All Greek and well worth a visit

The vibrant world of Greek gastronomy is becoming increasingly abundant in Canberra, says dining reviewer WENDY JOHNSON.

We shared the love with all dishes at the relatively new Kivotos Wine Bar in Braddon, immersing ourselves in full, intriguing flavours and well-executed food from start to finish. It’s well worth a visit

Wendy Johnson.

I’m a big fan of high-quality Greek dips and none of us had tried one created with fava before ($14). It was super creamy and sensational with the organic yellow split peas whipped together with caramelised onion for sweetness and salty capers. We could not stop dipping.

Have some fun with the moussaka paddle pops ($18), so crunchy on the outside and lush on the inside. We adored the paprika labna and roasted pepper elixir. 

Another winner of a dish was the slices of crispy fried zucchini and eggplant with special spices and the oh-so-popular kefalograviera cheese, salty, nutty and piquant ($16).

Saganaki – such a famous Greek dish – was pan-seared with a sensational pistachio dukkah and a honey vinegar, with the honey delicate and subtle ($16). I would say it was just slightly dry in parts but that didn’t stop us from finishing every morsel. 

For mains we could not go by the authentic Greek lamb chops, lusciously thick and beautifully pink with perky pistachios on top for texture ($34). They were served on a superior, fresh cous-cous salad with tomatoes, and we dipped the lamb in the accompanying smear of saffron-infused spiced yoghurt with gusto.

As a side we indulged – and I mean indulged – in to-die-for roasted lemon potatoes ($12). They were perfectly balanced with EVOO, garlic, bay leaf and oregano. The roasting was an art in and of itself.

The wine list is well thought-through and features traditional Greek and international varietals from some of the most sought-after wine regions in the country. We savoured the Psarades Pluto (2022) dry organic white wine – elegant and well-balanced with the right amount of acidity for the food we ordered.

On the recommendation from staff, we topped off our wonderful Kivotos experience with a gorgeous glass of chilled Mastiha, a sweet liqueur. It’s said that Mastiha is a resin secreted from the skinos tree, found only in Chios, Greece. Kivotos has a dry version and a slightly sweeter take on the Mastiha. It’s a lovely replacement for dessert, although the Greek donuts sounded delish, as did the baklava cheesecake and dark chocolate and olive oil mouse (all $16).

Kivotos has friendly and attentive service. The Greek music added to the ambiance and was at the right level. Kivotos has dining on two levels with my recommendation to select the lower level so the noise from the kitchen isn’t quite so prominent.

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Thank you,

Ian Meikle, editor

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