Thursday, March 5, 2015

Long overdue Revisit to Lefkas Taverna

Lefkas Taverna Revisit

Ask any Greek person in Brisbane for their favourite Greek restaurant recommendation and 9 out of 10 will mention Lefkas in the mix. It's reputable, authentic and conveniently right near my house. I visited once back in early 2011. Why has it taken me so long to make another trip? This is part of the curse of being a food blogger. The constant call of new restaurants hinders me from repeating many wonderful experiences. I wanted to go back to Lefkas, I really did, but it wasn't until dad came over one weekday that I had a reason to go. My dad's a lover of food but he doesn't have the confidence to venture much beyond his comfort zone. I know that Greek isn't that unusual or exotic to most people but for him, it was an exciting new taste journey.

As mentioned, this was a weekday lunch and because my parents work on a farmer's biological clock, they do everything early and we got there just after 11:30am. I think we were the second group of people at the restaurant; I was surprised we weren't the first.

Lefkas has a clean, simple and sophisticated fit out with slight Mediterranean twangs. The restaurant is large and fairly enclosed but the floor to ceiling windows lets the sun and air in. There was the option of outdoor seating too but we chose to sit inside.

I was given free reign to order whatever I wanted. I chose the tarama dip to start with, and dad and I each got a plate of yiros. This was a lot of food. I think we both have large appetites but we weren't able to finish everything. When you think about it, most of what we ordered was bread and meat, both of which is heavy in the stomach.

Tarama with greek pita - fish roe, garlic and lemon dip

The starter was brought out fairly promptly. At this point, we were both quite hungry (dad came over to gym with me so we worked up an appetite pre-lunch) and we dug right in. The pita bread was freshly cooked, warm, toasty and pliable. I loved that they had a slight charred aroma too. Taramasalata is one of my favourite foods of all time and I nearly ate it by the bucketful when Marc and I were in Greece. Dad liked this version just as much as I did. When we ran out of pita bread, he scooped out the remainder of dip with a spoon and ate it on its own.

The yiros at Lefkas not only gives the option of what type of meat (chicken, lamb or pork) but the choice of whether it comes with bread or salad. Dad went with the lamb on pita with tzatziki sauce. I chose chicken with Greek salad.

Marinated chicken with Greek salad and tzatziki

The chicken on my plate was so plentiful that the salad was completely buried underneath. This is a GOOD problem to have. I thought the chicken was well-marinated and quite tender. The salad was fresh and just what I needed to balance the otherwise heavy meal. I also had a dish of tzatziki dip and it went perfectly with the grilled chicken.

Lamb yiros

I tried a bit of dad's lamb and had to admit it was even tastier. The lamb had more of that irresistible charred smokiness to it. It was oily but not in an off-putting way. Dad commented that maybe he shouldn't have ordered the version of yiros on pita bread since we already had pita bread as part of our starter.

I was glad to have a renewed positive experience at Lefkas, this time for lunch nearly 4 years after my initial visit. The service was friendly and best of all, the food was plentiful, fresh, flavoursome and fun to eat. I hope it doesn't take me another 4 years to make my next trip.

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