Cretan Odyssey and the Commemoration of the Battle of Crete dinner @ Xanthi
The rustic stuffed calamari was plate-licking good! The sauce was strong, deep and full of flavours, yet it did not overpower the sweetness of the calamari and prawns. A hint of oriental spices gave the dish another level of taste. The refreshing coleslaw on the side was beautiful!
David who loves exploring regional Greek food told us to look out for more regional dinners to come. This is exactly our cup of tea, so we will definitely be coming back for more. Actually, we already have one lined up: The Tastes of Alexander the Great!
I highly recommend trying Xanthi. I loved that they were Greek to the small details of beverages and even the olive oil on the table. There were many ‘classic’ Greek offerings like the dips and Greek salad, but I noticed plenty of less common dishes on the menu too. The lunch special was excellent value and we were full to the brim afterwards. Also, because it’s a set menu, all the food was brought out quite quickly too. Our waiters were friendly, which added to the pleasant experience.
We were really indecisive about our second dessert. We were tossing up between the Banana Ekmek and Garden of Aphrodite until David came along and recommended the banana ekmek as more of a sharing dessert so banana ekmek it was! There were two banana pieces which were wrapped with kataifi to make them very reminiscent of the banana fritters I’ve had at Ms G’s! I loved the crunchy exterior dusted with cinnamon. Who doesn’t love cinnamon? :D There was also a quenelle of chocolate mousse which was fluffy yet rich at the same time. The salted caramel was served as two small cubes and were very thick - almost the consistency of fudge but not quite…
We left very full at the end of our meal and very satisfied with the quality of the dishes. I would definitely say Xanthi s one of my favourites. Service is friendly and food is consistently delicious!
Homeric Beef $33 - barbecued eye fillet with a red wine and thyme jus served with a broad bean and graviera barley risotto and crumbed artichokes
… the food at Xanthi was delicious, everything was cooked so well, the meat was succulent and the pork belly baklava - no words. I will aim to eat there again before I die and highly recommend it to you all out there. It. Was. Freaking. Amazing.
Not knowing how long it would be before we could return, we had to sample at least two desserts, the intriguing and aptly named Garden of Aphrodite - an eden of honey milk panna cotta, caramelised figs, candied almonds and almond milk sorbet.
The figs had us salivating with the toffee-glaze cracklingly crisp and the panna cotta was smooth, suitably wobbly and not overly sweet.
The second dessert was the Banana Ekmek - baked kataifi (fine strands of wheat pastry) wrapped bananas served with spiced chocolate mousse and salted caramel.
Reminiscent of a banana fritter without the oily residue, the pieces of caramel fudge added texture to the smooth perfectly salted caramel sauce. The mousse was spiced with cinnamon.
With its generous serves and variety of dishes on offer and young, enthusiastic and unobtrusive waitstaff, there is plenty for us to return to and I’m guessing it won’t be too long before we do!
We either select our starters incredibly well, or they are all just phenomenal. The Barbecued Cypriot Haloumi served with diced honey peppered figs takes our longstanding love of haloumi to a whole new level. The sweetness of the dried figs is a beautiful match for the salty barbecued haloumi…
Our last sharing plate is the XFC – Xanthi Fried Chicken. My fellow diners are fried chicken lovers so there was no question that this was going to be ordered. The chicken was cooked to perfection - juicy with a crunchy batter. What made it explode in the mouth was the creamy garlic sauce. Oh my worddddddddd. Chicken and garlic sauce is the best combination ever…
Fried Calamari – Lightly floured and served with ouzo mayonnaise.
This dish was absolutely divine! The calamari was beautifully cooked with a subtle smokey flavour and combined with the ouzo mayonnaise, made for an amazingly delicious eat. My only qualm was that it ran out way too quick!
Last month Westfield Sydney was held the Chef’s Club, where on Tuesday nights restaurants offered various dishes and meals for $30. Joseph and I took this opportunity to check out Xanthi Bar and Restaurant, where we feasted on a hearty four course Greek banquet for an incredibly humble price…
Of course when dining with Joseph, a side of fried potato is always obligatory so we ordered grandma’s chips to go with our meal. Not your ordinary plate of fries, the bowl was filled with chunky potato chips, crumbled fresh ricotta and topped with a fried runny egg and oregano. Maybe not traditional but definitely soul food for us…
Seafood kakavia, a rich thick herbaceous chunky broth of octopus, prawns, scallops, clams, carrots, potatoes and celery, served with toasted kasseri bread, was the first to arrive. The seafood was great, those Greeks do know how to cook it. That tomato-based sauce on the plate was eagerly consumed. If only we were allowed to lick the plate…