Sunday, 6 November 2011

Restaurant Review: Xanthi, Sydney


The former Greek restaurant Perama in Petersham was one of my top eats. The banquet menu was excellent for groups and I used to recommend the place without hesitation. I was curious, and a little bit sad, when I heard that the Perama crew were shutting up shop and relocating to the Westfield shopping centre to open Xanthi. Would they be selling out? Or raising their prices dramatically?

I met up with Simon and two other friends to find out. The tiled outside of the kitchen is very cool and reminiscent of sun kissed Greece. However, I was a little bit less sure of the interior. I couldn't quite decide if the drapes and carpeted booths looked traditional or just a bit cheap?

Enough of my dodgy interior design critique. How was the food? Seven out of ten by my reckoning. Simon was keen to order a 200ml bottle of ouzo which comes with three ouzomezedakia (share plates). Rather than ordering any main dishes we ordered seven further of the share plates which was a great way to sample a range of food from the menu.

I thought seven of the share plates were hits and three not quite so good (hence my score). My highlights were the sheftalies: spiced pork meatballs, loukanika: Greek style sausages and the school prawns. They all had unique flavours, great textures and left me wanting more.

The only dish that wasn't really worth the effort was the calamari. It arrived 20mins after everything else and only after prompting the staff a couple of times. When it did appear the calamari was chewy and then appeared on our bill twice! In fairness the bill was swiftly corrected when we highlighted the error and the staff were very apologetic about the delay giving us a complimentary glass of dessert wine.

Overall I really enjoyed Xanthi. Seven hits and three average (not bad) dishes really is a good score. I'm pleased to report that the prices were reasonable too, the total bill came to $99. The waiters were friendly and helpful with recommendations, especially the smiling Spyros and restaurant manager Rachel.

I've already been recommending Xanthi and have added it to my top eats page.


The pork meatballs were one of my favourites. They had a home style, open texture and a mild flavour from the herbs.


I would have believed the smoked and cured lamb cutlets were actually pork if you'd given them to me blind folded. The smoked flavour made me think of German sausages. The Greek sausages were another hit. One of my three favourite dishes.


The school prawns were another one of my favourites. There was a sweetness from the honeyed almonds and crunch from the prawns. Moorish. The croquettes were one of my three disappointments. They were a bit bland for me.


The zucchini fritters were a little bit gluggy. My second disappointment. Mum certainly knows how to make vine leaves though.


The calamari was late and chewy when it did arrive. However, the ice cream baklava was a fine end to the meal.

Xanthi Bar and Restaurant
100 Market St
Level 6, Westfield
Sydney
2000

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant on Urbanspoon

4 comments:

  1. I'm curious to try Xanthi too...though I'm abit sad they shut up their Petersham shop. I really want to try their ice-cream baklava...and the pork belly baklava too.

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  2. nice recap. i think i was in 2 minds about the decor as well :-)

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  3. I popped in just before I left Sydney- but forgot to take any photos (I blame my enthusiastic sampling of the Greek wine list). The fact that there's still somewhere in Sydney to get pork belly baklava was a winning point for me.

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  4. @Tori - yes, I was pleased to see it still on the menu, although I didn't try it this time.

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