24 May, 2015

Ta Piperia @ Peiraiki, Piraeus

Last Sunday, we tried a new grill restaurant in our neighborhood, Peiraiki.

It is called Ta Piperia (The Peppers), the second outlet of the restaurant with the same restaurant in Palaio Faliro.

Here the photo is a bit dark and does not do the justice to the white and bright interior; have a look at the photos below shot with the daylight.

The menu is more similar to those of the new-wave kebab restaurants, rather than those of classic souvlaki shops. You can order meat both as pita wraps or as 'merida' (portion). The full menu is on their website (below).

Here is fried potatoes and Greek salad without feta. The potatoes were fresh and quite good.

Here is a portion (merida) of grilled chicken on skewer (7.50 Euro) to share between us. It does not have potato, but served with pitas.

We liked the chicken so much so that we returned within a week to order the same dish. To be honest, it was not the best grilled chicken I have ever eaten, but it was quite satisfactory as grilled chicken in souvlaki restaurants.

We had also two skewers of pork, but these were disappointing; tough and with strong porky smell.

With a bottle of beer, the bill came to 20.30 Euro. We'd say it is a good value for money.

Ta Piperia - Τα Πιπέρια
Akti Themistokleous 302, Piraiki, 185 39, Piraeus
Ακτή Θεμιστοκλέους 302, 185 39,  Πειραιάς
Tel. 210 451 0065

As we liked it , we returned there after 6 days, this time during the daytime.

We took a table on the 1st floor and had this view. Not bad, isn't it?

We ordered more of less the same things, except for the pastourmas, instead of pork skewers.

The bill this time was 25 Euro and got a free orange cake, too.

We'd surely go again, as it is so convenient for us. If you feel like souvlaki with a sea view, do give it a go.

18 May, 2015

Indian Tandoori Masala @ Psyrri

Another restaurant in Psyrri, this time an Indian. We visited as a group of 4 after having purchased discount coupons.

It is close both from Monastiraki station and the central square of Psyrri, but it is on one of the minor streets and a chance of finding it casually is relatively small.

It should be a new place, maybe only 1 month old or so. It is in a renovated neo-classic building and looks pretty nice.

The dining space is on the ground floor and on the first. The ground floor space is small as it is shared by the kitchen. We opted for the upper floor.

The menu is a standard Indian one; no surprise, no disappointment.

We started with vegetable samosas.

Tasted fine, but a bit too oily.

As main dishes, we ordered 3 curries and 1 tandoor. Here is either Chicken curry or Chicken Karahi that looked and tasted same. Although the waiter insisted they were different (although at the first he said both are chicken curries), we did not understand the 'subtle' difference.

It tasted all right, but I did not like the way they cook the meat; it was evident that the chicken was cooked (boiled) separately from the sauce, and then mixed into the sauce just before serving.

And this is Chicken Tikka Masala. As it is Chicken Tikka, the marinated chicken was once grilled and then put into the sauce.

Chicken was delicious, but I found the sauce too sweet.

Tnadoori chicken was the dish I liked best here.

And here are accompaniments.

These are 2 portions of naan bread. Freshly baked. I like them better thicker and less crunchy.

We had a portion of sweet pulau as well as white rice. It is mixed with nuts and dried fruits. I think there was pieces of candied fruits, too. Bad taste, but I have to admit I liked it.

Cheese naan was made with feta cheese as in other Indian restaurants in Athens. I got used to cheese naan with yellow cheese in UK and I do not like feta naans.

I do not remember the price of each dish (actually, you can find them on their website), but I can tell you that we did not have to pay top up on the coupon value of 60 Euro, except for 4 Euro of 2 bottles of water. We got a receipt for 4 Euro, but not for 30 Euro for vouchers.

All in all, it was all right, but with so many Indians in and around Athens, I did not find 'it' that shall make me return.

Indian Tandoori Masala
Karaiskaki 15 & Aisopoy 2, Psyrri, Athens
Tel. 210 3255131

09 May, 2015

En Iordani @ Psyrri

As the tourist season is kicking in, I hope it is useful to write about a place in central Athens.

This particular restaurant is in Psyrri area, which is in a short walk away from Monastiraki Square/ Station.

In fact, we found ourselves in Monastiraki one holiday afternoon and tried to think where to have good and affordable meal. The first place came to our mind was Nikitas in Psyrri and we headed for it. To our disappointment, we did not find any table any more. So we ended up in this taverna called En Iordani, which was still half empty then (but it was about full by the time we left).

It looks an old taverna, but to be honest, I do not remembered to see it, say, 3 years ago. Maybe it did not look like it is now some years ago.

It serves food in a mageireio style and you can go to the counter to choose your main dishes. They do have menu, but my impression is that they do not have everything written in there. So you have either to ask your waiter or to go to the showcase.

We were not hugely hungry (also because we had just eaten ice creams at Le Greche on Mitropoleos Street) and choose only 4 dishes.

GH chose oven baked pork with potatoes.

It looks good, but did not taste as much; the meat was dry and had strong pork-smell. It was 7 Euro, if I remember well.

I went for aubergine imam, which was a good example of this dish, with strong caramel like flavor.

I wanted horta (boiled green), but they did not have it, so we got romaine lettuce, dill and spring onion salad.

Fried potatoes were quite good.

