28 September, 2009

Rivisting Fish-Taverna Without Name

These days I have been quite busy and tired, such that I could not bring myself to write this blog, which - to be honest - not the priority of my life.

But, this does not mean that I stopped to live or to photograph; now I have accumulate quite a lot to write about.

However, I am still out of energy. Not because I am tried, but it seems I caught cold. It was quite chilly yesterday, and while having lunch outdoor, I mush have chilled myself too much. I don't feel very well at this moment, and for this reason, I am kicking off with a short post.

Several days ago, Hubby and I returned to the fish-tavern-without-name in our neighbourhood, as I was far too tired to cook after a long journey.

They don't have many items on the 'menu' which actually does not exist and should be recited by a waitress; various fish and shellfish, salads, fried potatoes, and a few other mezedakia (they had feta saganaki, courgette balls, fava on that day).

This is mixed salad.

And grilled squid (thrapsala) which Hubby loves.

We had also feta saganaki, chips, a bottle of beer and a bottle of water. All for about 21 euros.

You see. Here, food is fresh and nice, but nothing fancy and the cooking isn't that good to brow your mind. This is a sort of taverna where neighbours gather when they don't bother to cook or when they want to chat with neighbours over some plates and ouzo. I don't think it worth travelling to visit this place, but we are lucky to have it in 5 min walk from our flat.

15 September, 2009

Lunch in Anaxos, Lesvos

Some time ago I uploaded a page about Anaxos in Lesvos.


And the following are the photos I did not use there.

On arriving Anaxos where we booked a studio for 2 nights, we were starved. Walking toward the beach, we just entered almost the first taverna that we found. I think it was called Elafina, but not so sure. It looked quite touristic, but had a nice shadey garden, so we settled on it. I would have walked kilometers to look around other places, but Hubby is not as enthusiastic about food as I am and we usually find a way to compromise.

Strangely decorated Greek salad.

Greek salad

Feta cheese was surprisingly small for Greek standard. It was more like cream cheese than usual feta (not that I am saying it wasn't feta; feta cheese has wider variety than we non-Greeks think). Olives also looked like those from glass jar. Nevertheless, the veggies were fresh and more than edible.

Hubby ordered brizola of moshari, meaning veal steak.

Greeks burn the steaks to death and that is why I never order veal steak, but Hubby is Greek and did not mind it. He said it was OK and was happy that it came with chips, which were frozen ones and oily, but not bad in terms of taste. I mean, they were sweet and not burnt.

I ordered hirino tigania (pan fried pork morsels braised in white wine with onion and green pepper).

This again wasn't particularly good, but not bad either. It was fine. Generous portion and, again, with edible chips.

After the meal, they offered us a plate of water melon.

We ordered also a glass of beer and a bottle of water. The total bill was only €22.

I would have preferred to pay more to get better and more interesting food, but at the same time I admit that it was very good value. So we walked out quite happily.

13 September, 2009

Fresh @ Kolonaki, Athens

Went to Fresh patisserie in Kolonaki yesterday. It is a small confectioner cum cafeteria (only several tables for eat-in) in Kolonaki area, but it is probably closer to Syntagma Square than Kolonaki Square itself.

When we arrived at around 7 o'clock there was no one else eating in, although some people dropped in to buy cakes.

We order a cappuccuno (€3.80), a Greek coffee (€2.80), and ... I went to look for sweets. On the menu, there are only tarts for a bit less than 7 euros. I thought it was too much and went inside the shop to look through.

Unfortunately for us, most of the things they have are either tarts, chocolatey stuff, or moussey things, i.e. things neither I nor Hubby like. Finally I settle on small cakes with cream and orange flavour for €0.90 each.

When I ordered, I thought this price was only for take out and expected to pay more, but, in fact, we were charged as it was written on the cake fridge. This made me wonder what are the prices on the menu were. Most of the tarts in the fridge were around €3.50. If we order from the 'carte', maybe they will prop them up with whipped cream and some slices of fruits, but still €3 for that looks to much. I have seen this technique elsewhere, but I cannot agree with the strategy (if my supposition is correct, of course).

The cakes were actually quite good; strong dairy and orange flavour in the moussey cream and almond-rich sponge as the base.

The coffees however were not particularly good; I might go back to buy cake, but not to drink coffee.

The shop offers salads and light-lunch sort of food as well for around €13.

Fresh Haute Patisserie
Kriezotou 12, Athens

11 September, 2009

Greek Shishito Peppers

Found these peppers at Laiki market.

