29 March, 2014

Godzilla Sushi Bar @ Marina Flisvos

Quick post about Godzilla Sushi Bar in Marina Floisvou.

Godzilla Sushi Bar was used to be in Psyrri and some time ago it relocated to Marina Flisvos, in Palaio Faliro. The location is a bit strange. It is just next to Mare Marina club/restaurant and it shares the same entrance. I.e. To enter Mare Marina from the south side (I think there is another entrance at the other end), you have to go through Godzilla.

It is a very small restaurant, with a dozen of tables. There is a sushi counter with 2 young Asian sushi chefs, but all the other food seems to be cooked in the kitchen of Mare Marina.

We went with a 29 Euro coupon, so I do knot know the real price, but I am sure that it is on the expensive side due to the location.

The first course was miso soup which was probably the worst I have ever had. They added too much water and it tasted barely miso. To compensate the lack of taste, they added a drop of sesame seed oil. It was entirely wrong.

The second course was Gyoza. Japanese people won't eat gyoza and sushi at the same time, but it does not matter. Problem was that the gyoza (dumplings with minced meat filling) was reheated in a strange manner that the lower part was lukewarm and the upper part was totally cold. I have no idea how they did this magic.

Godzilla salad did not contain any godzilla meat, but with chicken. Sour-sweet sesame dressing was pretty good.

And finally sushi. From the left, spicy tuna maki, salmon nigiri, and prawn and cucumber maki. And the sushi were fine. The spicy tuna maki was clearly the winner, although it was not spicy (it just had some mayonnaise). But again, all tasted all right. Correct sushi.

But the final vegetable noodles were again wrong. They used instant ramen noodles which were not for stir-frying. The noodles fell into short pieces.

GH had an Asahi beer for 6.50 Euro.

I satisfied my curiosity with 29 Euro (+6.50 Euro beer). If I ever come here again, I will eat only sushi and salad.

Godzilla Sushi Bar (by Mare Marina)
Marina Flisvos (Building 6), Palaio Faliro
Μαρίνα Φλοίσβου (Κτίριο 6), Παλαίο Φάληρο
Tel. 210 9822220

16 March, 2014

Palia Xanthi @ Tzitzifies

A couple of months ago, while we were walking in Tzitzifies, we came across a taverna called Palia Xanthi, which I have never heard of. Although it was an odd hour (around 6 o'clock in the afternoon, if I remember well), there were some people eating there and the food looked promising.

So we returned there last week.

The place is rather large. There was smell from the fireplace and kitchen. You'd better avoid coming here with nice clothes because the smell sticks (we regretted afterwards).

The menu contains usual starters, a variety of simple salads, a variety of fish mezedes and main dishes (but not big fish), and again usual grille meats. One thing that notably lacking was Mageirefta (stewed or oven baked food). No moussakas, no pastitsio, no meat cooked in tomato sauce, no stewed vegetables.

And I did not notice anything exotic either, except for Kavourmas. But I have no idea about the food in Xanthi and I might be wrong.

Here are grilled bread with oil and oregano, tyrosalata (which was tyrokafteri), and horta.

All of the above were pretty good with fresh green olive oil.

The fried potatoes came in a big portion, but the oil was slightly stale.

We wanted to order Midopilafo (rice cooked with mussels), but they did not have it. So we decided to try one meat dish. This is a portion of Keftedes (7 Euro).

They looked like biftekia, but the texture was not as meaty. It was like balls of mince treated with a pinch of soda, which gives a bouncy consistency to the meat. I know a Turkish recipe of such meat balls. They were not bad, but I don't think I want to order again.

The "Married Sardines" instead were our favorite of the night (6.50 Euro). These were fillets of sardines facing each other and slices of tomato in between.

A bit salty, but they made a good accompaniment to Vergina Weiss beer that we ordered.

The total bill came to 28 Euro, including a bottle of water (sort of obligatory order) and there was no free dessert or drink.

The price was fair, if not cheap. It seems that during the weekend they have live music. We should be trying one of these nights.

Palia Xanthi - Παλιά Ξάνθη
Pisistratou 87, Tzitzifies, Kallithea, Athens, Greece
Πεισιστράτου 87, Τζιτζιφιές, 17674, Αθήνα
Tel. 210 9403855

15 March, 2014

To Akri @ Piraeus

In the evening of a Friday, we visited a taverna called Akri in Piraiki, on Themistkleous Street. It is about 5 walk from our flat. One of these places which is so close that you do not go.

