The last few times I went out for dinner or lunch in groups, it was interesting to see the kind of choices we came up whenever we tried to decide on a place. Chinese and North Indian options seem to have taken a backseat, and so have the pastas and the extra cheese pizzas. We mostly zeroed in on Mexican and, of late, Greek food; particularly with Goa’s favourite, Thalassa, now being just ten minutes away from my home in Mumbai. The Greek food haven is now one of our go-to options as well as a great beginner’s guide to Greek cuisine. But it’s not just Thalassa. Mumbai now has several Greek eateries spread across its length and breadth. So, we decided it was a good time to find out what sets sets Greek cuisine apart from others:
Mariketty Grana, owner and chef at Thalassa, tells us how vegetables rule cooking in Greece. “So, even in dishes that have meats, there are lot of vegetables that are used and cooked alongside. When Greece was invaded early on both from the East an the West, the troopes left behind herbs, spices, vegetables from their own traditional recipes. After the invasion, the Greek used all those herbs, spices, vegetables to create their own cuisine. Another thing about Greek food is that it is a lot healthier than many other cuisines. We do not have fried dishes on the menu. The food is more cooked or grilled and we use plenty of olive oil which is also considered healthy”.
Now that’s an advantage which can even please our NY resolutions. Here are some of the best places to get your share of Greek goodies in Mumbai.
It’s been around for quite a while now, but it’s never too late to pay this cosy little Greek joint a visit. The traditional favourite here – gyros (a filling wrap loaded with sauces, veggies and meat) is to die for. They are also humongous to say the least. Trust us when we say that one takes care of your entire meal. Incentive of the place: after feasting, you can head to the ice-cream corner just outside the restaurant for a lip-smacking dessert!
The blue and white décor of the restaurant lends a weirdly therapeutic vibe to this newly0opened joint. There is also a lovely alfresco section. Do try the souvlakis and the Greek salad when you are around. And wrap up your meal with a filling serving of Baklava or Tiramisu, or both! Yes, visit Thalassa on your cheat day because the place is truly worth it.
Aqaba (Lower Parel)
The hub of the corporate firms is gradually becoming a melting pot of all cuisines, and authentic Greek food gets high scores at Aqaba. We tried the Kebab Meswi, and our mouth still waters every time we remember the sumptuous mutton filling in. Lamb Gyros is another item you can blindly place your bets on as the feisty aroma of cumin in it fills your senses to the hilt.
Amadeus (Nariman Point)
Either you go to NCPA to watch a place or you go there for a music concert. But whatever it is, make sure you head to Amadeus before or after the gig for a sumptuous spread of Greek cuisine. Do try the Ash Chevre Coca pizza, which is loaded with overpowering flavours of spicy and sweet herbs along with full mushrooms. Besides, their delectable chocolate-based dessert – Chocolate Cigar and Mango – which they serve in a glass is to die for.
Café D’Wine (Khar)
Slightly on the expensive side, this fine-dine restaurant has a warm and fuzzy feeling. The Sesame Chicken here is a crowd favourite and you can also indulge in a wide variety of Sangria concoctions. There’s even a guitarist at the eatery every Wednesday and Friday who takes in requests and performs a set out of them.