Bloggers & media reviews

What you’re saying about Xanthi

Dolmades with a difference

Chef David Tsirekas shares his mother’s recipe for extra exotic dolmades

The Morning Show – 7 June 2012

Oh My Greek!

Just loved the melting lamb skaras, the ice cream baklava… Must go! If you have a Greek craving, I think it is by far, better than The Apollo. Generous, flavorsome, and each dish is different (loved the fact that ordering a dish, you’d get the “side” with, as opposed to The Apollo, pricier and on the light side of the portions, whereby you had to order chat potatoes for an extra AUD 10!) Monsieur and I got the Chefs Club (on every Tuesday evenings!) which is basically a prix fixe menu for AUD 30.

I loved how warm the place was, I mean Westfield is nice, but most the food court and restaurants seem to suffer from that coldness feeling (may be the lights, a tad too aggressive and aimed at keeping the client awake?) Xanthi just feels like home! Highly recommended!

Finding good food in Sydney – 5 June 2012

Sharing the spirit of ouzo

There’s lots of tempting choices on the Ouzomezedakia menu (small sharing plates) which were reasonably price. If you order a 200ml bottle of ouza you’ll get 3 ouzomezedakia chosen by the chef to match making it quite a bargain. I first ordered the cheapest ouza of Barbayianni Green ($34, 200ml) to see what the kitchen would include and then ordered more dishes after. BBQ Haloumi, BBQ smoked lamb cutlets and Sheftalies were provided to match the ouza. Nicely cooked haloumi [and] tender flavoursome lamb cutlets were a treat I’d happily order again.

Simon Food Favourites – 3 March 2012

Stories of the existence of pork belly baklava had reached me, and with pork and pastry generally being a winning combination, I had to try it

The famed pork belly arrived soon after, and was definitely the standout dish of the meal. Sweet with dates and pistachio, crispy filo pastry and with added crackling it was a dish to be savoured, and makes it onto my list of Sydney must-eats.

Hayley, Sydney: Feed me – 12 February 2012

The verdict? Er, let’s just say we were back again the next week

It might not be the place to take friends you want to impress with your hipster cred, but Xanthi is definitely cooler (and waaay tastier!) than the shopping centre cafes of the yester-decade. And with most small dishes around $8, it is probably cheaper too.

Rynagh, – 8 January 2012

Eateries of the year 2011

ONE of the inner west’s best-loved restaurants, Perama, shut down this year when owner/chef David Tsirekas decided to pursue his ambition to take Greek food upmarket. What emerged was Xanthi at Westfield Sydney, a luxe, exotic oasis in the heart of the CBD.

Elizabeth Meryment, The Sunday Telegraph – 18 December 2011

I’m sorry to eat you little buddy, but you’re delicious!

School prawns tossed in a honey, fish sauce, sesame seed and flaked almond dressing. This is some great tasting prawns! The prawns are fried till super crisp and the shells are coated evenly with sweet sweet honey. It’s like eating crunchy toffee but prawns! Tis crowned my favourite dish of the day.

Sugarpuffi – 5 December 2011

Can we go back again soon?

David Tsirekas has had a low key but great Greek restaurant – Perama in Petersham for ages. He recently closed that and opened a new completely different restaurant – Xanthi. This one is anything but low key. In the swanky new Westfield with a great traditional décor and a very appealing menu. Through the window as you walk in to the restaurant – you can see the chefs rolling out the home made filo and the big meats on the spit. Yum. Wanted to try so many things on the menu. Can we go back again soon?

FineDiner – 5 October 2011

Greek dining on the rise

Through peekaboo windows, you can glimpse a chef rolling out freshly made filo pastry and check out the two roasts of the day (half a sheep, a third of a pig) turning slowly, resignedly, on vertical spits. Then you’re through the gullet of an entrance and into a room dominated by a billowing silken ceiling and ornate glass lamps. Tsirekas looks in his element in the open kitchen, surrounded by grills and spits, sizzles and smoke…

Like George Calombaris in Melbourne, Tsirekas takes Greek food to a whole new level, and I don’t just mean up the escalator from Becasse. It’s fun, it’s loud, it’s good value, it’s Greek food with the wrinkles taken out and the grey touched up. Yep, we’re talking Grecian 2011.

Terry Durack, Sydney Morning Herald 15/20 – 4 October 2011

I especially loved the Sokolata Castania the chocolate mousse

Those who loved Perama, you’d definitely love the new and improved dishes at Xanthi. And those who missed the opportunity to dine at Perama before closing, I highly recommend to visit and enjoy the great Greek feast! – 3 October 2011

A vibrant take on Greek eats

As you get to grips with the menu, I’d suggest you go hard on the ouzomezedakia. They’re small dishes designed, as the name suggests, to enjoy with a glass of the strong stuff, but they also make quite natural entrées into a shared meal…

“I think of Xánthi as a fun-park of Greek food,” Tsirekas told us before the restaurant opened. And that’s exactly what we’ve got: a place to explore Greek food in many different guises. Some of them work, some of them don’t, but you can rest assured they’re quite unlike anything else in this city. Good new Greek restaurants are too few and far between not to support the Xánthi team’s efforts. Give them a big yiasou from us.