The manavis (vegetable seller) said these were neither hot nor sweet, so I decided to try what it is about.

Actually many of them are quite hot; not as hot as, say, Thai green chilies, but they should be definitely classified as chilies rather than peppers.

Not that I am complaining. On the contrary, we liked them quite a lot. They reminded me of Japanese shishito peppers in good old days. Tens of years ago (in my childhood), shishito peppers could be hot or sweet and they were sold mixed. They were like Russian Roulet; we never knew what were biting into.

Alas, now because of 'improvement', all the shishito peppers are sweet and thrill of living is now gone.

I wish I could find these Greek shishito peppers oftener, but they are rare in the market and probably they will get out of season anyway.

Could not help thinking what the Greek people - who usually do not eat anything very hot - who bought these peppers did with them. ha ha ha

10 September, 2009

Aubergine Out of Season?

When the aubergine is in season in Greece?

A several days ago, I bought some aubergines from laiki market. I asked the seller if it was the right kind of aubergine to make melitzanosalata and she said "yes".

When I cut them, however, I noticed that the seeds were far to large, and it turned out that they tasted quite bitter. I like bitter veggies, but in this case, the bitterness overpowered the characteristic sweetness of aubergine and it wasn't right.

Now that I remember, the aubergines I bought before these were also very seedy and the melitsanosalata I ate a few weeks ago contained also hard seeds.

Are the aubergines in Greece already out of season?

This surprises me because in my home country, Japan, autumn aubergines are thought to be good.

Lessens learnt, and I will be more cautious when I buy aubergines next time.

04 September, 2009

Greek Wafer Pies

When you get ferryboat stopping at Chios island, you always - however late in the night or however early in the morning - see sweets sellers. I don't know why they are allowed to come into the boat, but they are, and they leave before the boat leaves the port.

On our way home from Lesvos, we decided to buy one to see what it tastes like.

The package says "pita me mastiha".

Let's open...

It is a white substance sandwiched by two thin wafers (by the way, this is Hubby's hand).

The white substance is very sugary fluffy soft stuff flavoured with mastiha (sap from mastiha trees). We did not particularly like it. As neither Hubby nor I like mastiha in sweets, it is no wonder. It cost whipping 1.50 euros! It used to be 1 euro a piece. It is a rip-off! (By the way, this is my hand.)

I tried the same sort of thing from Mastihashop (actually I bought it from Loumides shop, but it is product of Mastihashop). Same price, but it is about 50% heavier.

It is the same sort, but this one does not include mastiha and has honey instead (and bigger almonds).

We liked this one quite a lot. It is also sugary, but honey gives a nice flavour and melt-in-the-mouth consistency is also very pleasant.

If you feel like trying these wafer pies, I recommend to try Mastihashop products (you can find them in Mastihashops in Athens, in majour groceries, or in Athens airport). They come in three flavours and one is with mastiha.

01 September, 2009

Waffle @ Waffle House, Vouliagmeni

Went to Waffle House in Vouliagmeni this Sunday, as Bro-in-Law (the younger) and his wife took us their by their car. For Hubby and I who do not have car, it is tacky to go any farther than Voula.

We arrived at around 6 o'clock and the place was absolutely packed. As there isn't waiting queue for tables, we needed to watch and snatch any one being vacated.

In 10 min., we were seated, or rather more correctly, we seated.

The clientele is mainly 20-35 year old, fashionable, seemingly wealthy people (inevitably there are people who come here to be seen rich and beautiful). Our group of 8, dressed down, 35-45 year old, looked slightly odd.

Last time we were here, we had only coffee and an ice cream. This time we were determined to try waffle.

In Waffle House, you can order waffles either from already combined sets or from individual parts for you to combine. We did the latter. I ordered 1 waffle, 1 crema pasticeria ice cream, whipped cream (not fresh), and hot milk chocolate sauce (it is hot when it is poured, but gets solid when it comes onto ice cream).

The waffle here is very light and fluffy. Even I - I am not a big eater and little tolerance for anything very sweet - could have eaten 2 pieces. On the other hand, we did not like the ice cream, and at this second attempt, I am afraid we - Hubby and I - do not like the ice cream here (it is a matter of taste; the other people of the group like it).

The price is 5.5 euros; not bad for Attica coast standard. But, personally, I prefer waffles of Flocafé.

Note: The other people in our group have been to Waffle House in Naxos and they said that the waffle was thicker and better there.