Located at 121 Norton Street, Leichhardt, Nostos offers the finest authentic Greek dining experience in Sydney. Available for private functions and corporate events, Nostos is fully licenced and patrons are permitted to bring their own wine, with corkage at only $3.00 per person.
Nostos' menu features an array of contemporary Greek dishes including many gluten-free and vegetarian options, as well as kids' meals.
My husband and I recently had the great delight of enjoying dishes from the Banquet Menu, which is available for $45.00 per person on both Friday and Saturday nights. On Wednesday nights, Thursday nights and on Sundays for lunch, however, this sumptuous spread totals only $39.50 per person. Otherwise, entrées range from $7 to $18.50, and mains range from $22.50 to $29. I'm sure you'll agree Nostos are very reasonably priced.
Selections were served either individually or in clusters so that each dish could be savoured to the fullest extent and without overwhelming the palate.
First to be had was the Greek Salad. I believe that much can be said about a restaurant by the way its salads are presented. Served with generous blocks of traditional Feta cheese, Nostos' Greek Salad was not left wanting and signalled wonderful things to come.
Nostos are delightfully liberal with their helpings of Feta cheese
And come they did. A trio of delectable dips including taramosalata, tzatziki and spicy feta were then laid before us. Served together with marinated olives, succulent semi-dried tomatoes, spicy peppers and crusty bread, this humble entrée satisfied even the fussiest of eaters among us. Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to take a photo because, by the time we found the camera, everything on the plate had been eaten.
We thoroughly enjoyed the Dolmathes, which was served next. The traditional Greek appetizer of rice-filled grapevine leaves is an exciting variation of 'sarma', a cultural dish I often make at home.
This traditional Greek appetiser has many variants across the Middle East including the Balkans
A chilled serving of barbecued octopus in a vinaigrette marinade of lemon, olive oil and oregano was then served. I stared at my husband. Afraid. I am not big on octopus, but did not want to appear picky or impolite – we were at Nostos as guests. 'Try just one,' my husband whispered encouragingly. So I did. I tried one, then another and another. They were tender and refreshing. I could have eaten the entire plateful myself. Perhaps octopus isn't so bad after all.
This delicious dish forever changed my mind about the cephalopod mollusc known as 'octopus'
I didn't need any encouragement when the haloumi was brought to the table though. The subtle saltiness of the grilled Cypriot cheese married nicely with the marinated roast capsicum and balsamic reduction with which it was served. Like the octopus, the haloumi was cooked to perfection and not at all tough or rubbery.
Unfortunately, I don't have a photo of the oven-baked lima beans that came after these. That's the trouble with great food - people refuse to wait for one to be taken.
Soon after we had eaten these, we were presented with salt and pepper calamari. Served with lemon wedges, the calamari was well seasoned but slightly overcooked for my liking, though my husband didn't seem to think so.
Next came the Greek style meatballs called 'keftethes'. Served in a spicy feta and red salsa sauce, the meatballs held their shape well, and the two primary elements of the sauce balanced each other out very nicely.
And finally, the pièce de résistance: a tender, oven-baked, 'fall off the bone' shoulder of lamb you don't even need a knife to enjoy. Served with lemon garlic potatoes, this is hands down the best lamb I have ever eaten. It was succulent and simply melted in the mouth (* drools *).
Quite simply the best lamb I have ever eaten (sorry Mum)
For dessert, we were treated with an assortment of Greek shortbread, Turkish delight, Baklava and Galaktoboureko, a traditional Greek semolina custard slice sandwiched between layers of sweet filo pastry. The diverse tastes and textures were delightful and ensured that no one was left wanting – though I do wish the Baklava was slightly more syrupy. A sweet tooth will do that to you.
A selection of sweets including baklava were served for dessert
The service was also noteworthy – staff were professional, warm and very welcoming – a true reflection of and testament to traditional Greek hospitality.
If you're looking for both a fabulous feed and free entertainment, Nostos also hosts live music nights every Friday and Saturday.
So, make a booking either over the telephone or online to ensure your seat. To those of you who do, kalí óreksi. And to those of you at Nostos, thank you for an unforgettable dining experience. We will definitely call again.