To satiate a serious Greek craving in Joburg, head to the brand-new Mythos at The Zone @ Rosebank for ultra-fresh whole grilled fish, juicy lamb prepared myriad ways plus a smattering of excellent options for dipping into creamy, garlicky spreads and digging into grilled octopus.
For years, Greek restaurants in Joburg have felt as hidden away as the army inside a Trojan Horse. However, things have more than come on since Parea’s heydey. The Illovo restaurant is still a hotbed for Greek food, catering to settlements of cheerful Greek and Cypriot expatriates hungry for souvlaki, kleftiko and gigantes as good as they taste back home. But a new breed of restaurants doing modern Greek small plates, ace riffs on the classics and fab vegetarian dishes abounds across the city. Enter the Mythos group of Greek restaurants.
If flying to the Greek isles for lunch isn’t quite in the cards, the airy new Rosebank restaurant is the next best thing. You don’t feel like you’re in a concrete jungle when you step into this gorgeous spot that captures the idyllic simplicity and warmth of the Greek islands. The space is stylishly elegant, boasting evil eyes, blue and white décor, plenty of outside tables with umbrellas for al fresco dining and floor-to-ceiling concertina doors that slide back to ensure an excellent indoor-outdoor flow. It also packs atmosphere in by the bucketload thanks to multi-generational families and The Parks’ ladies-who-lunch chattering away as well as big birthday groups knocking back Greek wine like Retsina and Onoma.
Then there’s our favourite part – the menu, which is a superb exploration on Greek cuisine. Seafood is the king here: We highly recommend the psari sti skara AKA fresh whole line fish of the day as well as the Norwegian salmon seared and served with rice and teriyaki sauce. Other varieties are also on offer, from east coast sole and kingklip, to sardines and prawns. Of course, you just have to round out your meal with one of the many mezze, such as deep-fried falafels, halloumi baked with a sesame crust and drizzled with honey, pickled baby octopus, sardines grilled with coarse sea salt, skewers of chicken marinated in olive oil and herbs, and lamb loin chops grilled with lemon and oregano. There’s also a dizzying array of dips, including delicately whipped codfish roe, oven-roasted aubergine and spicy feta.
Meat eaters needn’t despair, as they’re spoilt for choice with many meaty mains. Standouts include the chargrilled BBQ lamb rib rack, grilled beef fillet topped with Kalamata olives, chicken breasts topped with a feta, mushroom olive sauce, and grilled peri-peri chicken burger. On the sweet side, you’re simply spoilt for choice with options like traditional rice pudding, doughnuts, baklava and kataifi. Our personal favourites are the baklava cheesecake, baked with pecan nuts, cinnamon and syrup, and the home-style pistachio and halva ice cream.
Epicurean Joburgers, do yourselves a favour and go taste these modern takes on traditional recipes. Coupled with Greek hospitality, we can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon this summer!
The Zone @ Rosebank, 177 Oxford Road, Rosebank
011 268 0916