Sunday, November 16, 2014

Food-Hunting in Santorini

WARNING: Heavy food post ahead, DO NOT CONTINUE READING if you are hungry! :p

There is always a risk eating in an island like Santorini where tourism is their main income. Food can be more expensive than anywhere else (because duh, you are trapped in an island you don't have a bloody choice man) and taste can be yucky too. I did some research beforehand but because we wanted the trip to be a relaxing and spontaneous holiday, it wasn't a full-on research cos we just wanted to explore the island naturally and let the surprises surprise us! :p

So I shall skip the yucky ones and mention only the note-worthy ones, which I figured are still a lot. And I sincerely hope this entry will help you to find your way to some good food if you are travelling to Santorini next year (cos they are officially closed now until April next year)! :)

Homey & Warm Service @ Santorini Mou, Oia
Unlike a lot of crowded restaurants nearer to the sunset viewpoint, this very humble and homey tavern located on the other side of Oia was quiet when we visited them. It has a very good review on Trip Advisor and it was only about few steps away from the villa we were staying so we decided to give it a try.
'Thanks for your smile' is their very friendly tagline! :)
First thing we saw are some really impressive list of people who have dined there! Stephanie Sun, Jennifer Aniston and Green Day left their photos with the owner there!
Celebrities dined here okay! 
The hospitality we got from them is crazily warm (despite the cold breeze that day)! The waitress first asked us where are we from and after we told them, she came out with a Malaysian flag on put it on our table! And we were like... Damn, now everyone knows where are we from! LOL!
Me with my flying hair and the Malaysian flag and Deardo with the black cat that loves climbing to only men's laps! 
We placed our orders and they gave us some folders of photos of their customers having fun dining there to flip through, some famous people, some just random people lar. Of course we had to take one too in the end so if you ever go there please see if you can find our photo there! :p
Boiled Greens, 5.80 Euro.
Tomato Fritters, 6.90 Euro.
Dying to have some cooked vegetables instead of salad, we ordered a boiled greens (which turned out to be spinach) to share. It did satisfy my demand for some cooked vegetables, but with it served cold (like real cold) and lemon, it still felt a bit weird for an Asian like me. Santorini is famous for their tomatoes and I've heard about how you should try their tomato fritters there and the ones at Santorini Mou was a perfect start to that! The entree dish was super duper yummy! Crispy, fresh and sweetness bursting out from the Santorini's signature tomatoes, the fritters are so delicious I wanted to order more! 
Stuffed Lamb, 15 Euro.
Chicken Roulette, 10.50 Euro.
Then came the main courses. You see, what I really like about their menu here is that, unlike those commercialised restaurants on the island, the food all sounded and looked so home-cooked! Just looked at our Stuffed Lamb and Chicken Roulette! No fancy presentation but they both tasted so good! I think the then 2-month-preggers me preferred the Chicken which has ham and cheese in it but I did remember I love both of them and that include the wedges!
Great hospitality, awesome food without a hole in your pocket, this place is a must-go if you are in Oia! It is one true example why you should try smaller taverns instead of crowded restaurants nearer to the tourist attraction!  

Santorini Mou
Oia, Santorini Island,
P.C. 847 02,
Oia 847 92, Greece
Tel: +30 22860 71730

Awesome BBQ Meat @ Random Restaurant with only Greek Name, Oia
Hidden in a small alley towards the sunset viewpoint at Oia, the restaurant only has a Greek name or perhaps something like BBQ Restaurant as their name. That's it. But they sell traditional Gyros and Souvlaki that's for sure but we were there to have full set of dinner, and that is BBQ meat dishes.
Sorry I couldn't get the name of the restaurant, but I hope the photos help!
You can easily takeaway your Souvlaki or be at their open air dine-in area that resembles a pretty garden sitting.
One of the most famous dishes in Greece - Greek Salad.
For the first time in the entire trip, we braved ourselves to order a Greek Salad. We have nothing against this famous Greek dish, but Deardo isn't a big fan of cucumber and cheese, which are obviously the main ingredients of the dish; and I'm preggers and do not find cheese or raw vegetables with vinegar any attractive. And true to our concerns, the only thing we really enjoyed was the fresh, juicy and sweet Santorini tomatoes.
Say what? Pork Chop in the big portion???
BBQ Chicken!
Luckily for us, the mains made up for the dinner! The huge BBQ pork chop with minimal usage of marinate (probably just salt and dried parsley) was so delicious! But the star of the night has to be the BBQ Chicken. Chicken Cutlets grilled to perfection without much marinate too but comes with a glorious mint based sauce, that dish screams creativity and awesomeness! Love it so much I had to swap my pork with Deardo's chicken dish! LOL! 
Us enjoying our dinner!
While little doggy gets nothing from us... :p
Unfortunately I couldn't find receipt for the meal but I've noted it down that the tummy-filling dinner costs us 21.50 Euro, including a bottle of water, which is definitely not too bad a price too!

