12 June, 2009

Mega Squid Lunch

Last Monday (Tou Agiou Pneumatos - Holy Spirit - Holiday) was a very hot day as it is for these several days and we decided to go for a lunch by the sea, on Piraiki coast where there was a lot of people swimming in the sea.

We went to a fish restaurant called O Pharos (or O Faros) meaning the Lighthouse. It is the last but one of the restaurants lining the Akti Themistokleous. This is our second visit, and I think it is an OK sort of restaurants, but the locals seem to like it and the price is relatively low for the restaurants by the sea. I don't like the bullish owner or manager, although the waiters are all pretty good.

Anyway, this is the view from our table.

If you thought "How nice!", I have to give you some warning. The road in front of us, Akti Themistokleous, is heavily used road regardless of the season and you have to endure the cars passing constantly beside you. If you want to avoid this problem in Peiraiki, go to the restaurants which are standing on a higher ground (like Tsakos or even Diasimos which has the upper floor) or those standing slightly away from the road (like Marko Antonio).

Besides, it was very very hot, boilingly hot. No air-conditioning (OK, it was pretty obvious as it is an open-air terrace), no fan at all. We you have a table more in inside, i.e. not by the road side, evidently it is cooler, but we did not know that when we chose our table.

Now, these are the things we ate.

Big salad for two (€2.50 x 2).

A huge portion of row veggie and some pickles.

Melitzanosalata (€5).


I don't know what did they do to the aubergine, but it was very mashy and wasn't good. Too salty as well.

Atherina (don't remember how much was it, but was around 5 or 6).

Atherina is arguably the most flavoursome of the small fishes in Greece. They were well cooked - crispy and not oily - but fish themselves weren't as tasty as the ones I have eaten elsewhere. They are more tasty when they bear roe, but they didn't. Passable, not memorable.

As you see, the table was quite full already.

But we had ordered more.

Fried potatoes (chips).

They looked hand-cut, but they are strangely soggy, not crispy.

This is the dish of the day. We wanted grilled sardine, but they did not have it. I thought of grilled small squids, but they did not have them either and we ended up in ordering from big fish section (sold by kilo).

The owner showed us the squid (I think this is thrapsala, although it is sold as kalamari) before cooking. When we saw it, we thought OK, but it was actually really huge when put on the plate.

Being a person who lived in Japan for decades, I have eaten better grilled squid many times (if you have not been to Japan, I can tell you the country is a fish heaven where you eat very fresh fish for reasonable price), but it was not bad and the Greek husband, who have never eaten - or at least he thinks so - big grilled squid, loved it. The price tag - €20.80 - wasn't bad either, although we would preferred it to be smaller, as it was just too much for just two of us.

Oh, and this is ladolemono (lemon and olive oil mixture) that came with the squid.

With a bottle of beer and a bottle of water, the bill came to €44. It is high for our meal and it is squid's fault. If we were sharing the meal with other people, we would have spent less in proportion, i.e. we ate far too much.

Akti Themistokleous 344, Piraeus
Tel. 210-4518908.

Ο Φάρος
Ακτή Θεμιστοκλέους 344, Πειραιάς
Τηλ. 210-4518908.

After being boiled at the Faros, we entered a nearby coffee shop with air-con too chill us down.

We had Greek coffees and we found them fragrant. We will be back in hot evenings.

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