Thursday, March 18, 2010

My little Greek adventure

This post has been long outstanding. It's been 3 months since my trip to Greece and the photos (thousands of them!) have been lying dormant in my thumb-drive. Amazing how time really flew! I was so caught up with other stuff the past few months, since returning from Greece & Abu Dhabi. There was the New Year, then Chinese New Year and in between, my medical woes.... which hopefully have been settled now.

So... there you have up there that beautiful pic of the Acropolis, as seen from our hotel window. It's so spectacular, isn't it? Especially when viewed at night! We did climb right up to the site on one of the mornings and the view of Athens from there was breath-taking. I shall cover the sights of Greece in Raynebows later.

We chose a central location to stay - Monastiraki - a very hustle-bustle area with everything right at our doorstep - shops, restaurants and the Flea Market in the Plaka area! The train station is merely 300m away from our hotel - a really "plus" point, especially when we had to lug our baggage to go to the airport! It was such a breeze as the train goes straight to the airport - no need to change train/station at all!

So.... how did I find Greek food?

I shall elaborate more on what we actually ate there... but first, I want to showcase some of their desserts...

I have no idea what they are called. We found all these in a local food outlet which sold cooked food as well as a wide array of their sweets! They were all placed on HUGE trays and quite a number of them were soaking in thick syrup... they do look verrrryyy sweet & rich, don't they??

Their pies and pastries were all served in humongous pieces - just look at these!



These looked like birds' nests huh??
Every restaurant that we ate at, we were served a huge basket of this bread...

They may look nice but actually the texture's quite dense and hard and dry ...
They taste better when toasted with garlic & butter like this...

The Greeks are great meat eaters. Lamb and pork are the firm favourites... beef don't feature much on their menus but are available. Chicken and seafood are not really favoured there... maybe not in winter...

So, LL and DL had a great time feasting on their meat dishes... Pork Chops like the one above... and Braised Wild Boar with Onions...

This was also Pork ... in white sauce and served with garlic rice...

... and another time it was served with pasta...

LL loved their Lamb, cooked in any way... roasted like this...

... or grilled the good old fashioned way...

Me? I found their Moussaka much more appetizing (and not so heavy!)... The soft layers of mashed potatoes and aubergine were tasty, easy to eat and very filling!

Topped with white bechamel sauce and grated cheese, Moussaka is easily the Greeks' favourite fast food... and mine too!

Ohh... here's another favourite of the boys ... Grilled Meat (all kinds!) ... which is sold practically everywhere, from roadside souvlakis to trendy fine-dining restaurants!



A huge platter like this can easily feed the 3 of us!

What about vegetables? Well, you only have one choice - Salads! This is the typical Greek Salad - tomatoes, capsicum, onions, croutons and chunks of feta cheese! I love their juicy tomatoes and capsicum but can do without the feta cheese, thank you :-)

So it's a better option to order their plain Garden Salad - which was just tomatoes and greens served with a dash of vinaigrette dressing!


Oh yeah... the Greeks like to stuff and bake their tomatoes and capsicums too. I didn't quite fancy these... the stuffings were mainly cheese & rice :-S

In the background there is a slice of their Spinach Pie - mashed spinach rolled in pastry...

Soups aint great either - rather bland and oily...

Since we were staying in Monastiraki, we were recommended to try "The Best Pork Chops in Athens" which was located in a dark creepy side alley - it was quite a hair-raising walk that night as we went in search of this place, frequented mainly by the locals. It seems to be a family-run business... here you can see the very-buff son doing his thing grilling the pork chops...

All my close-up pics of the pork chops didn't turn out well, mainly because the lighting was very dim where we were seated. But I can tell you how they tasted - they were extremely salty!!! And hard! Because they were over-grilled! What they did was grill these thin slices of lean pork and then sprinkle handfuls of salt over the meat and then pile them onto a plate to serve to you!

