Visited White Elephant in Halandri.
Now in Athens there are Red Elephant, Pink Elephant and White Elephant and all of them are between Ambelokipi and Halandri. The Red and Pink Elephants are Indian restaurant and White Elephant is Japanese-Chinese, if I understood well the concept.
This is not sort of the restaurants I would get attracted, but it happened that a friend of ours bought a coupon of this place which she could not use in time and gave it to us. It cost 39.90 Euro for a sushi meal for 2.
The location is just by Agia Paraskevi metro station, which actually is in dimos Halandriou.
The premises have garden and a pool. It should be really nice in warmer seasons, but now it is winter and everyone was inside.
There were actually several groups & couples of people there, but we were taken to this corner maybe because we were with a coupon. Later another group with coupon were led here. Although we requested a table for non-smokers, the our actual table was next to (unofficial) smokers' corner and we needed to change tables.
The coupon included 2 glasses of wine (or sake) and 1 bottle of water, so we did not have to order anything to drink.
The 1st starter was prawn tempura and baby spinach salad, which was supposed to cost 16.50 Euro.
Here I have a disclosure: I lived in Japan for 30 years of my life.
And I say that the tempura butter here was wrong. It was too spongy. It was like home-made tempura than something made at restaurants. And, there was no sauce (in Japan, it is normally eaten with dashi dipping-sauce, or with some salt). I would call it a some Asian-fusion buttered prawns, which tasted good, if you don't think it was a tempura.
The other starter was edamame, which is young soybeans. In Japan, it is a favorite beer companion. It was quite good (it is difficult to go wrong with edamame), although I thought they put too much grainy sea salt.
First sushi was salmon and prawn nigiri. Here the rice was wrong; it was not cooked to core. Probably they did not use a good rice-cooker or did not use a right setting. The salmon and prawns were good. Original price is 8.90 Euro for a set of 3 each.
And 2 sorts of maki. 1 was salmon ura-maki with spicy mayo and the other was smoke salmon-maki with avocado. Original price is 9.80 Euro each (not each piece, but each bar).
There the problem with the rice persisted, but it was less noticeable because of the proportion of fish and avocado was quite large. I'd prefer maki to nigiri here.
To finish was a glass of sorbet for 2. From the start, the waiters kept on saying that we would have lemon sorbet, but what actually arrived was strawberry sorbet. Weird. If they did not have lemon sorbet, they did not have to tell us that they would bring us lemon sorbet (more than once).
And they gave us normal receipt, which shows that the reduction on the coupon was genuine.
All in all, the food was not bad, especially for someone who is not actually Japanese (or Far-East Asians who have frequent contact with Japanese food). The price, however, seemed too high for the food they offer. If you do not mind paying extra for nice environment, it might be fine, but I do. I would rather pay for the food than for the interior decoration.
It is not my sort of restaurants, as I had suspected even before the visit.
And I did not like this statue at the entrance. What do you think?
Ag. Paraskevis 124, Halandri, Athens
Αγ. Παρασκευής 124, Χαλάνδρι, Αθήνα