Classy Service and Food @ Kyprida Restaurant, Oia
It was another random pick as we failed to find the restaurant I wanted to go to on the day we were supposed to celebrated my 30th birthday.
Since the kitchen of the restaurant is located downstairs before you walk upstairs to the dining area, we can see those who are cooking are aunties and that sort of convinced us to dine at the restaurant.
I super love the interior of the restaurant! 
Oh, the restaurant is lovely! Pastel colours, dim lights and classy-looking dining tables, together with the very professional service staff, the places is definitely one of the most professional-looking restaurants we've visited in Santorini.
Some breads to start with.
Zucchini Omelet.
Smoked Duck.
Sausage Platter.
We had a Zucchini Omelet to share which is pretty awesome. Not too oily and tasted rather different with some herbs in it. Of course, I think it is also a very Greek thing to do having Zucchini in an Omelet! The Smoked duck was a bit too salty to have it on its own. We also had the sausage platter which is pretty unique too. It doesn't feel artificial at all, especially when you can see and taste some greens and herbs in the sausage! Best of all, the meat dish comes with whole loads of salsa and pita bread to balance things up! :)
Birthday dinner for me? Wait till you see the last restaurant on this list!
Once again, I don't have the receipt but the dinner costs us 37.10 Euro. Decent food, but great atmosphere and really professional service I must say. But no, please don't order their coffee here, they are kinda sucky! 

Kyprida Restaurant
847 02,
Oia, Santorini,
Tel: +30 22860 71979

Delicious Gyros @ O Souvlaros, Fira
We first ate at this humble restaurant simply because it was not too far away from the apartment we were staying in Fira/we were hungry/it was raining. Run by a very humble, friendly but knows minimal English owner (again, not all Greeks are rude), the cafe surprised us with so much of smiles and yummy Gyros (the owner told us it's pronounced Gyro, no 's')!
Small, humble restaurant like this is where you get the friendliest service!
Honestly, I don't really know how to explain how is Gyros so different from Souvlaki, except for the fact that one's wrapped like a kebab while one's not, and one's with Salsa while another isn't. The rest are actually the same!
Awesome Gyros!
Tomato Fritters to snack with.
Anyway, the pork in our Gyros dish here was simply too awesome! A little crispy, very flavourful and very appetising! I personally enjoyed the Tzataziki that comes with the dish here too, so creamy!!! We tried their tomato fritters too but they were a bit too oily to my liking.
Deardo's ultimate favourite dish throughout the trip is definitely the Gyros at O Souvlaros
I didn't keep the receipt from the restaurant too, but I remember it was very affordable. In fact this is the only place that we visited twice in our entire trip! You can't beat that! 

O Souvlaros
Near Ermis Shopping Centre
Fira 84700,
Tel: +30 22860 23225

Get your Chinese Food Fix @ China Restaurant, Fira
I just gotta say this... Chinese businessmen are still the most aggressive lots. LOL! It's hard not to notice the advertisement this restaurant has placed all over the island, including in Oia! That is why even when I was in Oia I knew if I'm craving for some Chinese food I know where to go! Ha!
So really, after so many days of Greek food, I told Deardo my baby and me need the Asian fix, like now! I just have to go to this restaurant even though it might be expensive or might taste like cheat Chinese food!
Very Chinese-looking restaurant with pictures of Tun Mahathir's visit on the wall!
Little did we know, the restaurant was packed with Asians-alike plus some 'Guai Lous' who are probably also sick of Greek food enjoying their Asian fix! I was really excited to flip through their menu! More interesting is the fact that we had a short chat with the busy owner who is apparently a Malaysian who has been in Greece for over 30 years! He is from Bukit Mertajam and when he knows we are from Taiping, he started to speak Hokkien to us... Ahhhhh... How I feel at home now! LOL!
Cantonese Fried Rice, 6.90 Euros.
Chinese Mushrooms with Broccoli, 8.90 Euros.
Shrimps Fu Yung, 13.90 Euros.
We ordered a Cantonese Fried Rice, Chinese Mushrooms with Broccoli (ahhh it was really hard to find broccoli in any restaurants there) and a Shrimps Omelet (Fu Yung in the menu okay) to share. While I won't say they are super delicious, they are actually not too bad for a Greek-standard Chinese food! It was the one and only meal that I actually didn't struggle at all to finish in the entire trip! 
Yum Cha in Santorini! 
Mummy's happy, baby's happy too! :)
Together with Chinese tea for two, the lunch cost us 32.50 Euros. I don't know about you, but I'd say it's worth the price since it made me and my little one very very happy! :) Mind you, their menu is so extensive they have desserts like Banana Fritter with Ice-Cream! Definitely a good place to go whenever you are tired of Greek food! :)

