Xanthi feels as though you have magically stepped into an oversized tent with beautifully draped curtains, glowing lanterns, Persian rugs… there’s a degree of royalty when you walk through with cosy booths, generously large sized chairs and full view of the flames and action of the kitchen. Immediately you know you will be well look after… (cue the stretchy pants).
It is a lunchtime affair, so we opt the express menu with plenty of dishes to share and a glass of your choice.
With a click of your fingers, our trio of dips and glistening Greek salad arrive at our table. Our trio included tarama (or taramoalata; mix of roe and potato), a smoky spilt pea dip and good ol’ refreshing tzatziki; perfect company with some toasty warm Lebanese bread triangles.
The banquet menu proves worthy by offering up two delicious Greek favourites – grilled haloumi, which is perfect without being tough and stretchy and are topped with figs, tomatoes and a dash of lemon. The parcels of vine dolmathes take me back to an Asian version wrapped in bamboo leaves; where the Greek do it with a lot more herbs and wrapped in delicate, edible leaves.
A tapas sized bowl of fried calamari arrives and the aroma of paprika and spices fill the table; they’re lightly battered and not overpowering the tender octopus. The main star are the lamb skaras; slow cooked with spices with the meat falling off the bone and matched with potatoes and beans – a Greek homage to a massaman curry.
You can’t end a Greek feast without sweets, so Xanthi dishes up their version of deconstructed baklava with vanilla ice cream, pistachios and a pool of warm caramel.
Xanthi Bar & Restaurant
Corner Pitt Street Mall & Market Street
Level 6 Dining Precinct