There's plenty of buzz happening down King William Rd in Hyde Park with new businesses opening up to create the perfect cosmopolitan vibe. A new Greek restaurant Plato's Philosopher's Kitchen opened last December replacing the former Zoe's still giving locals a taste of Greece. Tempting Palates was invited to try some of the dishes.
With over 30 years each in the hospitality industry, owners Andrew Lyon, Steve Ploubidis and Tony Frangie have created a relaxed and hospitable dining experience focusing on fresh quality Greek food. Expanding on the casual eatery, Plato's Greek Chargrill at Walkerville the Hyde Park restaurant offers a more contemporary feel with a touch of Greece. Taking on board Chef Sia whose heritage is Northern Greece and learning her cooking skills from her mother further adds to the authentic Greek style in Plato's Kitchen.
We started our Greek meze with the Dip Plate consisting of tzatziki, tarama, melintzanosalata and beetroot skorthalia and the housemade Dolmades. The dips combined with the traditional Greek pita bread were flavoursome and a nice way to start a Greek feast.
One way we like to judge a Greek restaurant is on their Dolmades. Having a Greek Tempting Palates member in the team and another who spent her childhood summer holidays in Greece means that our expectations are high - very high. We are happy to say that the Dolmades are freshly made in house and the flavours are traditional like they make them in the North of Greece. The vine leaves are filled with rice and herbs with a serving of tzatziki on the side.
The Imam Baildi is a baked eggplant boat filled with onion, garlic and drizzled with tzatziki. The eggplant was soft and together with the sauteed onions and tzatziki it made a lovely flavoursome dish.
The Loukaniko is a chargrilled Greek sausage served with lemon. This loukaniko was not your typical Greek sausage you find everywhere. When we inquired with owner Andrew he explained that this loukaniko is specially made for Plato's through a specialty butcher. You can certainly tell. It had a distinct smokey flavour with lots of different herbs and spices. It's always nice to be surprised and although it wasn't what we were used to it was delicious and we loved it.
What's a Greek restaurant without octopus? We tried some of the South Australian octopus that was slightly grilled and sprinkled with oregano served with roasted olive, walnut and artichoke salad.
Plato's version of Gemista are stuffed capsicums with a herbed risotto on feta mousse. With lovely mint and cinnamon flavours throughout this dish, it is one for those who are gluten intolerant or vegetarian.
Plato's specialty dish is the Duck Baklava. Now, we did have to do a double take and ask what is duck baklava? We must admit we hadn't heard of such a dish and we were intrigued! What a surprise! Your mind is thinking "sweet dessert" but your taste buds are saying "a tasty savoury filo pastry delight". Just like in baklava there were chopped roasted walnuts which give it that crunchy nutty flavour but the difference was the shredded confit duck, caramelised onion, white mulberry glaze and dollops of spiced yoghurt then topped with currants. The duck was tender and the currants added a nice sweet element to an otherwise savoury dish. This dish a a must try!
The Kotopoulo (Chicken) Souvlaki is another popular Greek dish. These char-grilled, marinated free range chicken pieces are served with braised okra and a dash of tzatziki. The chicken was tender and the marinade was full of traditional Greek flavours of lemon and oregano.
There's an interesting story behind the name of the dish Lamb Kleftiko. Traditionally a Cypriot dish the name translates to Stolen Lamb. Depending on which version you are being told, the name is derived from when either freedom fighters or sheep-rustlers would steal a lamb and cook it in makeshift ovens dug into the side of a hill or the ground then cover the hole with a large rock or pottery, letting the meat cook for long periods. By cooking it this way, no smells or steam would be released so the location of the men wouldn't be discovered. This Lamb Kleftiko is slow roasted lamb shoulder wrapped in a parcel with roasted vegetables, tomato and onion as well as a dollop of spiced yoghurt. The lamb was so tender it melted in our mouths and together with the eggplant it was bursting of Mediterranean flavours.
For sides we had a Horiatiki (Greek) Salad and Patates Lemonates (Potatoes). A good Greek salad is determined by the feta used and the feta was lovely and creamy. The Patates Lemonates are Greek style roasted potatoes with lemon, garlic and oregano. While there was discussion on whether potatoes should be hard or soft the one thing we all agreed on was that the flavour was perfect!
After such a feast we (unfortunately) didn't have room for dessert - yes, I think that's a first for Tempting Palates! But we did manage to take a few pictures for everyone to see what desserts are on offer and they looked mouthwatering!
Plato's have a $20 lunch special available 7 days a week - a selection of any Meze Piato and a glass of house wine or Mythos beer. They've also launched their takeaway section where you can get crowd favourites like Yiros, AB Packs or Moussaka just to name a few. Check the Plato's Take Away Menu for more options!
Plato's is a welcomed addition to the Hyde Park area keeping a Greek flavour to the dining scene. We all enjoyed our experience and recommend a visit if you're looking for a traditional Greek restaurant in the inner-southern suburbs of Adelaide.
Where: Plato's Philosophers Kitchen 164 King William Road Hyde Park
Open: 7 days a week: Lunch from 12:00pm - Dinner from 6:00pm