03 March 2012

Xanthi Restaurant & Bar: Greek, Westfield Sydney CBD (25 Oct 2011)

Level 6 Dining Precinct, Westfield Sydney
Cnr Pitt St Mall and Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone: (02) 9232 8535

Sharing the spirit of ouzo

It was probably a brave move by Chef Owner David Tsirekas to close his successful and much-loved Perama restaurant in Petersham to start Xanthi in the dining precinct in Westfield Sydney but it seems Petersham’s loss is a successful gain to the CBD. There’s lots of tempting choices on the Ouzomezedakia menu (small sharing plates) which were reasonably price. If you order a 200ml bottle of ouza you’ll get 3 ouzomezedakia chosen by the chef to match making it quite a bargain. I first ordered the cheapest ouza of Barbayianni Green ($34, 200ml) to see what the kitchen would include and then ordered more dishes after. BBQ Haloumi, BBQ smoked lamb cutlets and Sheftalies were provided to match the ouza. Nicely cooked haloumi was tender flavoursome lamb cutlets were a treat I’d happily order again.

Our friendly and informative waiter Spyros recommended the Herbed skordalia croquettes ($7.50) which we thought were quite light on flavour but we preferred the Fried School prawns ($9) which were crispy and flavoursome and tossed in a honey making them slightly sweet. I still prefer the ones at District Dining, maybe because they’re kept more savoury than sweet. We found the Zucchini fritters ($8) a little disappointing. Not as fresh tasting and crispy as hoped and perhaps a bit cluggy inside but the Vine Dolmades ($9) were flavoursome and moist. We then had a particularly long wait of over 25 minutes for the Fried Calamari ($9) due to a busy kitchen we were told after asking about our order. It had nice flavours with a light batter I prefer but not as tender as hoped. I’d probably order it again though in the hope it would be more tender next time.

Due to the lateness of the calamari dish our waiter kindly offered us a glass of Samos Nectar dessert wine to try which was very nice and not overly sweet which went well with the Caramel Baklava ice cream ($13.50). Overall it was a nice meal which only came to $99 for four people which we thought was good value for the quality of dishes received and included a bottle of ouzo easy enough to share. I’d probably opt for a table in the middle next time as I found the booth seating a bit too squashed for leg room, especially when sharing with three other guys. Hopefully the kitchen can turnaround the dishes quickly under busy times so the restaurant can be a suitable lunch option for those with only limited time.

Other visits to Xanthi:
12 Apr 2012 – Lunchtime Express Menu $30
25 Oct 2011 – Ouzomezedakia

PROS: Flavoursome dishes, Quality ingredients, 3 complimentary dishes come with 200ml ouzo, Reasonably priced if you can share with a small group
CONS: Booth seating was a little hard to sit on and slightly cramped, Toilets are located outside the restaurant
MUST TRY: BBQ Haloumi, BBQ smoked lamb cutlets

Ouzo Barbayianni Green ($34, 200ml) includes 3 ouzomezedakia to match selected by the chef

Ouzo goes milky when you add ice — apparently if you want to dilute ouzo you should just add water according to About.com

Ouzo trolley and menu

BBQ Haloumi: Locally produced Cypriot style haloumi cheese ($10, included as dish 1 with Ouzo)

Sheftalies: BBQ Cypriot style spiced pork meatballs wrapped in caul fat ($11, included as dish 2 with Ouzo)

BBQ smoked lamb cutlets - BBQ smoked and cured spiced cutlets ($12, included as dish 3 with Ouzo)

Herbed skordalia croquettes: Creamy mint, dill and celery leaf skordalia crumbed in polenta and breadcrumbs ($7.50)

Loukanika: BBQ sliced Northern Greece village style loukanika ($9)

Fried School Prawns: Tossed in a honey, fish sauce, sesame seed and flaked almond dressing ($9)

Zucchini fritters: A mixture of shredded zucchini and haloumi with dill, mint and parsley ($8)

Vine Dolmades ($9)

Fried Calamari ($9)

Caramel Baklava ice cream: Sliced layers of vanilla bean ice cream, caramel sauce and baklava ($13.50)

Samos Nectar complimentary glasses due to lateness of dishes

Dessert wine menu



Booth seating actually quite awkward and a bit uncomfortable for four people. Seating was quite stiff and felt squashed in.

Athena inscribed on the knife

Tiny forks

Lamb in the kitchen

Outside seating

Bill $99 for four people - good value for quality of dishes

Outside entrance with window into kitchen

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Xanthi Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon


Tina@foodboozeshoes said...

Love the lamb cutlets. And the prawns. Such good value when you have some ouzo ;)

Jim said...

My ister loved this place but I haven't been yet. Looks good.

Flick Your Food said...

I went just under a month ago, loved it. We had the pork belly pastry- melted in your mouth. Its great value for quality food.

Kerancia said...

Yum. I'm keen to try the BBQ Haloumi! Great value for $, especially in Westfield Sydney which can have a steep price point. The food looks warm and hearty, perfect during this rainy weather we are having! :)

Richard Elliot said...

I can't believe it has taken you so long to blog our lunch!

I remember really liking seven out of ten of our dishes. The value was fantastic too.

I heard recently that Perema was coming back. I hope it's true!

gaby @ lateraleating said...

Given that I never made it to Perama and that I've never tried ouzo, I reckon this place is a must for me.

penny aka jeroxie said...

It is on my hit list. The lamb looks amazing...

Simon Leong said...

hi tina, definitely get some ouzo — makes it very good value

hi jim, hope you get to try soon

hi flick your food, i want to try the pork belly pastry next time then.

hi kerancia, i was quite surprised how good value it was especially for Westfield Sydney. Also it's much nicer being in a restaurant than down on level 5 where you have to find a table to sit

hi richard, i know i know, such is the life of a blogger that eats out way too much. i really wanted to do this post ages ago. wow perama making a come back — now that's pretty special news if true.

hi gaby, a must indeed. i hope to revisit again. so many tempting dishes on the menu.

hi penny, perhaps a lunch express catchup to try their $30 set menu special http://xanthi.com.au/menu/lunchtime-express-menu

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