Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Gorge on Greek food at Greco, Radisson Blu

The word Greco is an English prefix, meaning hailing from or connected to Greece, and so it is interesting that a Greek restaurant go by the name which literally means, hailing from Greece.
The Radisson blu hotel in Cavellosim has recently opened the doors to it’s blue and white themed dining space serving authentic Greek food; Greco.

Ambience: the outer white washed walls hold promise, so do the blue and white waves on the floor tiles within, the wall hangings with Athens and pi are athrowback to ancient Greece. And yet, the fact that this was previously a discotheque converted into a greek restaurant is not lost. The strobe lights and the dance floor are still intact, and will now be used for dance performances . And while Russian belly dancers dance to the tune of a Russian DJ, the Grecian ethos is somewhat diluted.

Food: Chef Stelios from Athens heads the kitchen, and has been to Goa a number of times over the years, and by his own admition is a goaphile. Already aware of the huge popularity a Greek restaurant in the North of Goa holds, as well as the presence of a small colony of Greeks who have made Goa their home, he is looking forward to his time in the sunny state.

The calamari tiganito is a must try, a staple in almost every psarotaverna, this is the Grecian version of batter fried calamari, served on the beach shacks of Goa. Instead of batter, they use dry flour as dusting, and the end result is simple yet tasty fried calamri, served with lemon wedges tomato and a hung curd dipping , almost like a tzatziki.

The salad, Xoriatikh, a tossed salad of cucumbers tomato, pepers, olives and feta was a healthy way to begin the year, and the meal. Keftedakia, which was beef meat balls served with greek yogurt is another recommended dish. Saucy meatballs, generously lathered in tomato based sauce, meatballs themselves the size of tennis balls, and the cheesy creamy yogurt dip were all in perfect harmony.
Souvlaki, is a greek fast food, and one of the more recognizable dishes on the menu. At its heart it is a meat roll or wrap, which is served with grilled meats , cooked on a skewer, and pita bread along with veggies and potatoes. We had the chicken souvalki and it was dry. I would suggest to try someof the more exotic dishes on the menu, rather than the tried and tested. Also to opt for the pork version rather than the chicken.


fried calamari


chicken souvlaki

veg moussaka

meat balls



Moussaka, another popular Greek dish is a layered dish with layers of aubergines,zucchini, tomatoes, potatoes and at Greco it is a vegetarian versionand no meats are added. Held together by a Bechamel sauce, this dish is a wonderful cooked down version of veggies. Moussaka is one dish which is available in almost all of the ottoman nations, in some form or the other, and Turkey, Greece, Egypt all have moussaka. Even some of the Italian layered dishes, such as aubergine parmigiana have similar flavour combinations, and layering techniques.

For desserts we couldn't make a decision between the three desserts and decided to try all three, new year resolutions of weightloss and sugar control were suspended for the evening.
The galaktoboureko is the dessert to order, if you plan to have just one of the three on offer. A crisp , golden baked phyloo layers, hold within them a custard filling, and the phyllo pastyr is drizzled with a sugary syrup on the outside. What one gets is a textural dish of wafer thin crispy filo and creamy custard.

Portokalopita is essentially a cake with orange syrup, but actually it is a lot more complicated and nuanced. This is a cake made with shredded phylo pastry layers, and the difference can be made in the texture of the cake itself, also it contains yogurt in the cake mix aswell, which like most yogurt based cakes pair very well with citrus fruits. And here the hot cake is drenched in orange syrup and then served cool, with icecream. And interesting authentic dish, worth trying.
The third dessert Ambrosia, while is known to be a dessert for the Gods, was not as good as the rest. One reason could be the use of hung curd instead of original greek yogurt. As chef pointed out that he has had trouble finding authentic greek yogurt in Goa, also the fruits and vegetables as well taste different and react differently to cooking than the ones he is used to.
The simpler the dish the more difficult it is to replicate in a foreign country. Many Mediterranean dishes allow the ingredients to shine without any addition of condiments or even cooking. Cut slices of tomato with a drizzle of olive oil, with parsley leaves is almost a staple at every mezze, but the taste is completely different in India, where the toamtoes are not the ones grown near the salty airof the Mediterranean sea, the olive oil is not grown in the nearby orchards,a dn even the parsley leaf lacks the pepperiness of its native land.
Chef Stelios from Athens, has his work cut out for him, first to convince people about greek cuisine and then as he puts it ,” making Indian tomatoes taste like greek tomatoes, and making indian oranges taste like Greek oranges!”
Food: 3.5 plates
Ambience: 3 plates
Service: 3.5 plates

visit the radisson blu website for more details.

the lavish spread

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