This was the only seafood item we ate while in Greece... a plate of Little Fried Fish - yes, that's how it was listed on their menu! This was at the cafe by the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.

We had a chance to visit the market in Monastiraki (2 minutes' walk from our hotel) ... what an eye-opener that was!

Firstly, you can see all their workers/vendors donning white coats - very "clinical", don't you think??

Caution: Explicitly gory pics coming up....









Let the pics speak for themselves... hehe ...


Most of their seafood were the frozen kind...


They are big on octopussies...

See how beautifully symmetrical their fish arrangement is??!

Loads of cured meat in the market... sausages, hams, bacons....

... in every shape, size and colour...

Ahhh... Olives are Greece's No.1 produce...

... nuts and raisins too!

I will post about the sights of this trip in Raynebows, hopefully soon :-) So... do check that out later!

20 comments:

thule a.k.a leo said...

looking at the Acropolis gave me an urge to drop everything and go straight for holiday :(

UnkaLeong said...

Nice! Never tar bao anything back from the market?

Pete said...

Many choices of food there! Nice grills and desserts!

PureGlutton said...

Leo: What's stopping u from packing yr bags and go?! :-P

PureGlutton said...

Unka: I was so tempted to buy the hams, bacons and sausages lahh... but then it was enroute to Abu Dhabi from Athens, so no point lor :-S

PureGlutton said...

Pete: Thanks for dropping by. Yeah, the Greeks are big on desserts and meats!

Christy said...

Ooooohhh, I missed vacation and Europe! Greece is definitely a lovely place, right?
Food wise,hehehe, may not be that suitable for me...and I do agree, most of the food in Europe seems to come in large sizes (cakes, tarts, etc) and also rather oily, don't you think? =P

Nic (KHKL) said...

Lovely food! With all that's going on in Europe, hopefully Greece will recover soon. I'm really interested in Greece but because the flight fare is similar to those heading central Europe albeit the shorter distance, I always choose the more 'worthwhile' flight instead. I'm so kiasu hor? Lol!

thenomadGourmand said...

Oh my! such a beautiful plc!
Hmm.. tis plc we have tried in Changkat BB - Giovino seems quite authentic based on your pic & desc of the food!
cos we also had the spinach filo..prok chops etc.

Yes the sugar stuffs.. i love desserts but it did looked like its diabetically sweet!

qwazymonkey said...

OOoh wow. Sounds like a nice holiday and pics are lovely. Esp the guy who's grilling the pork chop. So meaty. LOL

reanaclaire said...

wah...really long overdue la!! but better late than never, otherwise i cannot see what greek looks like! :)
btw, did u all manage to wallop all those food? the sweet desserts? how did they taste like?

foodbin said...

great food-cute pig's feet.

CUMI & CIKI said...

amazing post! i really like the cute symmetry of the fish! i like the gory piggy.. but most of all .. i like the Greek food! great job:D

PureGlutton said...

Christy: Oh yes, their food portions are huge and very heavily flavoured - too salty, too sweet, oily etc LOL! Will really bust your diet!

PureGlutton said...

Nic: I understand what u mean - we always wanna get the maximum mileage for whatever we pay! But Greece is lovely, with all their ancient sites and history.

PureGlutton said...

TNG: Yes, Greece is indeed lovely and you will really get diabetes if u eat their sweets, hehe!

PureGlutton said...

QwazyM: Yeah, he's so buff hoh? Enjoyed looking at him more than eating the super-salty pork chops, lol!

PureGlutton said...

Claire: Yeah, those were pics of the food we ate, over a period of 8 days lah - not all in one meal, OMG! The sweet desserts were extremely sweet :-))

PureGlutton said...

foodbin: Yeah, those trotters really looked so immaculately clean & nicely presented!

PureGlutton said...

Ciki: Thanks, great that u like the post & pics. Yep, those fishmongers really did spend a lot of time & efforts arranging their products so artistically!