I think we all said – at some point during this meal – “This is the best Greek food I’ve eaten”.
Greek heritage brings together Jonathan Barthelmess (formerly from Manly Pavilion) and Sam Christie (of Longrain fame) at The Apollo – here you’ll find classic Greek food and flavours in one of the best 1930’s building in Potts Point. Enormous arched windows open on to Macleay Street and the space has been stripped to only bare paint chipped walls, concrete columns, minimal lighting (I love the lever arm lamps mounted on the wall), a long marble-topped bar and bent wood chairs.
I can’t recall for just how long I’ve been trying to go to The Apollo. They only take bookings for 6 or more, so at the times I’ve managed to gather the numbers, The Apollo hasn’t managed the availability. Until tonight, with the family. A thank you from the bride and groom for our help with the wedding. Nice. Dad’s putting me in charge of ordering and Mum’s wearing her Carla Zampatti ex-wedding jacket (chuffed she’s already received compliments on it from other diners).
The Taramasalata with mullet roe dip ($12) is already on the table when I arrive, along with Olives ($7) and some Warm pita bread ($2.50pp). The dip – a mayonnaise that uses fish eggs in place of hens eggs – is every bit the rave reviews I’ve read of it. We order more bread and it arrives steaming in a little cardboard box to keep it warm. I’m happy eating this just as it is.
To start, it’s Saganaki cheese with honey oregano ($17). Saganaki literally means ‘little frying pan’ in Greek and tonight it comes bearing a golden slab of bubbling squeaky sheeps milk cheese that’s been lightly dressed in dried oregano and honey. I’m sorry, but it just doesn’t get much better than that.
Greek winter salad with fennel, carrot, beans, feta and olives ($15).
The Wild weed and cheese pie ($18) is a tricked up version of Spankopida or spinach pie. Dad jokes that it should be the surgeon (my brother) cutting it up so there’s no fighting over the last piece.
Love the rustic Superwhite Dolomite plates. And we’re drinking a Journey Wines 2011 Pinot Noir from the Yarra Valley ($53).
The Grilled octopus pickled with green chilii potatoes ($22) is my favourite. The meaty tentacles are so, so tender and there’s heat on my tongue from the chilli. I scrape the bowl for any remaining potatoes soaked in the beautiful juices.
We can smell the wood fire wafting through warm restaurant. And from it comes the Seared tuna with parsley and lemon ($36). It looks blackened before belief but the peppered fennel crust is just a disguise for the lovely pink inside.
Our Slow cooked lamb with lemon and Greek yoghurt ($34) comes as a couple of cutlets and some shredded shoulder. I offer the cutlets to Dad and Tim and know there’s not going to be anything left for seconds. It melts in my mouth with the first bite. But I still think the best lamb going around is the Moran Family lamb at Chiswick.
I’ve ordered an extra side dish of Fried okra with vinegar and mint ($12) and it goes perfectly with the lamb. The okra is crispy and the vinegar and mint, well it’s like a new-fashioned Mint sauce.
Although there are enough doughnuts for us all (to have one each) in the Rosewater jelly doughnuts and chocolate sauce ($12), I can feel Dad giving me the “better order 2” eye. It arrives with the hot chocolate style sauce in a little ceramic vessel that’s poured over the golden sugar-coated balls in front of us. Delicious. When Dad picks up the bowl with the remaining chocolate sauce and begins to eat it like soup, I know I’m my father’s daughter.
The Walnuts filo pastry and coffee cream ($12) is the favourite for mum and I. A lighter interpretation of something Baklavaish.
I don’t know how we get on to the topic of mens fashion – maybe it’s those *awful* skin-tight jeans that some young boy at the bar is wearing. But Dad tells us the only way you used to be able to get your Levi’s (in the 1960s) to fit that perfectly – was to take a cold bath in them, then let them dry while still wearing them. #randomtrivia
So pleased to have finally eaten at The Apollo… and it was definitely worth the wait!
The Apollo – 44 Macleay Street, Potts Point NSW 2011 – 02 8354 0888