Alpha is currently under renovation. It's opened a pop-up in The Rocks for the duration of the renovations. More information here.
Housed in what was the old, cave-like Australian Workers Union, the dark façade and navy blue awnings of Alpha give way to a hewn stone, raw brick and white painted interior, with lights reminiscent of fishing nets and plenty of lightwood touches.
Walls are deeply graven with the Greek alphabet – cleverly intoning the name of the place – and something about the stone touches invokes a subterranean Mediterranean feel. It’s cool and welcoming, with long marble topped tables, cane recliners and an emphasis on sharing. Peter Conistis (previously of ill-fated Omega) is the front man here and the Hellenic Club is backing him.
The menu reads like a list of your Yiayia’s classics, with meze of ouzo-cured ocean trout, taramasalata and tzatziki made from sheep’s milk yoghurt. Follow those up with larger dishes like spanakopita for two, Greek spiced, slow-roasted lamb shoulder or herb crusted blue eye. But the desserts are worth a look too, with kataifi and mastic cream, puffy loukoumades doughnut balls in spiced honey syrup, or chocolate baklava rounding out the menu alongside coffee by Will & Co.
Also on offer is the Yiayia’s table option (for groups of four or more), which delivers nine dishes to work through, while the view of the kitchen adds a sense of revelry to the atmosphere. The adjoining food store is a nice takeaway touch and helps to make the most of what is a big space.