Thursday, February 06, 2020

Meze lunch at Mykonos, Camps Bay

Vegetarian friends told us that they have been going to Mykonos in Camp Bay and how enjoyable the food was there, so we decided to meet them there for lunch last Saturday. Apparently it started as a take away, as they did not have serving staff, but that has changed and the staff are lovely and helpful and certainly have got the Hoppa! and other Greek phrases going. It is behind the PicknPay centre right next to CodFather on the corner of Camps Bay Drive and The Drive. There is parking available in the area, in the centre in front, but definitely not on Beach Road!
We have great memories of past holidays in Greece, but one does need to know that Greek restaurant food is quite simple with not much variation; if prepared well, it can be delicious. If you have travelled there, you will have a favourite. In the far gone days in Greece there were no menus, you were welcomed into the small restaurant kitchen where Mama was cooking a couple of standard dishes and you could lift lids on pots to see what you wanted and enjoy them sitting on small tables on the side of the street.. The food was often rather one note and a bit monotonous and by the end of the first week, Greek salads had lost their charm. One great memory Lynne has of a hot day lying on the beach in Lindos (before it was overwhelmed by hotels and cruise liners) when a shout went up: "Get to the restaurant (there was only one) they have something special!" It was fresh eggs, not often seen on the hot island of Rhodes, so we all had omelettes for lunch. We were able to visit the kitchen and choose at Costa's Taverna when we visited Diakofto in the Peloponnese in 2015
They seat you on the glassed-in terrace or inside, where they cook on a grill. Very sensible architecture, given the howling South Easters to which Camps Bay is prone. The restaurant is light and bright white with the obligatory touches of turquoise blue, so we didn’t need any lighting. They cook on coals, but cannot during a power cut as the fan to remove the fumes of the fire does not function without electricity and the fumes can be lethal. Light by load shedding

They don't (yet?) have a licence, so you take your own wine and beers, no corkage charge. They do have good wine glasses
We began with a bottle of Caroline Rillema’s excellent Celestina Sauvignon Blanc Semillon Blend
Ronnie had recently bought 12 and was going to buy more; he and we love it
Sadly, we arrived at 12.30 just in time for a 2 hour power cut, so we could only eat a limited selection off the menu; things that did not need cooking. Just enough hot coals to allow us to order two souvlakis. If they could use some gas rings or a gas braai on the stoep, it might help them for the future cuts, which are really making business difficult for restaurants. Sadly, we were the only customers while we were there. They deserve better and we hope you will visit

The menu. We definitely will be back to taste more from this. Hopefully, when the electricity is on and we can try the Saganaki
- grilled Haloumi cheese with lemon, the Spanakopita spinach and cheese pies, Tiropita
(Oh, such memories of Mykonos Island where they were first enjoyed), calamari and the Gyros
In fact we might just start with one of the Meze platters
We ordered a large Greek salad for the four of us to share while the rest of the food was prepared
Nice fresh tomatoes with flavour, good salty feta, red onions, cucumber, olives and green pepper slices
Do note, there is never lettuce in a Greek Salad. The country is dry and lettuce is not a successful crop for them
We all ordered portions of the Humus Reloaded, which comes topped with silky aubergine melanzane in tomato,
good golden olive oil, crumbled feta and roasted pine nuts. It is a revelation; why have we not seen this before?
The serving is plenty for two to share or great as a main for a single vegetarian. Ditto the dolmades,
which have good herb-flavoured rice and kind vine leaves, not the raw rough ones that spike your tongue
Lynne enjoyed these for the first time ever and she has tried many
The pita bread is soft and this is a portion for four people. It was just enough for the Humus
You can of course order more. It is R25 for a serving of one pita cut into four
The Lamb souvlaki was a little tough, but full of flavour, and lots of oregano is used
It comes with lemon and a serving of tzatziki (yogurt, garlic and cucumber dip sprinkled with chives)
The beef souvlaki is similar, nicely medium rare and was much enjoyed
Our second wine was the Middelvlei Rooster Sauvignon Blanc, quite astringent, but good with the olive oil drenched food
No Greek coffee this time but, when they have electricity, definitely. Did you know they have different names for their coffee?
Called sketos, if you’d like it without sugar, metrios, with a teaspoon of sugar, glykos, sweet, with 2 teaspoons of sugar
or variglykos, cloyingly sweet and strong! And all served black and strong
Our bill came to R660 with service
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