Here's to the new big fat Greek. In a nod to the hallowed dining halls of past, Alpha has swept in with a dash of style bringing modern Greek food to the heart of Sydney. Business lunch-goers will (and should) be overjoyed! Located on Castlereagh St at the Hellenic Club, the restaurant brings new vision to the historic site. Like Apollo in Potts Point (another Greek that's gone gangbusters), these venues are a refreshing change from the burgers and deep fried everything that are crowding our menus. It's time for Mediterranean sea-change!
|Sesame leaf dolmades: almond rice, preserved lemon avgolemono. OMG this was divine. The avgolemono (a sort of eggy lemon sauce) was beautiful and refreshing. I could have polished off the whole lot|
First impressions are crucial and Alpha's grand design hits you in the chops. This restaurant is surely the magnum opus of Greek designer Paul Papadopoulos of design firm DS17. With intricate light detailings (black fishing nets and white lanterns) and wide bench seats which are made for lounging - you are instantly transported to the seaside in Mykonos. The carved sandstone wall in Greek script might have been a bit OTT though. The vibe is casual and can easily accommodate huge groups, no kidding. We were sat at a large round table for 10, the only issue was we had trouble tactically sliding dishes to each other. A lazy Susan would have spoiled the feel, no doubt haha.
|This is picture shows only perhaps 2/3 of the restaurant. It really is ginormous. The space is even extended at street level with a glass enclosed atrium for outdoor seating. Nothing's been done half-heartedly here Photo credit: DS17|
The dishes are made for sharing and perfect for families or larger groups. Chef Peter Conistis has created a menu which combines the greatest hits of Greek cuisine with a few modern twists. The menu is quite lengthy, and I would love to come back and fill in the gaps. Prepare for your spanakopita, moussaka and tzatziki in spades. There is also Yia Yia's set menu that offers a selection of 10 dishes and matched wines. You might be in for the long haul with that one.
|Spanakopita: Spinach pie, leeks, fetta, dill. An early highlight of the night. Straight out of the oven, the flaky filo was perfectly crisp encasing that divine cheesy filling. The leeks offered a lovely sweetness. You HAVE TO try it...|
|Seafood Saganaki: mussels, Hiramasa Kingfish, King Prawn, fetta. Prepare for feta overload y'all. This dish was very generous with the seafood. My only issue was that it was slightly too salty by the end|
|Mastic spiced quail, fetta and watermelon salad. Presenting beautifully, the quail was gone in a flash. Tiny morsels that were garnished with jewels of pomegranate. The watermelon was a nice touch|
|Lemon ice cream, nectarines, Samos Muscat, Almond shortbread (left) and Loukoumi Delight Ice Cream Slice, strawberry, raspberry, fill cigar (right). That lemon ice cream was CRAZY good, with a hint of vanilla. We gave the loukoumades a miss this time|
All I can say is I'm hoping Alpha has staying power because it's a great restaurant. Funny how you always end up scratching your head, trying to think of somewhere to eat in town. The answer is right here. Alpha is not only an exquisite restaurant to dine in, the play on Greek classics make for a satisfying meal with minimal fuss and friendly service. Give it a try next time!
|Papadopoulos' ingenious lighting, although we were dining in darkness essentially. Pretty though!|
Thanks for reading crew!