Pat Nourse, Australian Gourmet Traveller – October 2011

Not sure what skordalia is, but the croquette is delicious…

Then our Fried Calamari to share comes out and it is glorious, lightly floured calamari tossed in lemon ouzo mayonnaise and sprinkled with paprika. Again the serving is so generous and my friends and I are actually getting quite full, who knew Greek food was much better value than some Spanish tapas places in Sydney and oh so flavoursome. The calamari is fresh and not too oily, it goes very well with the mayo so that I can’t stop going back for more…

Considering how full the 3 of us are by the end of this lunch, and how much seafood we had – we are mildly surprised that the bill only came to roughly $10 a person. What value for money! We will definitely be back to try more of their ouzomezedakia (sharing plates) and highly recommend this restaurant to city workers or shoppers looking for something different to try.

Excuse Me Waiter – 29 September 2011

Greek hospitality at its best

Xanthi is one of the latest additions to Level 6 on Westfield Sydney, serving Greek food from 8am til late in an elegant setting with beautiful tiled, mosaic-ed walls, billowing curtains and drapes, and colourful lamps hanging from the ceiling. The restaurant boasts a rotating spit, freshly made filo and an ouzo trolley with quite possibly the largest selection of ouzo available in Sydney.

Penguin says Feed Me! – 27 September 2011

There’s no place like Xanthi in Sydney and I’m excited I can now get Greek food for breakfast!

I can’t drink coffee after noon, I’m a bit of a nanna like that, so I haven’t tried the traditional sand-pit Greek coffee here yet. But I love the copper pots they come in. I’ll have to come in for breakfast soon so I can try the coffee with a breakfast bougatsa.

Truffled Pink – 25 September 2011

Premium dining

For those who think shopping centre food courts feature a bland array of food options, think again. The new $1.2 billion Westfield Sydney is smashing any preconceived ideas about shopping centre dining with the launch of its ‘premium dining precinct’ on level six. Forming part of this new wave is Xanthi Bar & Restaurant, owned and run by Sydney’s David Tsirekas, formerly the owner of Perama in Petersham.

Sample some of the house-roasted meats including goat, lamb and the famous pork belly baklava that combines layers of flaky filo pastry, pork belly meat, dates and pistachios, topped with crispy crackling and served with a date and mastic sauce. And what better way to wash down that fabulous fare than with some traditional Greek ouzo, served on a novel ouzo trolley featuring an astonishing 20 varieties! Be lured in by the inviting smells and hospitality at Xanthi.

Ada Nicodemou, Sydney Weekender – 24 September 2011

The fractionally small Greek part of me decided that Xanthi would be a good bet…

Despite us going overboard on the food and wine, the bill was extremely reasonable considering how good the everything was. The food was excellent in most places, the menu is overwhelmingly more tempting than most Greek places in the CBD and the Greek-centric wine list is well assembled, good value and well worth exploring. While service had a few minor problems, they kept everything moving well and they’ve helped with the restaurant’s lively, boisterous mood. In short, I can’t wait to go back for more.

The Ortolan’s Last Meal – 13 September 2011

The best part about Xanthi?

For me, it’s the view into the kitchen. The three windows at the entrance to this slick new eatery may all be square, but it’s just as fun as Play School, with an equally fascinating scene unrolling within each one.

Grab Your Fork – 12 September 2011

Let me start off by saying….

Xanthi had the most jubilant hostess. She instantly lit up the restaurant, she was friendly, genuine and made us feel welcome. The staff and chef were amazingly friendly, greeting and farewells were generous.

Trick of Fate – 12 September 2011

Xanthi: It’s a little Greek island of delight

The food is very good. Really, there’s not too much that can go wrong with dishes such as honey-peppered figs ($9), barbecued Cyprus haloumi ($10), dolmades ($9) and fried school prawns ($9).

The presentation is sophisticated and yet retains an aura of the rustic as it should; Greek food is essentially peasant food.

For mains, you can’t beat a spit roasted Xanthi lamb ($36), or goat ($39) or pig ($40); expect mouth- watering plates of meat unadorned by any unnecessary accoutrements.

Order a side of Greekslaw ($8) with string beans, cabbage and pine nuts to lighten things and share mains such as seafood saganaki ($35), rich with mussels, prawns and calamari with cheese, tomato and rice. You won’t go home hungry.

Desserts such as the caramel baklava ice cream ($13.50) show considerable flair.

I like Xanthi. Perhaps Spiedo’s food pips it for finesse, but for atmosphere and fun factor, Xanthi takes the prize.

Elizabeth Meryment, The Sunday Telegraph – 11 September 2011

The menu is an absolute cracker

Now when Greek food comes to mind most people think of big banquet style meals that fill you, just like Sunday lunch at Yia Yia’s. However; Xanthi has a menu where you can pick ouzomezedakia, small plates of food to pick on and share whilst sipping on some ouzo or wine. The thought just takes me back to the motherland. Of course we settled on the BBQ Haloumi $10.00, always a standard pick being a favourite Greek dish. Served in a small black bowl and garnished with oregano you can’t go wrong. Make it swim in lemon and it’s like you are back in Greece. Well not quite but it’s nice to think that you are…

The Empty Fridge – 9 September 2011

Don’t be deceived by the stunningly beautiful facade of Xanthi…

The food, service and the staff are still very much Perama at heart, but just glammed up a few notches. I do realise that I have to let the much loved Perama go now, so that I can make room for the new creations that Xanthi has to offer, such as the range of meats on the spit, the incredible list of sweet bougatses and don’t forget the wonderful new desserts, they were simply sublime.

Dumpling Girl and Cheesecake Boy – 21 August 2011

Greek food is still evolving…

Xanthi is a great addition the CDB dining scene and a worthy successor to Perama. With so many delicious looking dishes on the menu yet to be sampled, I will be dining here again soon.

Taste Explorer – 5 September 2011

What you’re saying about Xanthi