During his recent visit to Australia promoting Nissos Beer, founder Alexandros Kouris, told me Alpha Restaurant produced the best Greek food he had in Sydney. Sliding into the stately restaurant, that simultaneously summons monumental history and lazy days by the seashore, I start to see why. Chic apron-clad staff exude effortless cool. They’re confident in the menu, and they should be – parts of it, like the Scallop Moussaka ($27), have stood the test of time. To think I could have been eating this clever dish, with rounds of tomato-topped eggplant sandwiching seared scallops, glued together with a smear of standout Taramosalata ($12) (also available in dip form with addictive, house-made pita bread), back in 1993. More fool me. Other classics, like Spanakopita ($20), result in an airy, golden-topped spinach pie dissected at the table by a member of the universally handsome wait staff. They’re also dab hands at translating wine preferences into Greek if you’re keen to branch out. The 2013 Boutari Assyrtiko Santorini ($11/glass) has a beautiful mineral character with citrus notes that readily complement simpler grill options, like Mastic Spiced Quail ($27) with fetta and watermelon hunks. Make Head Chef Peter Conistis’ Greek Spiced Slow Roast Lamb Shoulder ($38/$58) the centrepiece of your meal – roast potatoes don’t get much better.
238 Castlereagh Street, Sydney
Ph: (02) 9098 1111 alpharestaurant.com.au