It’s modern Greek but not as you know it.
Anatoli Restaurant, the fourth venue in the Eastern’s transformation officially launched with a media dinner showcasing the best of the new restaurant’s food and wine.
Anatoli Dining Room
Located on level one of the Eastern, the 120-seater restaurant brings a clean and geometric design with a 3-D optical illusion black and white floor, a sweeping marble bar and a trompe l’oeil wall creating a sense of style and space.
Anatoli has assembled a stellar team with Executive Chef Matt Fitzgerald who also heads El Topo, Chimmi’s rum cantina and The Publican at the Eastern. His previous experiences includes the Bentley Restaurant & Bar and Bather’s Pavilion.
L-R: Manuel Conti, Matt Fitzgerald
Wimmy Winkler (ex Quay, Becasse, and Claude’s Restaurant) manages the restaurant and sommelier Manuel Conti brings his experience from Marque, two Michelin star Il Pellicano and three Michelin star Enoteca Pinchiorri, both in Italy.
A solid list of 250 wines has been internationally sourced and hand-selected by consultant Alon Sharman (ex Arras and Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide Silver Service Award 2010 winner). The list includes a section on Greek wines with an explanation and tasting notes of the common grape varietals.
Trompe l’oeil wall
Anatoli offers a Greek -inspired share plate menu that plays on traditional flavours with Fitzgerald’s modern take, the result of extensive research in Greek cuisine including a stint in the kitchen with two generations of Greek families.
At the media launch, a large selection of the food menu offered a taste of modern Greek matched with Greek wines. The 2010 Domaine Sigalas Assyrtiko, Athiri from Santorini ($13) is fresh and crisp with a dry chalky finish reflecting its volcanic terroir and the excellent 2011 Ktima Driopi ‘Classic’ Agiorgitiko, Peloponnese ($14) drinks easily with a delicate berry nose and soft tannins on the palate.
Top picks from the starters include the addictive Taramasalata ($10), ever so airy and light in texture, with balanced flavours and a touch of citrus, the fun to eat Whole Globe Artichoke with Lemon Butter ($10) and the crisp and well-seasoned Fried White Bait & White Bean Skordalia ($12).
Iggy’s Bread $5, Pickled Vegetables $6, Taramasalata $10
Goats Curd, Tomato, Wild Weed & Red Onion $16
Pork Terrine, Crispy Pigs Ear, Barrel Aged Feta & Fig $15
Whole Globe Artichoke & Lemon Butter $10
Fried White Bait & White Bean Skordalia $12
The Charred Okra, Burghul, Anchovy & Garlic ($14) is a standout, an excellent combination of Mediterranean flavours and textures which make it a dish not to be shared. The Roast Sardines, Fennel & Lemon ($16) impress with their freshness and simple flavours that are redolent of the region.
Charred Okra, Burghul, Anchovy & Garlic $14
Roast Sardines, Fennel & Lemon $16
Spelt Salad, Swede, Red Cabbage, Apple & Walnut $14
Bonito, White Anchovy, Tomato, Caper & Oregano $25
Lamb dishes which feature extensively in Greek food take on a twist the Lamb Belly, Sumac & Mustard ($25) and the Moussaka, layered with lamb mince, eggplant and a creamy cheese topping is a hit among meat lovers.
Lamb Belly, Sumac & Mustard $25
Saffron Chicken, Jerusalem Artichoke & Fragrant Millet $32
Roast Brussels, Hazelnut, Haloumi & Filo $12
For the sweet-toothed, a delectable array of desserts includes Wine Poached Pear, Custard, Semolina & Almond ($16) and Milk Pie, Kumquat, Honey & Sesame Halva ($16).
Wine Poached Pear, Custard, Semolina & Almond $16
Warm Chocolate Cake, Mastic Ice Cream, Rizogalo & Shortbread $16
Pistachio Cake, Yoghurt Ice Cream, Apricot & Liquorice $16
Milk Pie, Kumquat, Honey & Sesame Halva $16
The Anatoli Team, with Executive Chef Matt Fitzgerald (centre)
Anatoli offers a memorable dining experience in the heart of Bondi Junction. The bistro-like setting and decor make the venue inviting, and although noise levels rise when the restaurant is full, it is much like what you would find in boisterous eateries along the Aegean. The menu is inventive and the dishes are beautifully presented. While they may not suit all tastes, they offer a vast and pleasing choice including tasty vegetarian options.
Much like modern Greek wines that have undergone a regeneration by applying modern wine-making techniques to indigenous varietals, Anatoli fuses modern Greek flavours with the best of Australian produce.
This is Greek food but not as your yia yia* makes.
1st Floor, The Eastern
500 Oxford Street
Lunch – Friday to Sunday, 12pm-3pm
Dinner – Tuesday to Sunday, 6pm-10pm
Wine Bar – Tuesday to Sunday, 6pm till late
*yia yia is Greek for grandmother
Anatoli media launch dinner was held on Tuesday 6 August, 2013
This article is posted on Gourmantic.com - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2016.