Mount Lycabettus, Athena
There’s nothing like a walk up and down Mount Lycabettus to work up the Appetite for a Mid-afternoon Lunch. Hector and Marg are spending their Second Full day in the Greek Capital. Last evening, Hector did manage to find a Giuvetsi Variant, Veal on Pasta. At least the Intensity of the Wine and Tomato Based Sauce Tasted Authentically Greek. I did ask for Stifado at one Traditional Looking Restaurant – What’s that? – the Young Waiter asked. Just my Favourite Greek Dish was the reply. A Local standing beside me repeated my request with a different emphasis on the First Syllable. Marg suggested he felt embarrassed on behalf of the Numpty Waiter. That made a difference to the pronunciation, but not to the outcome. Today another Chap tried to make out that People want something quick. Greek Fast Food, in effect. In these pages – It is Written – again.
But does it take The Diner any longer to eat a Stew than a Kebab?
Two Metro Stops from Moussikis for Mount Lycabettus is Panormou. we were doing a Reconnaissance for Evening Activities. This just happened to take us past the Red Elephant. Everything here was shut up, there was no sign of recent business. Again shut for the time being, or closed?
One feared the latter.
The Indian Kitchen (Apollonos 6, Syntagma, Athens, 10563, Greece) is just up from our Hotel – Plaka. Indeed we passed the Indian Kitchen Twice in our Arrival Search for the Plaka late on Sunday Evening. It was only a matter of time…
We entered around 15.00, two other Tables were occupied. The Kitchen is at the Front of the Restaurant behind a Glass Screen. Two Chefs were on Duty. A Young Waitress permitted us to sit anywhere. Hector chose a Table for Two towards the Rear, just in case we became in smoking Range of any Future Diners. Yes, the Smoking Ban of 2010 is ignored by all who choose to do so. Research says 40% of Adult Greeks smoke. They don’t give a ….
The Menu had mostly Chicken Dishes, but a Lamb Karahi and a Lamb Bhuna were the Potential Hector Curry Choices. The Karahi would be chosen if the listed Capsicum could be avoided. Marg was still in Two Minds, eventually she decided to order Chicken Sorba. This was listed under Soup, an Honest Description.
After Yesterday’s Naan Disappointment a Paratha had to be tried. The Menu listed it as – Flaky – so here goes.
The Waitress seemed surprised we had made our minds up so quickly. She confirmed that the Karahi could be ordered without the dreaded Green Mushy Vegetable, again I ask – Why is this not possible everywhere? I suggested the Chef could add a Substitute, but Marg considered my request to be Half-hearted. We declined the offer of a Large Bottle of Still Water and secured Two Small Bottles of Sparkling – Sourati – is the Brand.
Marg remarked at how smart the Venue was. The Indian Kitchen is Bright, New in Decor, Spotless. A Far Cry from the Humble Backstreet – Curry (Dhaka) Palace – which I have frequented for years. The Prices reflected this. €11.00 for my Karahi, €7.00 for the Soup. €2.50 for the Paratha.
The Hope was the Sorba and Karahi would be brought simultaneously, this was thankfully achieved.
The Chicken Sorba
The Soup was Yellow, the Chicken pieces were Tiny. Based on these observations I was glad I had not been tempted, but then why would I? Marg enjoyed her Soup. A Coriander Kick – was her opening description. The Seasoning was worth a Mention too. This was Light and Tasty, just what Marg required. One Satisfied Customer.
The Lamb Karahi
The Steel Serving Dish was itself Cold, so no problem relocating it to my plate. The First Dip of the Very Thin, Nondescript Paratha was a – Gosh! – moment. The Seasoning was exactly at the Hector Level. The Spice Content was Moderate, I had made no Specific Request. If this is their Standard Spice level, it is Fine. The Masala was Full of Flavour, the Joy of Curry Eating had manifested itself Once again. This was really little more than Mainstream Curry, but it was certainly – Hitting The Spot. The Masala was Suitably Rich and Onion-based. More Masala than a Hector would prefer. The Lemon Segment was squezed, this added Citrus and raised the level again. Pleasure!
The Lamb content was not generous, however the Quality was Impressive. At €11.00 one could have expected a Larger Portion. Having foregone the Capsicum, Sliced Onion was to the fore, my own fault.
For Lunch the Lamb Karahi, as served, was Ideal. I would suggest a Starter to an Evening Diner, or better still, a Vegetable Side. The usual Range were available.
Nondescript? Well my task unfortunately is to describe it. The Paratha was Thin, far Too Thin. Small, far Too Small. Flaky? – Not a Single Flake. It was neither Roti or Paratha.
Is this a Greek problem? Having been brought up on Israeli/Palestinian Pitta Bread, I know what Wonderful Bread is served in the Eastern Mediterranean. Why am I struggling to find Quality Bread? Rice again may be the Better Option.
€25.50. The Sourati was €2.50 a Bottle.
The Calling Card was graciously accepted.
Hector would have no hesitation in returning to the Indian Kitchen. I know what to expect, the Pitfalls can be avoided.
I left on a Contented Curry High.
This was a very enjoyable Karahi.
Nights out, Nights out in Athens
The Bollywood Kitchen, just off Ermou popped into view as we searched for our Greek Food. Mummy’s Cooking failed to open. The Mirch Masala had to be investigated further. Three Tiny Tables were available, all occupied. Bottles of Schlenkerla Rauchbier formed part of their Impressive Bier Array. Open from Noon until 02.00 – The Doris told me.
I’ll be back.
Marg chose the Diodos Restaurant. They had One Stew on offer – Berke Meze. A Pork Dish in Traditional Greek Tomato and Onion based Sauce. Spiced heavily with Paprika, A Curry in any other Language. Superb!
This is why Hector seeks out Proper Greek Food!