Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Fancy Greek @ Xanthi

One of my besties, Miss C, decided last minute to pop into Sydney for the weekend. Excited and feeling somewhat adventurous, I flicked through the 2013 SMH Good Food Guide Award Winners and decided it’s time to go Greek!

Walking into the restaurant we are charmed by gold silken drapes and the ornamental glass lamps. We are taken to a table directly in front of the open kitchen, where we could watch the chefs roll out filo pastry and check out the roasts on the vertical spits.

A spacious dining area with circus tent style drapes overhanging

Being a newbie to Greek food, I did my research on what to order at Xanthi, and all reviews pointed to one dish you have to order – the pork belly baklava. This dish consists of succulent shreds of pork belly wrapped in flaky, hand-rolled paper thin filo pastry with a sweet date and pistachio filling, topped with spears of crunchy pork crackling. This is undeniably a marvellous start to the evening.

L Loves... Pork Belly Baklava 

L Loves... Pork Belly Baklava 
Twice cooked pork belly with a date and pistachio filling 
Served with a date mastic sauce and pork crackling

Having the meats go round and round on the spit in front of us definitely lured us into ordering them. We got 250g servings of both meats that are available tonight – goat and pig. The pork is incredibly juicy and tasty. Served with toasted pita bread, sumac spice sliced tomato, onion, tzatziki and lemon wedges, it is a hearty feast on its own. The duck on the other hand is less memorable. It is well cooked and is pre sliced on the plate, however I found the spiced quince accompanying the duck to be overly sweet and almost like a dessert.

Roast Duck with Quince
Duck breast cooked in a quince syrup and
served with wilted greens and roasted quince

Goat ‘Apo Tin Souvla’ (250g from the spit)
Served with toasted pita bread, sumac spice sliced tomato, onion and tzatziki

L Loves... Pig ‘Apo Tin Souvla’ (250g from the spit)
Served with toasted pita bread, sumac spice sliced tomato, onion and tzatziki

As the final course, desserts should always be sweet and memorable. Tonight the sweetness element tipped the scale as we ventured our way through these devilish sweets. One thing is for sure, the pastry chefs here definitely are the unsung heroes. I am usually not drawn to tarts as I find the base to be too thick and dense, but the shell of the coffee brulee tart is impeccably thin, creating a perfect contrast to the silky smooth brulee and allowing the coffee flavour to be prominent.

Patsavoura (Wet Mop)
A sweet spiced syrup soaked pastry with a cinnamon and clove nut filling. 
Served with clotted cream.

Sour Cherry Bougatsa
Semolina milk custard wrapped in fresh hand rolled filo pastry. 
Served with coconut ice cream.

L Loves... Greek Coffee Brulee Tart
Served with milk and honey sorbet.

Overall Xanthi is a warm experience and I am definitely keen to explore further into the mysterious world of Greek cuisine.

L's Verdict:

·    Taste: 7.5/10
·    Ambience: 4/5
·     Value: 3.5/5
·    Service: 4/5
·    Creativity and other WOW factors: 2.5/5 

Overall rating: 21.5/30

Xanthi Bar and Restaurant
Level 6, Westfield Sydney
Corner Pitt Street Mall & Market Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9232 8535
Mon–Sat 11am–3:30pm, 5pm–11pm 
Sunday from 11am, kitchen closes 8pm

Visited September 2012

Friendly advice: The meats from the spit are amazing and servings are limited so make sure you get your order in quick. 

Xanthi Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

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