Greek cuisine is one of those cuisines that I love, but I just haven’t found that many Greek restaurants in Sydney that have really stood out. Unfortunately, this is the rare battle that I’ll reluctantly admit, Melbourne has the upper-hand over Sydney (although i do highly rate the Athenian and Medusa in Sydney’s CBD). This is why I was quite excited to hear Anatoli opened in Bondi and jumped at the opportunity to try the new restaurant. Anatoli didn’t disappoint especially in terms of authenticity and quality.
With Greek food, the dishes are meant to be shared and that is how the dishes at Anatoli are designed (similar to Tapas type meals). This worked quite well for us as we love to share our dishes so we can try a number of dishes at each particular restaurant.
Taramasalata. To begin we had the Greek staple, Taramasalata (which refers to the spread-dip, which is traditionally made from fish roe). The Taramasalata was delightfully flavoursome and was a perfect accompaniment to the croutons and pitta bread.
Whole Globe Artichoke & Lemon Butter. Initially, i was very skeptical about ordering this dish and I’ll admit it was Beryl’s choice. This dish came presented as a whole artichoke and i think my heart sank a little when i first made eye contact. However i was pleasantly surprised by this dish. With this dish, you peal off each leaf of the artichoke and dip the leaf into lemon butter sauce. The deeper into the artichoke you get the softer and more edible it becomes. Although it was slightly messy initially I did get the hang of it. The texture of the artichoke was cooked perfectly and the lemon butter complementing the artichoke very well.
Spiced School Prawns & Smoked Chilli Mayo This was by far my favourite dish of the night. The prawns were deep fried to perfect level of crunchiness, there was a nice strong prawn flavour and the spices were not overwhelming. As with the continental habit of putting mayonnaise to chips, the chilli mayo was a nice accompaniment to the prawns.
Baby Squid, Cucumber, Chickpea & Yoghurt
Charred Okra, Burghul, Anchovy & Garlic
Slow Cooked Shoulder of Lamb, Roast Onions, Braising Juices & Tzatziki The lamb was very tender and just fell off the bone. This went extremely well with the above Charred Okra.
Milked Pie, Kumquat, Honey and Sesame Halva
Chocolate Mousse with Hazelnuts. I Loved this dessert and would go back just for this. I don’t think it’s on their everyday menu but do ask for it. The crunchiness of the hazelnuts was superb. Underneath the nuts was mix of ice cream and mousse.
The fit out is quite contemporary and provides an intimate feel especially with the dim lighting. Around the restaurant, coloured jars of pickles and other preserved vegatables adorn the restaurant. There is also an open kitchen so you can see the chefs work their magic.
After dinner, we proceded upstairs to enjoy a relaxing cocktail at Chimmi’s, a South American themed bar. Upon entering the bar, it seemed as though we were transported to a beachside bar. The walls were decorated with pineapples, miniature palm trees and small Ukeleles. The decor and furniture complemented the theme well, especially with large red sofas, antique TV and recliners gaving that “laid-back” feel. The only thing missing would probably be a sound track by Jack Johnson. Having only went to Maui (Hawaii) about 2 months ago, the bar made me feel that distant holiday had extended just a little bit.
In addition to a large and well selected rum menu, Chimmi’s offered a diverse range of unique cocktails. I’ll admit i’m not much of a cocktail expert but i was intrigued by some of the names of their cocktails such as the “missionary’s downfall”. As the saying goes, we decided not to “judge a book by its cover” and subsequently let the bartender make some recommendations. He suggested the Appreciate Me and and a Banana Colada. The highlight would have to be the Banana Colada, which had the perfect amount of liquor and sweetness. The bonus was that it was served in a giant pineapple with frozen pineapple chunks inside. We rarely recommend drinks on the blog, but this would have to be one of them.
Disclaimer: Beryl & I dined as guests at Anatoli and Chimmis. We’d like to thank Allira for organising.