Santorini, Greece sits on top of our travel bucket list. If the sights of white washed houses, blue dome, incredible sun set view are not enough to tempt you to visit this beautiful country, perhaps amazing Greek cuisines is a valid reason. Now we do not have to travel far to experience the best of Greek cuisines as the Greek Week Festival is back at Eccucino in Prince Hotel and Residence Kuala Lumpur.
The festival is back for the third consecutive year and is headed by Greek guest chefs, Chef George Diakomichalis and Chef Kalliopi Diakomichalis, with the assistance of Chef De Cuisine Jason Manson from Eccucino. The promotion will run nightly from 10 to 23 March 2014 and the feast is priced at RM98++ per person (with kids under 12 dining for free with every paying adult)
The media night was a romantic affair with predominantly blue and white table cloth and decorations, setting the mood for a big fat Greek dinner. This year, Chef George is bringing something new to the table. As Greek food is traditionally enjoyed in large groups of family and friends, the festival sees Chef George hosting a special ‘Chef’s Table’ session every night for those interested to experience this Mediterranean lifestyle. Diners at the ‘Chef’s Table’ will also get to enjoy a personal tour of Greek food and cultural stories. There is no extra cost to be seated at the ‘Chef’s Table’ however seats are limited to ensure that diners can truly enjoy the experience. Remember to make your reservation early!
It was a night of indulgence as we were being presented with a full spread of savory to sweet delicacies. The recipes are handed down to Chef George by his family members.
Sitting on the Mediterranean sea, Greece derives it cuisines from various source of influences such as Middle East, Rome and Turkey. Most dishes feature heavily on ingredients such as olive oil, olives, cheese, eggplant, zucchini, yogurt and meat such as lamb and chicken. We tried a myriad of appetizers that night, with a refreshing bowl of Khoriatiki Salata (Greek Country Salad), selection of olives (Kalamata Olives, Green Olives Stuffed With Red Pepper, and Green Olives Stuffed With Garlic), the obligatory marinated feta cheese, creamy tzatziki dip and a pepper feta cheese dip that go really well with the fresh pita bread, stuffed vine leaves and Spanakopita (Baked Spinach and Feta Filo Pastries). The stuffed vine leaves were memorable as the rice was soft on the outside and firm in the middle with a nice, mild aroma imparted by the vine leaves.
Fresh Pita Breads
Khoriatiki Salata (Greek Country Salad)
Spanakopita (Baked Spinach and Feta Filo Pastries)
Marinated Feta Cheese
Stuffed Vine Leaves
Cooked using a light tomato base, the Fasolatha (or white bean soup) was a light tummy warmer. The white beans were chunky and creamy – very delightful!
Here comes our mains! The boys were happy the moment they saw the grilling in action. Must be men and their “License to Grill” fantasy! We had grilled beef, lamb and chicken Souvlaki together with skewers served with roasted capsicum and onions. The skewered meats were grilled to perfection, resulting in a tender and juicy texture.
Grilled Beef, Lamb and Chicken Souvlaki
Gemista (Stuffed Vegetables)
Greece is known for its confections, cakes, and cookies and so we ended our Greek night on a sweet note – baklava and rizogalo (creamy rice pudding). Made with flakyphyllo dough that is layered with a cinnamon-spiced nut filling, and bathed in sweet syrup, the baklava was delicious. The milky and creamy rice pudding was a treat too! Lastly, we washed down the grand feast with a shooter glass of ouzo, an anise-flavoured aperitif that is widely consumed in Greece. Iced water is added dilute the strength causing the liquid to turn cloudy. It is a potent and fiery with high alcohol content of about 40%. However, one got to try it to fully experience the Greek spirit (pun intended).
stin uyeia sou! (toast to your health)