They recently changed the signage, but everything else is same.

One of the reasons that we have never visited it, even though I have been hearing that the food was good, was that it is not always open and there is no good table outside. The indoor space is not quite attractive either.

This taverna sells specialities from the island of Kasos. I was curious what it was about, but on the menu there are only 3 or 4 choices of such.

I can mention, however, that there is a range of grilled meat. If you do not eat much fish and seafood, it can be convenient.

To start was grilled bread and a bottle of tap water.

Horta was very fresh and tasty.

This is grilled cheese. I asked what cheese was it, but they could not tell. This happens quite often and seems strange. It was good, anyway. The texture was similar to Mastello of Chios.

And again very good fresh fried potatoes (for GH!)

Fried calamari (frozen) was delicious.

And this is one of Kasos speciality, Makaronia Sitaka Kasou, 7 Euro.

It should be cooked with a local cheese called Sitaka, but we were told that this one was made from milk. The girl tried to explained to us as much as she could, but we did not understand how it was prepared. The brown stuff is caramelized onion.

The milk cream had a distinct sour flavour. It was an interesting dish. I don't think I would go back there only to eat this, but I might order it again, once we are there.

At the end we were offered loukoumades donuts. We asked for only two, but they gave us four.

And the bill was only 23.30 Euro including 500ml wine.

The food was as good as it could be in this category of tavernas. We'd return.

To Akri- Το Ακρί
Akti Themistokleous 298, Piraeus
Ακτή Θεμιστοκλέους 298, Πειραϊκή, Πειραίας
Τel. 210 4180110

Coming Back from Mani

On the last day of our trip, we left Areopoli around noon. We have been eaten too much by then that we did not anymore there except for the breakfast at the hotel.

But before leaving, we bought some good stuff from Mani.

Here is Syglino. In supermarkets in Athens, I have never seen Syglino in this format. It is usually already sliced and packed in plastic bags. This original Syglino should be boiled and cooled before consumption, if I understood well. Not really to cook, but to remove extra salt.

This cost only 7.50 Euro per kilo. Dead cheap for cured meat. We bought also sausages with orange peel (it seems that the Maniot sausages usually contain orange peel), 5.50 Euro per kilo. Very good stuff.

And we bought a ball of cheese from laiki market (every Saturday). This is ksinomizithra, 10 Euro (10 Euro per kilo).

The guy wanted to sell us fresh mizithra and feta, but we did not have a good fridge in the hotel room, so we settled on this. Strong sheep/goat milk smell. Pretty good on pasta.

On our way home, we stopped at Sparta for a coffee. I told GH that we might be able to eat, but he was still too stuffed.

Greek coffee with spoon sweets is such a pretty sight, isn't it?

From Sparta, we bought some diples (which can be found in Athens, but they eat these a lot in Lakonia) and syrupy sweets called Samsa. The last one was similar to baklavas, but contained sesame seeds.

We very much enjoyed food in Mani this time.

08 March, 2014

Eating in Mani in February (Areopoli and Limeni)

The third day in Mani started with the breakfast at Areos Polis Hotel. It is a buffet and we served ourselves whatever and as much as we wanted. The most welcome was the coffee; both GH and I want a mug of coffee in the morning, but hotels usually do not server that much. Here we could pour as much as we wanted.

In the buffet, there was a bit of everything. Bread, fruits, scrambled eggs, fried bread, cakes, butter, home-made jam, honey, ham, cheese, cereals. The only thing which usually is but was lacking here was Greek yogurt (but neither GH nor I eat yogurt in the morning and we did not care).

I served myself with a fried bread, honey, a bit of egg, a piece of cheese and a piece of syrupy fruit cake. Excellent breakfast.

In the morning we drove to Itylo to see a monastery and then stopped at Limeni for lunch. Before arriving Limeni, we stopped at Neo Itylo which is situated by the sea. There we found open two tavernas (Ο Μάυρος Πειρατής- Black Pirate and Καραβοπέτρα - Karavopetra). We expected to find more in Limeni, but to our disappointment only one fish tavern, Takis (Ο Τάκης), was open. This is a problem of travelling Greece in the winter; whenever you go (except for the autumn & winter destinations like ski resorts or mountains, of course), we find many shops and restaurants closed.

Takis seems to be a quite famous fish restaurant in the region and is reputed to be expensive. So we ordered cautiously.

Taramosalata and broccoli.

