WOW! Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow!!! Hello The Apollo. Easily a food highlight of my year so far but with only one regret. That I didn't get my butt to this place sooner. However, it is my butt that I can now thank for being the ultimate give away as to just how much I put away over dinner. Totally worth it though.
I liked the simple, underdone decor. Unfinished walls of pealed paint and smudged brown markings felt rather industrial. The exposed piping and air conditioning units were made into a feature on the ceiling which were a stark contrast to the clean, elegant furnishings.
"Get me to THE GREEK. And by Greek, I mean APOLLO."
OK, now onto the good stuff. We began with one of my favourites of the night, taramasalata and freshly baked pita bread. This dip transported me to the time when my mum used to throw dinner parties. Before dishing up dinner she would scatter about bowls of chippies and dippies, as she liked to call them, for her guests to enjoy. Unknowingly to her this is something I too enjoyed and I would fill myself up on hummus and taramasalata before sneaking off to bed.
The dip was extremely smooth and had a bold, punchy flavour. If you are unfamiliar with taramasalata it is a dip made using cod roe and is quite fishy tasting. I am a massive fan of fish but those who aren't might find it hard to swallow. The bread however, I can guarantee will suit everyones tastes. I mean, who doesn't love freshly baked bread??
Now unfortunately this is where it all goes down hill. To my utter dismay we only ordered one serving of the saganaki cheese with honey and oregano. Big, big, big mistake. I could have happily devoured this all to myself.... and more, but of course it's only fair to share so I had to make do with only 2 mouthfuls, which I can assure you is definitely not enough. This dish is a must!
As part of our starters we also had the octopus and fennel salad which was fragrant and delicate, but as I'm not much of a fennel fan I could take it or leave it. However the octopus was cooked beautifully.
"There will be no SMASHING of plates here. Just LICKING of them."
Sardines are probably one of my favourite fish to eat from the top of the head to the tip of the tail.... quite literally. I devoured these little morsels of salty goodness and they took me right back to a no-nonsense, beach front restaurant in Santorini where we ate mountains of fresh Sardines under the shade of a vine drenched veranda. For those who consider themselves a little more adventurous I recommend eating the entire fish. The head for me has the best flavour........if you don't mind a little bit of crunch!
Other dishes worth a mention was the oven baked lamb shoulder, it was melt in the mouth, and if you have any bread left over (which if you're anything like me is never normally the case) then mop up the lamb juices to savour every last bit. The brussel sprouts with almond and vinegar were wonderfully crispy and a great way to get some green on the table.
I don't think we could've ended on more of a high. The desserts were unreal!! My pick of the bunch was the lemon meringue pie. The lemon curd was to die for, just give me a spoon and you've got yourself a happy customer. The meringue was unlike any I've had before. It was incredibly soft and fluffy and the perfect amount of sweetness to balance out the sharp lemon.
And of course you can't go far wrong with a combination of walnuts, filo pastry and coffee cream. A tower of traditional Greek flavours was the icing on the cake (or rather, the honey on the Loukoumades) to this incredible Greek feast.