Miso eggplant isn’t exclusively Japanese anymore. Neither is tempura. Alex Evripidou and Kerry Dramountanis, owners of new fusion restaurant, Stav’s, have redefined traditional Greek food.
“Australia is like the gateway to Asia. A lot of trendy foods have an Asian influence, so we wanted to embrace what Australian’s love at the moment and fuse it with old Greek dishes,” says Dramountanis.
So how do Greek and Asian flavours work together? Well, there’s yiros, served with less conventional fillings such as pork, apple sauce and mustard. And one with duck, shallot, chilli and plum sauce. The pork belly is served with a green papaya, chilli, shallot, peach and feta salad. The Dirty Patates – a dish of potato chips with mousaka and yoghurt – comes with a miso-eggplant dip.
There are crossovers in cooking techniques, too. “In Greece, fried-zucchini chips are a big thing, however we’ve embraced the idea of tempura. It’s an Asian cooking technique but it gives our zucchini chips a lighter flavour,” says Evripidou.
The cocktail list is extensive and fresh, but the real highlights are the wines on tap. “In Greece, some restaurants have wine barrels at the back that are their house wines. They pull it straight from the barrel. We’ve got a pinot noir and pinot grigio, both from Mudgee, on tap. It represents that old-school, ‘village’ nature, but it’s modernised because it comes through the copper pipes,” says Evripidou.
The fit-out represents modern-day Athens. The exposed kitchen’s façade is made from white marble, and unpolished concrete lines the bar. Flecks of copper and pink neon stand out against the deep-blue floor, walls and ceiling, and Athens-inspired graffiti decorates the walls. The graffiti is text from the 1964 film Zorba the Greek, which tells the story of a Greek man teaching a foreigner how to dance.
And what’s behind the name?
“Stavros is a typically Greek name. In a sense, anyone can be ‘Stav’. We want people to come in and let go of the daily grind and be ‘Stav’,” says Dramountanis.
8 Water Street, Sans Souci
Tue to Thu 11.30am–4pm, 6pm–9.30pm
Fri & Sat 11.30am–11pm