Taramosalata was excellent and went so well with fresh bread. This was the only good bread we ate during our visit in Mani. In other places the bread was always stale and even grilling did not totally restore the goodness. I am not sure if it was because of the season (= few visitors) or the people there do not care much about freshly baked bread.

The broccoli was fine and I would like to mention that the stems were cleaned (i.e. the outer skin was peeled).

And fried fresh calamari ("fresh", meaning not-frozen). We ordered 300g., but I think it was less, because the charge was less (it should have been about 10 Euro for 300g., but actually was 8 Euro). I guess they just brought us one portion.

When GH saw this portion (small, according to him), he got restless and ordered also fried potatoes.

I have no idea why he think he must feel stuffed at restaurants. If we do not get stuffed, we can go for an ice cream or a cake afterwards. Or, we can eat dinner (you will know what I mean).

GH's worry turned out to be unnecessary, because one portion of garidomakaronada (spaghetti with prawns) was huge.

It was one of the best garidomakaronades that I have ever eaten. The spaghetti was freshly boiled al dente (it took quite a while for the dish to arrive and we understood why when we ate it). Prawns were large and fresh. It cost 17 Euro and absolutely worth it.

At the end, we were offered spoon-sweets of sour cherries.

The total bill came to 42 Euro, which I think was fair for what we ate. The environment was also nice. The service staff was not quite attentive (for example, when I asked salt for broccoli they brought us two peppers and afterward it was very difficult to attract their attention), but not tragically so. In summer, with more diners, it might get worse.

Takis - Ο Τάκης
Limeni, Lakonia
Λιμένι Λακωνίας
Tel. 27330 51327

GH was absolutely stuffed and he was almost feeling ill until the next morning (NOT poisoned by the food, he just ate too much). We had to skip dinner ... again.

But not wanting to stay at the hotel all the evening, we went out for a drink. In Areopoli there are 4 or 5 bars and they get quite busy in weekend evenings, even in February. We entered one of them and had a coke (2.50 Euro) and half-sweet wine (3.50 Euro).

It was a nice evening.

03 March, 2014

Eating in Mani in February (Cape Tenaro and Areopoli)

The second day in Mani started with the breakfast at the hotel. We stayed at a pension called O Gerolimenas aka O Pyrgos Theodorakaki. The building is a very nicely refurbished "pyrgos", traditional to Mani region. As it was off season, we stayed in a double room with breakfast only for 50 Euro and even got a room with sea view. Very happy with our choice.

Now about the breakfast. The owner of the Pyrgos has also the adjacent building which contains a taverna called Akrogiali. The breakfast was served there. As the waiter asked us what we wanted to eat, I guess we could order whatever we wanted (i.e., eggs, ham, etc.), but GB and I ordered only bread, butter and jam/honey, because that is what we normally eat.

The bread and coffee were not so good, but freshly squeezed orange juice and fried bread were superb. We ate a lot.

The big breakfast surely helped us to walk all the way to the light house of Cape Tenaro (or Cape Matapan). It is the southern most point of Greek mainland and the second southern most point of European continent after Gibraltar. It took us almost 45 minute to walk from the parking to the light house and the same to come back. We did stop several time to take pictures, but did not walk slowly.

It was a rather cold day and we needed to eat something after the walk. At the cape, there is one taverna (whose name I suppose is Akro Tenaro, but it was not written anywhere) and we settled there.

As it was February, they had only grilled meat and no fish/seafood. So we ordered tyrokafteri, horta, feta and local sausage. GH maintained we should have ordered more, but I convinced him not to so that we could eat also dinner (I am not sure if you noticed that we skipped the dinner because we did not feel hungry after the late lunch).

I did not like this feta and bread so much but all the else were fine. Especially good was the meaty sausage.

One of the best Greek sausages I have ever eaten. Very lean and full of smokey cured meat flavour. The local sausages of Mani usually contain orange peel and also this one.

I think the bill was about 25 Euro, but not very sure.

We arrived at Areopoli in the later afternoon. In comparison to the villages in Mani, Areopoli looked almost urban with many bars and some cafeterias. As we were thirsty for decent coffee, we entered this nicely decorated Cafe Areopoli.

We wanted Greek syrupy cakes like portokalopita or karydopita, but they were off (I suppose they have them in better seasons, as they were on the menu). We got a chocolate cake instead.

The cafeteria was very warm and cozy with fully functioning wifi internet connection. We were pleased.

