It's Wednesday night and I'm going out for my first ever Greek dining experience in Sydney. I'm uber-excited to try Steki Taverna because I love Greek food. The evening pans out to be like an episode of a sitcom, which we shall call Four Guys, a Girl and a Greek Place.
My friend (let's dub him AA) is intent on helping me review this restaurant.
Apparently his way of reviewing a venue is through a numerical point system. He exclaims 'Minus one point' when one of our water glasses turns out to be chipped. Steki loses another point when one of our drinks orders (a glass of house red) is forgotten. The restaurant quickly regains two points when the house wine is upgraded to a nicer, more expensive wine to make up for the confusion. We're back to zero according to AA's value system.
After a moment of indecision we have the $33.50 set menu. There are a couple of other options - one around the $30 mark and the other around $40. Alternatively, you could just order a la carte.
The dip platter is great - you get taromasalata (caviar dip), tzatziki, barbecue octopus and lima beans baked with carrot, celery, tomato and herbs. Add to that warm bread rolls that are flashed in the oven, and we've got a dish that I could happily eat all night long.
Keftedes are meatballs in a tomato-based sauce served on a bed of rice. The meatballs are a bit spicy, and there's a salty tang from the feta that laces the sauce. Overall, it's a lovely dish - though I could have eaten this without the rice.
The last dish of the night is the slow-baked lamb with onion, garlic and bay leaves, lightly barbecued and basted with lemon and olive oil. Even though the lamb is a bit too salty and the accompanying potatoes a bit too lemony, it's still a heck of a dish. The lamb is cooked to melt-in-your-mouth greatness.
A lovely surprise greets us at the end: a plate of baklava on the house (they definitely gain plus points here). There are also a few crumbly cookies thrown in for good measure. I actually like these more than the baklava - they're cinnamony in just the right way, so much so that they remind me of Christmas. One of the guys proclaims it it's like a crunchy custard (to which I can only shake my head in dismay - I can't imagine how custard could ever be crunchy).
AA then asks whether baklava is like Turkish delight, at which point I decide I'm never going out for dinner with these guys ever again (I'm joking, boys).
I think AA would agree that Steki has come out of this alive and well above the zero mark. For $33.50 I think this great little taverna is offering a set menu that will please most people.