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Published March 27th 2020
A Cheese Lover's Dream
When it comes to Brisbane's dining scene, the creme de la creme, is of course, the ever-popular Howard Smith Wharves. Nestled under the Story Bridge, and a stone's throw from the city, is an establishment harvesting the trifecta of the senses; a place to eat, drink and play. What was once a cluster of old wharf buildings, previously unable to be accessed and under-appreciated, have been developed into Brisbane's hottest precinct; enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.
One such eatery that is proving popular since its inception in December 2018 is the modern Greek taverna Greca. Just three minutes' walk from the Story Bridge and situated right the waterfront with cool views of the Brisbane River, Greca is bursting with charm and atmosphere. It boasts casual bar seating accompanied by an open plan kitchen fuelled by an impressive fire pit. Once you hit the decks, there is an alfresco setting for those who are keen to people watch, while they drink and dine.
Perfect for small share plates, or large banquets Greca has all options covered. On this occasion, I headed to Greca for a girl's lunch and I had no idea what I was in store for.
I was first to arrive and promptly seated thanks to the attentive staff, before too long the gaggle had arrived. There are three set menu options available, the first: Full Greek - is the one that us girls decided to go for. Up from this is Almighty Aphrodite and lastly The Apollo Feast.
The first few appetisers to come out from the Full Greek set menu were olives and a wooden basket of home made focaccia bread. Nothing really beats warm bread, other than the arrival of the best taramasalata ever! Now, I had been warned that even the most finicky eater could succumb to this beauty. The Greca fish roe dip is one not to be missed. Needless to say, our table was converted.
Next to grace our presence was the much anticipated Saganaki, for those who don't know what this is, it is what angels were sent from heaven to make! Cheese, honey, and oregano; who knew this array of ingredients work so well together. Served on a hotplate the Saganaki was the perfect salty and sweet combo without being overpowering. If you are just coming to Greca for one dish and a glass of vino, then this is definitely your dish.
Delicious baked lamb shoulder with tzatziki with a side of feta, Greek salad and roast potatoes seasoned with garlic and herbs @ Greca Restaurant (photo Instagram @neelsmcgee)
Seafood selection @ Greca Restaurant (photo from Greca Instagram)
The culinary delights continued with our main course. A variety of Grilled prawns and herb dressing (for those who do not eat meat) and the Baked lamb shoulder with tzatziki with sides of Roasted potatoes with garlic and herbs and the Village salad with tomato, cucumber, feta, olives, and radish.
Before I move onto dessert, I thought I would discuss the impressive list of beverages that Greca has. Spritzs, negronis and Taverna Twists, as well as bubbles, wine, beer and the beverage of the Greek Gods, Ouzo can all be found on the list.
I started my Saturday lunch with one serving of the Karpouzi Spritz which is a vodka-based cocktail with watermelon, Aperol and basil. Pefect for a hot summers' day. Costing at around $16 a glass. The cocktails come in either a single Spritz or jug (which serves about 3-4 glasses) so choose wisely.
Our last dish of the day was of course dessert, and for me, traditional Greek desserts (which I have only my visits to the Greek Islands and Paniyari in Brisbane to judge) range from 'honey puffs' also known in Greek language as Loukoumades and baklava. Never in my days had I tried Katoumari.
Katoumari at its best - smashed filo, walnuts and semolina cream @ Greca Restaurant (photo Instagram @neelsmcgee)
Katoumari is a light sweet dish made with smashed filo pastry, walnuts and served with semolina cream. The course and drinks had been flowing so I barely had room for this treat, but when it came out looking so appetising I knew I would kick myself if I didn't at least attempt to try some. I am so glad I did. An incredible dessert that melts in your mouth and has you going back for more.
Exterior dining on the Wharf @ Greca Restaurant (Photo Credit: Departures Magazine)
This was my first time at Greca and the service and food were stellar. I would highly recommend anyone who is after a tasty Sunday lunch out or a date night dinner to give Greca your hospitality, you won't be disappointed.