Andrew Papadakis feels strongly about mass-produced framed prints of Santorini. That is to say, you’ll never see one anywhere near the whitewashed walls of his restaurant, which opened in late 2015.
Meze-Mazi (which translates to “taste together”) is about authenticity. It’s real Greek food, prepared by native Greek chefs, served to customers seated on traditional woven Greek chairs. Papadakis moved to Adelaide from a village in Crete and saw a gap in the market to establish his dream eatery: a combination of taverna, restaurant, meze and home-style cooking.
The menu is based around family recipes, with highlights such as hunkar (slow-cooked beef served with a smoked eggplant bechamel) and honey-glazed lamb shoulder. It’s not just about the meat, though. The Cretan diet leans towards vegetarianism, as meat was traditionally unaffordable. There are many vegetarian options, but try the gemista– seasonal vegetables stuffed with a delicate mix of rice, pine nuts and herbs.
Photographs of Papadakis’ ancestors adorn the walls, while his father’s copper cowbells hang from a bar well stocked with Greek beer and wine. Finishing up with a dessert made by his mother-in-law and a strong coffee, it’s not hard to imagine that you’re simply enjoying dinner in the Greek Islands – no Santorini prints needed.