China Restaurant
In the town of Fira
Tel: +30 22860 24760

Best Moussaka on the Island @ Naoussa, Fira
One other famous Greek dish to try is Moussaka and I kept myself away from ordering the dish until I get to Naoussa because this is where rumous has it that they serve the best Moussaka in the entire Santorini island.
We were lucky we arrived earlier without any prior reservations cos the restaurant is so famous it became so crowded by the time we were enjoying our food they had to reject some customers (probably also because of the strong wind that cost them not to open up their rooftop area). Anyway, the restaurant also has a very nice sunset view, just that it wasn't as nice when we were there because of the lousy weather. :(
Sunset view from the restaurant and how we Asians just can do anything for pictures.
Caesar Salad.
We had a Caesar Salad to share, which I must say was very impressive. The Caesar dressing was not overly creamy yet not watery, just nice and the taste was definitely different from what we have in Malaysia. 
Seafood Spaghetti.
So here comes the verdict... The Moussaka was pretty nice, you get the strong flavours from the herbs and the lamb with the generous amount of cheese on top of it. But you see, since I'm not Greek and haven't tried any Moussaka except for the one time in Malaysia, I'm no judge to say if it's the best one here. It was nicer than the seafood spaghetti we ordered though, which we didn't even finish eating...
Deardo and his Greek beer which can be cheaper than orange juice!
Forgot the receipt again but the dinner cost us 48 Euro, including a beer. It wasn't the best meal I've had in Santorini, but for the Moussaka, I think it still still compulsory to pay them a visit! :)

Naoussa Tavern
Fira Town Santorini
Next to the Central Orthodox Church,
Fira 84700 Greece
Tel: +30 22860 24869

Our BEST MEAL of the entire trip @ Sunset Tavern/Sunset in Amoudi, Oia
Ohhhhh... Thank god we finally found this tavern a day after my birthday! But because we didn't drive, we had to walked down all the way from the top by stairs that have smelly donkey dung to get down to the restaurant and then walked back up again after that! Imagine doing that when you are pregnant, ladies!
Here we are, finally! :)
So it's only normal for me to say "oh the food better be good" when I reached the tavern, strategically located by the sea.
Looking out to the sea and sunset!
This was how close we were to falling into the sea! 
This guy can grill!!!
The fresh seafood and awesome sunset view make it hard to not notice its name in several blogs that talks about Santorini's food. The advice is, call earlier to make your reservation or be there early like us! We were really lucky to get a nice table really by the sea (literally one step off and you'll be in the sea) where there is nothing blocking us from the gorgeous sunset view! So so glad of that!!! :) 
Deep Fried Zucchini, 5.50 Euro.
Tabbouleh, F.O.C.
We started our early dinner with a Deep Fried Zucchini, which was just okay. But the complimentary Tabbouleh (a Lebanese salad) totally blew me away! The Bulgur (something like barley) are like couscous but a bit more chewy and the mixture of vegetables plus mint and lemon totally waked my taste bud up! It was like a perfect appetiser to get you started with your dinner! So yummey~~~!!!
Grilled Fish, by weight. Ours was 15.93 Euro.
Grilled Octopus, 13 Euro.
Now to the mains... We had two grilled seafood dishes, a small fish which Deardo hand-picked and a big octopus. Both perfectly-grilled with probably just salt and pepper but certainly super duper fresh. You see, despite Santorini being an island, we have yet to taste seafood as fresh as these here at this tavern itself. So best seafood we have tried in Santorini? Sunset Tavern, hands down okay!!!
Seafood Spaghetti, 19.50 Euro.
The best dish, to me at least, was the Seafood Spaghetti! It's just spaghetti, how nice can it be, you may asked. Well I have eaten quite some pasta dishes in Santorini due to my little baby inside me who always want his/her carbo intake, but this oh yea, was truly a class above! Needless to say, the seafood were really fresh, but what's surprising is the pasta doesn't come with tomato paste! There were just tomatoes bits but what lies in the pasta was some awesome broth that I suspect may be seafood broth. As easy as that and that dish become the dish that I didn't really want to share with Deardo! Ha! Oh, that was so unforgettable I should make it the best spaghetti dish I've ever had in my entire life!!!
Probably the most romantic dinner I've ever had in Santorini, or in my life!
Food were really good but the experience of dining by the sea with a beautiful sunset right in front of you? Oh, that was unforgettable!!! This tavern certainly lived up to the expectations I had in them! So bravo!!!
All that food, an orange juice and a bottle of water, plus the priceless dining experience, the bill came up to 58.92 Euro, and if you do the math, that's about RM300. I have no complain at all man! This is the ultimate place that you mustn't miss in Santorini!!!

Sunset Ammoudi/Sunset Tavern
Ammoudi Harbour
Tel: +30 2286 071614

Haha, I'm sure you can see we ate quite a lot during our trip in Santorini! And these are not all too but we were there for 5 days-4 nights so I guess we did explored quite a bit. We were quite sick of eating out on the final night we ate instant noodle and some awesome Greek Tomatoes for dinner at the apartment! :p

*I have no idea what happened to most of my photos here that they are so pixaleted. Ish...

Read my earlier entry on food-hunting in Athens here.


Hayley said...

Those food you guys had looks so much better than what we had during the trip, perhaps food at Santorini area is much yummier ;)

ShiRLeXia said...

Hi Hayley!

Well, I'm not sure but sometimes very hard to say also cos if you follow tour guide sometimes they might not bring u to the best food out there cos all they want are commission mah...