Walking into restaurant 1821 you definitely feel like you’ve crossed continents.
Boasting super lux décor and interiors designed by Athens-based designer Dimitris Economou, it feels like a little taste of Greece, in the middle of the Sydney CBD.
There’s a huge brick wall adorned with a giant white Greek flag, olive plants everywhere and towering Greek columns flanking the bar.
Now what’s important to note about the menu is that the concept is to share.
Executive Chef David Tsirekas says the restaurant prides itself on embodying the Greek concept of ‘philotimo’, which welcomes diners in to eat like they are part of the family.
“Throughout history Hellenes have shared their table with family and friends as a show of hospitality and generosity. I have designed this menu with inspiration from my experiences and philosophy taught through the Greek ages,” he says.
When Be was invited to try out the new Winter menu the first thing we noticed was definitely the Greek vibes, but also the wine display – amazing – particularly because we were seated right in front of it.
But the selection is impressive as the Greek flavours of the food are complemented with a wine list that features 80 per cent Greek wines.
The new menu includes Sagnaki, wild green and leek pie, stuffed calamari, vegetarian pastitsio, chicken manestra, braised beef short ribs and more.
To start off we ordered the Tzatziki - yoghurt, garlic, carrot & cucumber dip – and it came with the most delicious dipping bread. Perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside – so much so that we even went for a second serve to finish the dip.
Up next we had the Lamb Mani egg pasta dumplings from the Metrio (medium) section of the menu.
Made with, manouri cheese purée, candied pinenuts, burnt butter currant dressing and fried mint leaves, they didn’t last long – super flavourful, creamy and just melt in your mouth is the best way to describe them.
Sticking with the Lamb theme, we ordered one of the signatures for our main – the BBQ Lamb Shoulder, along with a serving of the Yia Yia’s chips.
We did have a slight hiccup, with our main meal taking a little longer than it should have, but staff were really good, jumped to rectify the problem, and we even scored an extra drink for it.
The twice-cooked lamb shoulder is slow braised over five hours and then grilled, and the meat just fell off the bone, although we were expecting a little more flavour.
Overall it was definitely a great experience if you’re looking for something with a great European flare – but not Italian – and really want to immerse yourself into the whole Greek atmosphere.
Plus points for that!