And there came the evening. To be honest we were not hungry, but not so full that could not eat at all. We asked the hotelier if there is any mezedopoleio and he suggested this one called To Mavromichaleiko, which offers 10% discount for those staying at his hotel.

The strange decoration was due to the carnival season. We were the first customers to arrived, but then 3 or 4 couples came in. We ordered 3 dishes only.

Melitzanosalata was mayonnaisy variety and we did not like it. The bread came in abundance, but was stale; little grilling would have helped it much.

A house special, Orange salad with boiled potatoes, chtypiti (sort of tyrokafteri), and spring onion. Never had such a combination and it was revealing.

Our main dish was pork morsels cooked in wine and orange juice with raisins, served on top of piled fried potatoes. Again, a pretty strong dish.

All came in huge portion. Later I told the hotelier that those could not be called "mezedes" and he agreed.

The bill including wine was 26 Euro, but we got 10% discount and paid 23 Euro + tip. I remember that we struggled to get the receipt, though.

To Mavromichaleiko- Το Μαυρομιχαλαΐικο
Matapan Street (central street), Areopoli
Οδός Ματαπαν, Αρεόπολη
Tel. 27330 51585

01 March, 2014

Eating in Mani in February (Gythio)

Some food related photo from our last trip to Mani peninsula. The other photos, I hope, can be uploaded to mesogeia.net when GH repairs the server. He promised that it should be ready this weekend, but I have been hearing it for half a year now.

Our first day to Mani, we stopped at Gythio for a walk. It was not the fist time as we had visited the town 4 years ago. But on that occasion, we did not eat anything here except for a breakfast at a coffee shop. So we did not know where to eat. It wasn't even in our plan, but GH said he was hungry and needed to eat.

The first place I thought of was this taverna called Trata, which was recommended to us four years ago by a hotelman but we did not have chance to visit. And we did not have chance this time either, as it was undergoing a refurbishment.

Another obvious place to eat should be a fish taverna called Saga, but it was so all over guidebooks that I avoided (it does not mean anything, though).

It was an afternoon of a weekday and it was not even a tourism season, so most of the tavernas were totally empty. The only place which looked relatively busy was this 90moires (90 degrees). The name obviously comes from the fact it occupies a corner and has 90 degree view.

It was a warm day, but not as warm as to be seated outside. Well, there were people seated outside, but I don't like it when the food gets cold quickly eating al fresco.

Being in front of the sea, the obvious choice is seafood, but it also had meat. As we had eaten seafood several days before, we chose meat this time. But first come the starters, tzatziki (3.50 Euro) and horta (4.50 Euro). Both pretty good. There was grilled bread as well, although not in this photo.

GH ordered kokoras krasatos with fried potatoes. It cost whipping 9 Euro. GH said that it was very good, though.

I had Syglino, which is smoked pork, a specialty of Mani.

I have never seen Syglino served in this way. To me Syglino is usually served as meze (in small portion), if not cooked with something else (egg, beans etc). Here Syglino was served in big chunks as if they were ham steaks or Chinese roast pork. They were slightly warm as well (probably it was tossed in oven for a short while together with the garnish). Excellent dish and it cost only 7 Euro.

At the end we were offered small pieces of semolina halvas (on the house). With almond and orange zest inside and honey and cinnamon on top, it was very good.

Together with a bottle of beer and a bottle of mineral water, the bill came to 30 Euro. But we ordered only 4 dishes of relatively low price. Normally you'd better expect to pay 20 Euro p.p. (if you are in group of 3 or more, it can be lower than 20, though).

The food and service were pretty good, so I'd love to come back to try other stuff (and eat again Syglino).

Eneninta Mires - 90 ΜΟΙΡΕΣ
Tzanni Tzanetaki, Gythio, Lakonia
Τζανετάκη Τζαννή, Γύθειο
Tel. 27330 25425


This is an image of the Maniot fried bread that I wrote about in the previous post. Just seeing the photo, I did not quite make out what it was.

Even if your hotel do not serve it as breakfast, you can find it in some cafeterias or pie shops that sell as snack.

And this is an unrelated photo from Giannoulakis in Aspropyrgos (Elefsina). Giannoulakis is a large bakery on the road from Piraeus to Olympia Odos highway. Whenever we travel to Peloponnese we stop here for a snack and coffee. I had an excellent mushroom pie this time.

It has a large selection of fresh pies. If you like such stuff, I recommend you try it.