One of the best thing about traveling is the beautiful food you get to taste at every places you visit. I love food and I would never miss the chance of a good local meal.
I was fortunate enough to be able to enjoy this priceless luxury during my trip last month. And one of the highlights of my travel last July was the food I had in Greece.
You see, unlike Australians, the only thing most Indonesian knows about Greece is their ancient civilization and mythology. Their food isn’t as popular as other European countries. Turns out, the food they have over there is divinely mythical.
First of all, their salads were so fresh! I think this was mainly because they had really deliciously plump tomatoes. In Indonesia, when you cut the tomatoes for your salad (even with a super sharp knife), the tomatoes just crumble into a mush since they retain sooo much water. But in Greece, the tomatoes are as meaty as…well, meat!
They also have rich tasting olive oil. Like the kind of extra virgin olive oil you buy in the supermarket that empties your wallet. But here, it’s everywhere! And do NOT get me started on how nice their olives were. I may be a bit biased here because I’ve always loved olives, but my 10 years old sister ended up loving Greek Salad! Mind you, greek salad is not usually on par with normal Indonesian girl’s tastebuds.
One of our best dining experience in Athens was after we finished the very satisfying and exhausting journey of walking through Athens’ Acropolis. We exited the archeological site from the Ancient Agora exit on Adrianou street where we found a nice cozy restaurant on this street called “To Kouti”. Once you stepped into the restaurant, you will instantly feel like you’re in a pre-school playroom. They hunged duck shaped swimming balloons on their ceilings, and decorated the yellow restaurant with playful things such as sandals with a slinki shaped heels. Even the table mat and the menu looked like its been drawn by kids!
But the most delightful feature of this restaurant is no other than their food. It’s not traditional Greek food per se (ie, moussaka, souvlaki etc) but it is a good alternative dining experience.
We tried their salad with sun-dried tomatoes, grilled mushroom and pasta. It was delllliiiiciouuus! It has (i think) a creamy basil pesto dressing but it’s far from the ordinary or usual pesto. They must have put some other ingredient to make it soo tasty. We also tried their lemon saffron ice cream for dessert and oh..my..god… *mouth waters* so YUM! The saffron really balanced the sourness of the lemon and it made the ice cream tasted just right!
Lemon and Saffron Ice Cream
We also went to Heraklion, Crete where we found an amazing little jewel of a restaurant near the Morosini fountain. I can’t remember what the restaurant name was probably because it was written in Greek or it was not clearly written. I do remember that has a big “Healthy Greek Food” splashed across their banner. And since my mom is a health addict (i’m trying to stop calling her a health freak), we entered the restaurant within an eye-blink.
We tried their traditional stuffed meat, which was a tasty homemade burger pattie (sort of) with god knows how many kinds of herbs they put in it. The pattie was stuffed with potatoes, sun dried-tomatoes and a thin slice of cheese. Oh and a generous amount of lovely olive oil splashed on top of it. It was soooo delicious. You need to understand the situation to get how freakin good the dish was. My mom does not eat red meat, since its not good for our cholesterol level and some other specific health reasons I’d rather not discuss. But for this specific dish, she loved it so much that we ordered it twice since it’s just THAT good!
Stuffed meat with potato, sun-dried tomatoes and cheese
We also tried their seafood risotto which we thought was better than the one we tasted in Italy! The seafood risotto we tried in Italy was creamier and I usually love the creamy stuff, but the one we tasted here was fresh, herby and light! And weirdly, I liked it better.
Even though the weather was as hot as standing near my Mbak Yati cooking on my house’s stove 24/7, I would definitely eat my way back to Greece if I have the chance. Definitely.