It took almost a year to get myself to Xanthi – one of the restaurants situated on the Dining Precinct (Level 6) of Westfield Sydney. I was envious of all the posts I had read – I’d love to link all the ones that made me drool but there’s just too many. Being in charge of a catch up due with some important people in my life, it was a no brainer that Xanthi was my pick for the evening.
Even making the booking got me excited. I had my first real taste of Greek food (excluding Greek Salad) funnily enough in Greece when I went on my Euro Trip in 2011. My first and last meal in Greece was a gyros (pronounced yee-ross). I can’t even tell you how many I had in between because that’s how much I ate it, and yet I never got sick of it – authentic Greek tzatziki is the absolute best best best!! What I also loved about it was that it tasted like a healthier kebab (in lebanese bread like we do here in Australia) haha I know, sounds ridiculous but I swear it did.
The decor of Xanthi is just gorgeous. Love their rendition of a chandelier – the colours used are just beautiful.
As there was too much we wanted on the menu, we decided to go with the Banquet at $55 per person which gave us a little bit of everything. We still had choices to make and they were hard, but we got there in the end :)
Dips – (L to R) Tzatziki, Split Pea and Tarama
We start off with some dips. The Tzatziki definitely reminded me of the ones I had in Greece. Light. Fresh. Flavoursome! The Tarama dip was interesting. It’s actually made of cured salmon roe, pureed potato, garlic and lemon juice. It had a nice zing to it. It was the one that tasted weird at first, but ended up becoming one of our favourites.
I am very thankful that we got a bowl of salad (by the end of the meal). It was a nice change to all the meat that was about to come ahead. It’s not a bad idea to save it to eat with your mains ;) Oh and I love the feta cheese!
With the banquet menu, you choose three ouzomezedakia (small sharing plates, like tapas) from the menu and 1 apo tin plastira (savoury pastry).
Herbed Skordalia Croquettes
Our first ouzomezedakia are the herbed skordalia croquettes made out of mint, dill and celery leaf in a polenta bread crumb crust.
The croquette was beautifully cooked – a lovely golden and crunchy crumb with soft, flavourful innards. It was a hit amongst us all.
Our next ouzomezedakia is the BBQ octopus with a roasted capsicum, onion, tomato and cayenne pepper sauce. For the octopus being barbequed, it was amazingly tender and not over cooked.
Our last sharing plate is the XFC – Xanthi Fried Chicken. My fellow diners are fried chicken lovers so there was no question that this was going to be ordered. The chicken was cooked to perfection - juicy with a crunchy batter. What made it explode in the mouth was the creamy garlic sauce. Oh my worddddddddd. Chicken and garlic sauce is the best combination ever.
Pork Belly Baklava
Yes, this baby is what makes everyone’s headline! It is twice cooked pork belly with a date and pistachio filling, with a date sauce and crackling. I love how it was a play on the baklava. All the elements were there (in my opnion anyways). My goodness was it a treat to eat! It is a must order for any diner!
Pork Spit Roast
At an additional $15 per person, we decide to add the spit roast meat to our banquet. The pork was absolutely devine. It had immense flavour, was tender, juicy and easily broke apart. That’s when you know it’s been well cooked.
The last of the meat dishes arrives and by this stage we are full, belt-loosening time full. This braised lamb shoulder is marinated in paprika and garlic which is then barbequed. It is extrememly tender and is jam packed with flavour as it’s been braised for so long. I did find it quite heavy and couldn’t eat large amounts of it. The lemon did break up the heaviness.
Caramel Baklava Ice Cream & Chocolate Bougatsa
There’s always room for dessert, somehow. How exciting to see this plate being served to us. The chocolate bougatsa involves filo pastry filled with a milk custard served with a chocolate sauce. It was nice but did not make us go wow. The Caramel baklava has layers of vanilla ice cream, with caramel fudge and baklava nuts. It has been the most awesome ice cream dessert I have eaten to date. I could eat mass amounts of it, it’s that good!
What a feast it was! It did feel like meat over load, but it was well worth it. The stars of the banquet were definitely the Pork Belly Baklava and the Baklava Ice Cream. It was the best way to end such a big feed and was probably what put me into a food coma.
Xanthi Restaurant & Bar
Westfield Sydney, Level 6
Corner of Pitt & Market Streets
Sydney NSW 2000