Monday, April 19, 2010

Medusa Greek Taverna - Sydney

On a long-overdue catch up with high school friends, we dined at Medusa in the City. I had my reservations about eating here because 1. it's in the city and I work super far away from the city and 2. it's greek food (and I've once been told by my Greek friend to never dine at a Greek restaurant as I don't eat lamb, feta, eggplant, pumpkin, sweet potato etc etc - ie. I don't eat any of the staple Greek ingredients).

Anyway - here I was. I was ready for anything.

Being a group of 9, we ordered the set menu ($50 each). We got 2 Mezze plates to share. The Mezze plate comprised of tarama and tzatziki dip, grilled halloumi cheese, dolmades, country-style sausages, olives, and a plate ful of pita breads. We were instructed by the waiter to attack the halloumi first - before it gets cold. Of a firm and chewy texture, it was mild yet tasty. The taramosalata is an authentic fish roe dip -pinkish in colour and really quite tasty and yummy. It wasn't too strong and it wasn't bland. The Tzatziki (which is yoghurt, cucumber and garlic) was likewise quite palatable.

Mezze plate

To be completely honest, I was not brave or game enough to consume the dolmades. Dolmades are the vine leafy green things with rice and minted yoghurt inside. As my partner described it as "it's alright" - and he actually likes Greek - I thought it was a bit too much of a risk seeing that I don't think I like vine leafs or rice or yoghurt. The country style spicy sausages were also untasted by me... partly because I was a bit hesitant about what type of meat it may be made of and partly because by the time I wanted to get to it, it was all gone :P The last part of the dish - the olives, were virtually untouched by the whole table. Not because they were bad olives. But mostly because we were all not huge fans of olives.

Mezze plate

We were also served with a greek salad. There were tomatos, cucumber, spanish onions, capsicum, and olives, sprinkled with oregano and topped with a block of feta. Drenched in olive oil, it didn't have too much taste. But I like cucumber - and it was fresh.

Greek Salad

There was also an entree of prawns bathing in thick tomato broth, baked and topped with crumbed feta to share. This was actually OK. The tomatoey stuff was very very rich and thick. The feta wasn't overpowering. However, the prawns were a little mushy-ish. Maybe a bit overcooked? or it could just be because it was soaking and baking and bathing in the tomato too long?

Prawns

Bread accompanying the prawns

In terms of mains, we had a choice between 5 dishes - 2 lamb dishes, 1 vegetarian dish, 1 eggplant thing, and one chicken thing. Interesting enough, there was an ingredient in each of these dishes that I do not eat. Hence, I picked the least threatening ingredients.

My Kotopoulo Tis Santorinis was a spinach, goats cheese and roast pepper stuffed chicken smothered with Santorini wine sauce. I'm not a fan of goats cheese and was able to squish all the filling out without it infusing into my chicken too much. I think that the cheese and the mushy roast pepper was a bit... um... overpowering. But I think that's how the Greeks like it? Nevertheless, the chicken itself was pretty tasty. The wine sauce was smooth and creamy. And there was yummy mash potato underneath it (which I could eat after I filtered out all the huge cubes of sweet potatoes which were luckily not mushed).

Kotopoulo Tis Santorinis

My partner opted for the Arni Souvlaki which was lamb skewers with tzatziki, herbed chips and spicy salad. He said that it was alright... but not excellent. He prefered the souvlaki from Stalactites (in Melbourne) and as the souvlaki here couldn't beat that of the famous 24 hour fast food joint - well... yeh. Anyway, lamb aside, the herbed chippies were really quite awesome~! :)

Arni Souvlaki

Another main that was ordered on the table was the Mousaka (as well as the vegetarian version - Mousaka Me Lahanika). The Mousaka is potato layered with eggplant and topped with eggplant and smothered in beef mince and bechamel sauce then baked like a lasagna. I had originally wanted to order this - but I asked the waiter if it would be possible to take out the eggplant and the answer was No! Even IF the eggplant was taken out, the eggplant flavour will still be infused throughout. So when it came out, I was super relieved I did not order this. So super eggplanted.

Mousaka

The last main of 5 was the Medusa's Arni Sto Fourno which was a whole slow baked lamb with roasted lemon potatoes and vegetables. It looked decent and no complaints originated from my friend. So I can only assume that the meal was fine.

Medusa's Arni Sto Fourno

For dessert, we each got a Galactobouriko and a Baclava. Both desserts were sitting ontop of a pool of syrup. The Galactobouriko was nice and warm. The puff pastry was crisp and completely gorgeous - the custard on the inside was something I didn't adore though. Hence, I simply just ate the warm outer crust :) The Baclava was super super sweet. A bit too sweet. Most of us could not stomach this.

Galactobouriko
Baclava

In addition to all this, a few of us also ordered the Greek coffee. This came in a small cup. Strong and slightly too sweet. Near the bottom was residue. As it was so sweet I thought that the bottom residue stuff may have been of the chocolate variety. Boy was I wrong. Warning - DO NOT TOUCH the muddy murky brown stuff at the bottom of the cup. It tastes like sand and mud. And it definately ought not be eaten/drunk. The waiter definately should have warned us about it earlier!

Greek coffee + mud residue

All up - this dining experience was better than I expected. BUT - it wasn't overly awesome either. If you wish to dine here, remember to book in advance - apparantly it's always booked out!

Ratings:
Food - 7/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29/40

Medusa Greek Taverna
2 Market Street
Sydney
NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9267 0799

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I don't understand - is this a food blog by someone who doesn't eat food?

Anonymous said...

Picky person. Waiter's nightmare. Just stay at home. Taking the eggplant out of mousaka is like taking the bread out of a sandwich. Two words just dumb.