We had also bread and a bottle of beer and the total bill was under 22 Euro. Affordable, isn't it?

Besides, I liked very much the interior. I felt like I strolled into an old house. Although it does not have outdoor seating, there was a quite lot of natural light.

The food was not that impressive, but it is definitely a pleasant place to have a quick but traditional Greek lunch.

En Iordani - Εν Ιορδάνη
Agion Anargyron 3, Psyrri, Athens, 10554
Αγίων Αναργύρων 3, Ψυρρή, Αθήνα, 10554
Tel. 210- 3224570

01 May, 2015

Thalassa Aigaleo City @ Aigaleo

We visited a seafood taverna called Thalassa (meaning "sea" in Greek) in Aigaleo - if you are not familiar with the geography of Athens, Aigaleo is inland, far from the sea -, after having read many positive reviews and found a discount coupon on Internet. And because it was near Aigaleo metro station and is close to a sports wear shop we wanted to go.

We booked a table and after a shopping at the shop, we headed for the restaurant.

It is in a much frequented area of Aigaleo, but not on any major street.

The place is neither small nor large. There is no outdoor table, but I guess they remove the glass wall on the front in the summer.

The menu is typical of Greek fish restaurants, nothing particularly fancy. It has big fish sold on kilo, but some online critics report that not everything is always available. Interesting thing is that all the seafood/fish items specify how many grams they are.

To kick off, we had half a kilo of white wine. It was very sweet. The waiter (who probably was the owner/manager) told us that it was muscat wine from Tyrnavos. We liked it.

We had salade with rocket, Parmesan, and a very small quantity of walnuts. Nothing particular, but tasted fresh and enjoyable.

And pies from Milos island.

The filling was cheese and some other things that I did not pay much attention to. It was a big hit among Internet critics, but I did not particularly like it.

This is garides saganaki. The prawns were well cleaned and sauce was delicious, but the portion was rather small for the price (if I remember well, it was above 10 Euro).

And fried calamari. Not bad, not particularly good, and definitely more expensive than in Peiraiki, where the normal price for fried calamari is 5 Euro.

Potatoes were also average.

At the end, we were offered two shots of mastiha and the owner wanted offer us another half kilo of white wine (for free). We did not take the offer, but it was a nice gesture.

All in all, if you are in the area, it is a nice, affordable fish taverna, but for us who are in Peiraiki, going to Aigaleo for seafood is a bit of out of the mark.

Thalassa Aigaleo City - Θάλασσα Αιγάλεω City
Moschonision 13, Aigaleo, Athens
Μοσχονησίων 13, Αιγάλεω
Tel. 210 5900185

13 April, 2015

Tsi Tsi @ Glyfada

Today is the final day of the Easter holidays.

To tell you the truth, the Easter holidays are not my favorite holidays. ALERT: If you are very religious, do not read my following statement. As we have to fast and to go to church, I do not feel relaxed. We do not fast as seriously as we used to, but still, these 2 days (Wednesday and Friday of the Easter week) without oil are very difficult. Besides, the traditional Easter dinner after the midnight makes my biological rhythm go crazy. I do not feel all right through the Easter Sunday.

Anyway, it's done now.

The following dinner took place before the Easter week. We fasted the 1st and the last week of the Lenten period, but not the weeks in between.

One weekday evening we found ourselves in Glyfada and decided to eat before we go home. GH preferred to eat meat and we ended up in a modern souvlaki restaurant called Tsi Tsi. Looking at their website, I found out that there are 3 outlets in Athens, the other ones being in Agia Paraskevi and Kifisia. The Glyfada outlet is quite spacious.

When we were seated, a waiter brought us a bottled water and just opened it without asking if we wanted or not. The grilled pitas were also an obligatory order. If you order a main course, it usually comprises pitas anyway. I believe that the starter pitas should be optional, although we probably would have ordered it anyway. Pitas cost 1 Euro (not per a head, but per portion) and water was 1.50 Euro. The Amstel Pils was 4 Euro (I think there were cheaper beers).

Salad Tsi Tsi (7.90 Euro) consisted in lettuces, grilled vegetables, strips of cucumber, and katsiki cheese (the white mass that looks like yogurt in the photo). There was no ingredient that stood out and the elements did not really combine. I would say that it was rather average for 7.90 Euro.

As neither GH nor I do not eat a Greek-size portion of meat alone, we ordered 1 portion of chicken gyros and shared between us. There is not as much meat as it looks because there were pieces of pita under the meat.

The chicken tasted more natural than at other souvlaki shops; it was not so salty and without mysterious spices. If we cook gyros at home, probably we get something similar to this one. 7.90 Euro.

As it did not have fried potatos, GH ordered a portion separately (3 Euro). I snatched some slices and did not find them either particularly delicious or disappointing. In any case, I prefer fried potatoes in stick form and not in slices.

The restaurant gives a huge plate of sweets after the meal (for free, just to be clear) and probably this is the secret of their success.

GH enjoyed it very much, but I thought it was an over-kill after a souvlaki meal.

The total bill came to 25.30 Euro, which is an all-right sort of price.

It is not my favorite, but is fine for a light souvlaki meal.

Tsi Tsi - Τσι Τσι

Leoforos Angelou Metaxa 50
Glyfada, 16674, Greece
Αγγελου Μεταξα 50, Γλυφάδα 16674
Tel. 210-8985531

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