and we were each handed a substantial doggy bag with left overs. A small post-siesta snack that would last well into the night!
Whether you work in Sydney’s CBD or are just passing through, I hope you get a chance to visit Alpha. If you’re after a quick bite, foodie gifts or something to cook up later, then check out their Food Store… or if you have the time and inclination for a longer feast (and who wouldn’t??) then head on over, loosen your belt and indulge.