{Santorini, Greece} Zafora – Lunch with premium spice & an impeccable view

Lucky us — we had the time to pay a visit to Santorini after everything was settled at Athens!

Let’s talk about Zafora, our first lunch destination at Fira! It sits on the hillside, right next to the cable car station and along the pedestrian that’s packed with tourists at all times. Needless to say, from the photos above you can see that its unobstructed view is absolutely picturesque.

Santorinian Salad; Zafora, Santorini, Greece

Santorinian Salad (EUR$9.5) was fresh, with local, seasonal products like cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, black olives, sliced onion, green pepper and kritamos (note: the pickled leaves and stems). It’s slightly too “local” and it didn’t exactly suit my taste, but I deny not its extreme freshness.

"Zafora" Lamb with White Eggplant, Feta Cheese & Safran; Zafora, Santorini, Greece

Ordered next was “Zafora” Lamb with White Eggplant, Feta Cheese & Safran (EUR$13.5) because it seemed to us a signature dish. Cutting down to the meat was juicy, lean and tender. The highlight though, lied on the use of local spice saffron that contributed to the distinct taste and aroma of the dish.

You might ask what saffron, the world’s most expensive spice by weight, actually tastes like. To me, there’s a hint of bitterness and sweetness, a combination that’s entirely new to my palate. But of course, I can’t tell if this is the real taste of it, so do many other gourmands on the internet (yup, I Googled).

Gyros; Zafora, Santorini, Greece

Coming last was Gyros (EUR$11). Eating warm pita bread and grilled pork with tzatziki, a cold, creamy-textured dressing made of strained yogurt and cucumber (that kinda stuck to the roof of my mouth…) was strange but comforting and addicting at the same time! I guess the chef had intentionally over-seasoned the meat since there was the tzatziki to tone everything down.

Tasty food paired with an impressive view, what more can I ask for?

Oh wait — there’s one thing. The only regret was that the restaurant manager’s quick change of attitude as we asked for the check, while he kept saying “tips, tips, tips” (well yes, he did vocalise it…) but what we paid did not meet his expectation. After all, this might be one of the most common downsides that one can come across when dining in touristic parts of a city.

Zafora
84700 Thira, Kikladhes, Greece
T. +30 22 8062 3203

– Judith

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{Athens, Greece} Eat-Eat-Eat at Meat-Meat-Meat!

Work has been kind of exhausting lately when the Youth Olympics at Nanjing draws closer. Anyway, I was involved in this project, and was therefore in Greece.

We began the next day by witnessing and live reporting the Flame Lighting Ceremony at the Panathenaic Stadium, and after that touring its museum. It was a beautiful and awe-inspiring experience, and we’d decided to celebrate… by having a decent meal instead of hurried ones from random coffee shops.

Meat-Meat-Meat the Grill was what we found for late lunch! We opted for this because we liked its young, fun and robust atmosphere, as well as its logo, and there we ordered…

Yogurt with Honey & Nuts; Meat-Meat-Meat the Grill, Athens, Greece

Yogurt with Honey & Nuts (EUR$3.5) was a dessert served before everything else, which suggested that it can be a little more thoughtful for its diners. But it didn’t bother us at all because it’s really delicious!

Greek yogurt is special for being thick and tangy. Its sour taste was nicely balanced by the sweetness in the honey, whilst the crunchiness in the walnuts added liveliness and texture. This is literally the best yogurt combination in the world that can get me to “Eat-Eat-Eat” till forever!

Grilled Pita - Kind of Greek Tortilla; Meat-Meat-Meat the Grill, Athens, Greece

Grilled Pita – Kind of Greek Tortilla (EUR$1.5) stimulated the appetite! Tomatoes and Xinomizithra, a local sour cream cheese made of goat’s milk that’s also known as Paros fresh cheese, created a refreshing topping. I think it’s a good idea to lightly season it with black pepper.

mixGRILL 2 person; Meat-Meat-Meat the Grill, Athens, Greece

Finally onto mixGRILL 2 person (EUR$15), it included pork, chicken and kebab skewers (2 each), 1 traditional sausage, beef and turkey burgers (1 each), french fries, 2 sauces and more pitas. It was served hot; with a dash of freshly-squeezed lemon juice and thinly sliced onions, the platter reflected the robust and exotic side of Greek cuisine.

Together with a big bottle of water that costed just another EUR$1, this place definitely offers al fresco dining at a fair quality-price ratio. If you’re at Athens, would you give this a try too?

Meat-Meat-Meat the Grill
Tsakalof 10, KolonakiAthensGreece
T. +30 21 0338 8676

– Judith