29 June, 2014

Flavour @ Nea Smyrni (Syggrou Av.)

On Saturdays, we usually go to grocery shopping, gym and my in-law's house and that is pretty much a full-day programme.

Yesterday, however, we broke the routine and did not go to the gym, because I caught cold and was not in shape. So, after the grocery shopping and planning the summer vacation (we are going to Samos in the later half of July), we went to eat pizza.

First we thought of going to Ciao Italia on Syggrou Avenue, but then found on Foursquare another restaurant called Flavour exactly at the same place. As we have been already to Ciao Italia in the past (for a coffee and cake), we decided to try the other one.

The name Flavour might not say anything to you, but if you have past Syggrou Avenue several times, probably you recognise this.

To be honest, I do not recall what shop used to be here (Starbucks maybe?), but it was closed down about at the same time as was Simply Burgers next door (which is now occupied by a high-end-but-not-expensive souvlaki restaurant called Masina). Evidently all there 3 restaurants share the same address, Leof. Syggrou 133. Flavour looks like a cafeteria and you might not have realised that it is actually a restaurant-cafeteria.

Here is the interior. There are some tables outside, but they are not attractive because of the traffic of Syggrou. Inside, although, is another world. Pretty spacious and pleasant (except that they allow smoking indoors).

We went there at a strange hour (at 5 or 6), so menus on the tables were for coffee and drinks. A waitress, however, asked us if we wanted a food menu and it was quickly supplied. The menu includes starters, salads, risotti, pizze, pasta, and main dishes (meats), so I would definite it as an Italian restaurant.

We ordered a pizza sticking to the first intention, but then GH got problemataized in ordering only 1 dish and he added a salad.

The first to arrive was bread. I really do not need bread to eat pizza, but we were not given a choice. If you do not want it, maybe you can tell waiters when you order. The bread itself, however, was pretty good. It was all served warm and accompanied by cream cheese based dip (that you can see on the right edge of the photo).

It costs 80 cents p.p., but if you want bread, it has a good value for money.

To my surprise, they brought an amuse-bouche as well. It is a vegetable soup in a small glass cup.

From the taste point of view it was nothing special, but was pleasant.

This is spinach salad with grilled manouri cheese. A good salad, with difference.

The pizza we ordered was with cheese, ham and rocket (I think it was named prociutto).

Unfortunately it was not so good. The dough was tough without being crispy and the cheese was a wrong kind to be used for pizza, too salty and gooey. It could have been better with a bit of more effort.

And again to our surprise, they offered a free dessert.

It was a lemon cream with lime zest packed in a small glass jar together with biscuit crumbs and caramel sauce.

GH ordered also a cold expresso, which came with pieces of cake.

The total bill, including a small bottle of diet coke, came to 22.90 Euro. Without coffee, it was just under 20 Euro, which I think is a quite good value for money. Besides, the place is really pleasant and the waiters/waitresses quite professional.

We did not like the pizza, but we are willing to try something else at the next time.

Leoforos A. Syggrou 133,
Nea Smyrni, 117 45, Athens
Λεωφόρος Συγγρού 133, Νέα Σμύρνη, 11745 Αθήνα
Tel. 210 9310935

21 June, 2014

Aialis @ Palaio Faliro

One Sunday, we went to a small 'Politiki' restaurant called Aialis in Palio Faliro. You would never learn the existence of such a small cafe/restaurant, if you do not live in the neighbourhood and if there were not internet. Of course this is a pure hypothesis and with the world wide web, you can learn quite a lot about a small restaurant in a town 50 (or 5000) KM away from you.

Indeed it was how I heard about this place. Although I work in the same neighbourhood, as it is located on a side road not visible from a major street, I would never have noticed it if I had not read about it before.

It is quite a small place, maybe with only 7 or 8 tables. In the decor wise, there is not much to say. It looks more like a kafenio than a taverna.

The menu is not long, but neither short for such a small place. We picked up some characteristic dishes.

OK. This one is the least characteristic. Fried potatoes. They look burnt, but tasted ok. Freshly cooked.

This is pastourmadopita (pita kaissarias). Inside the Turkish style fine fyllo, there are yellow cheese, tomato and pastourmas. It was tasty, but the core was strangely cold. This is of course a sign that it was frozen (or it was not well defrosted). I read in reviews of this place that the pastourmadopita here was freshly wrapped and fried. Well, our example showed me that it does not happen every day.

Cioban salad was OK. Nothing spectacular.

This is much praised manti. Each dumpling was very small and I admire the amount of labour put into it. My complaint was that the filling was so little that I scarcely tasted meat. It was fine as pasta dish, but not as meat dumpling dish.

The chopped and fried liver came at the moment when we finished most of the other dishes. It was unfortunate because I am the only person who eat liver (GH never touches liver). By consequence, I had to keep on eating fried (rather oily) liver alone when I was almost full.

Together with a bottle of pleasant Ionian beer (4 Euro), the bill came to 28 Euro. Not expensive, but, when I take into consideration the quality of the food and the service, I won't say it was cheap. It was just average.

Although I won't say that I disliked the place or I regretted to have tried it, one visit is probably enough for me.

Alkyonis 27, Palaio Faliro, 17561
Αλκυόνης 27, Π. Φάληρο, 17561
Tel. 212 1003311 

13 June, 2014

Το Καπάκι @ Ag. Eirene Square

A cafe bar with lots of colors. Athenian-bohemian feel (I hope the Athenians can catch what I mean). It serves snacks as well as all the drinks with or without alcohol.

To Kapaki - Το Καπάκι
Platia Agias Irinis 6, Athens, 105 60

01 June, 2014

Aegina Island Excursion

We went to Aegina island last Sunday. Here are some photos from there.

This time we traveled this ferry boat called Achaios, which Hellenic Seaways started to using for this line this year. Normal ticket cost 9.50 Euro per person, but there are discounts if you buy return of if you choose less busy hours. It takes 1 hour and 10 min. from Piraeus to Aegina town.

Small chapel in Aegina port, which is dedicated to Saint Nikolaos (who else?)

Fishing boats in the port.

Aegina town has many attractive narrow streets, typical of Greek islands. Bougainvilliers were beautiful.

Another of the narrow streets of Aegina town.


Souvlaki place called The Black Cat with a humorous sign board.

Another souvlaki place. It does not show in the photo, but I can tell you this is called Tenekedakia, which I suppose is a branch of the Tenekediakia in Halandri. When I came here last time (maybe 4 years ago), it was an Oriental souvlaki place called Ex Anatolis. I remember because I ate there once.

A kitten having a nap (but then I poked it and woke up).

One of the cafeterias of Aegina town.

This time we hired bicycles (5 Euro per day for a rather shabby one) and went as far as Perdika.

We have tried in the past the beaches in Aegina town and Agia Marina, but they were disappointing. These beaches toward Perdika looked more promising. We might come back to try one, when it is hotter.

For more photos of Aegina that I took in the past, please see Gate to Greece site.