02 May 2009

Nostos: Greek Cuisine, Leichhardt (1 May 2009)

121 Norton Street, Leichhardt NSW 2040
Live Music Fri, Sat & Sun.

It's very rare to find a restaurant where you enjoy all the food that's served but this very popular Greek restaurant ticked all the boxes for me. When I later checked Eatability and saw it had a score of 8.9 after 88 reviews I thought to myself 'I concur'. I think a lot of the success of this restaurant is due to Nick Kapeleris, one of the owners, whose friendly and welcoming host manner to all his diners helps make you feel part of his extended Greek family. He seemed to make the time to visit each of the tables to talk about the menu or explain the dishes.

The service was very professional, friendly and attentive and I think is just as important as the food itself for a successful dining experience. Our table ordered the $39.50 banquet menu which I thought was very reasonable for the amount of different dishes we got to sample. It comes standard with the lamb but we swapped half the banquet for a veal dish for the non-lamb eaters.

I enjoyed all the delicious and tasty food and my favourite standouts tonight were the trio of dips, haloumi, baked feta, mushrooms, fried calamari and oven baked shoulder of lamb with it's tender fall-off-the-bone meat. For dessert the baklava was my favourite and also the tiny square almond shortbreads and rose water turkish delights which aren't actually on the menu but are just little side treats as part of the dessert sampler plate.

At around 9.30 pm the Greek musicians start playing and it's infectious sounds make you want to get up and dance which everyone is more than welcome to. Later in the night Nick the owner did a little demonstration of his own Greek dancing prowess.

I noticed there's an outdoors courtyard for smoking diners and extra tables upstairs near the toilets but I would personally recommend eating only downstairs which has a lot more cosy atmosphere and a sense of community and vibrancy. I look forward to the opportunity of revisiting to try other dishes on the menu.

Trio of Dips - Taramosalata, Tzatziki & Spicy Feta served with bread, marinated olives & semi-dried tomatoes

Greek salad

Xithato - Cold serving of octopus in a vinaigrette marinade

Haloumi - Slightly salty cheese, grilled and served with marinated roast capsicum and a balsamic reduction. This dish was so tasty.

Tiria (Cheeses) - Baked Feta-Lightly floured & served on a potato crepe with cherry tomatoes & watercress

Manitaria - Mushrooms basted with a garlic butter, served on a bed of rocket

Garithes - Peeled king prawns cooked in a red salsa & feta cheese (not usually on the banquet menu)

Keftedes - Greek style meatballs in a red salsa

Kalamarakia - Fried calamari seasoned with sea salt, pepper and dashing of lemon juice

Whitebait. Cooked to a decent outer crispy coating.

Arni - Slow oven baked shoulder of lamb. I think this is one of their speciality dishes.

Veal with risoni pasta (this dish doesn't seem to be on their normal menu but the meat was very tasty, especially as I ate it off the bone)

Lemon and garlic potatoes and beans

Gunn Estate Sauvignon Blanc 2008 recommended and bought across the road from the friendly staff at N & T Lucchitti Deli & Liquor Supply, 190-196 Norton Street Leichhardt. Was very nice and only $13.40

Preece Shiraz 2007 bought across the road from N & T Lucchitti Deli & Liquor Supply

Karithomelo - A sweetened yoghurt topped of with walnuts and honey

Galaktobouriko - A traditional Greek style custard slice between layers of sweet filo pastry
Baklava - Rolled filo pastry with nuts drizzled with sugar syrup

Almond shortbread. Melt in your mouth tasty goodness.

Downstairs dining area

Kitchen window overlooking downstairs dining area

Passionate Greek musicians

Diners doing Zorbas dance is a crowd pleaser

Nick the owner showing the diners his Greek dancing moves — it's dance style was similiar to this guy, but of course better.

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Nostos on Urbanspoon


Jennifer O'C said...

Yes I've been. Its great.

Anita said...

Yum Yum Yum, I'll have one of each of those Greek desserts! :)

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