I'm a writer/actor struggling to live off the scraps life (and my neighbour) throws at me. Seriously, I borrowed two dollars ONCE to get some milk, and now I'm finding bits of fruit peel in my yard. Not funny Kev. I'm at youbeautreviews.wordpress.com
Like the gods of Olympus, Yaya's looks down from her perch above Italian counterpart, Villa Romana Trattoria, to survey the view of Cairns' picturesque esplanade. Mmm, it feels good to rule.
And if you're not sure yet, Hellenic means Greek. Greek food. Opa!
It really was a relief on a busy Wednesday night (yeah Wednesday night was busy), to stumble upon the lovely lady standing out the front of an unobtrusive stairwell, who then led us up to the hidden delight above.
The restaurant itself was lovely and clean, cosy, the decor inviting and warm, with a lengthy bar, comfortable indoor seating area and a balcony for al fresco dining. We, like most others, went with the balcony as the heat was going cray cray.
We weren't overly hungry so the great thing was that Yaya's offered mezedes (small sharing plates). Mum was very excited to see sikotakia (pan-fried chicken livers) on the menu and promptly ordered a serving, while I went with some simple calamari and Yaya's Salad - an original barley-based creation consisting of walnuts, pomegranate, fetta and fresh herbs from Yaya's hubby and head chef (who sources all the produce locally himself, I might add).
The food was served promptly and the livers were just as mum remembered them. I dared to try one - they are nice, however heavy. FYI - the ideal way to eat them is with some bread to mop up the juices. The calamari was fresh, light and simple and the salad divine - my star for the evening.
If I could describe the menu, food and the overall feel of Yaya's in a few words it would be: balanced, light and progressive, with traditional Greek cuisine honoured and served in a modern way. For this reason, if you're unaccustomed to Greek food, I suggest you give this place a try. The staff are very friendly, helpful and informative and are more than happy to offer advice.
Note: if you've gone the full Greek and indulged in a little too much ouzo, try to resist the urge to smash your plates when you're done. I know you might think you're helping with the dishes but the health and safety man (aka fun police) says no.
Yaya's Hellinic Kitchen and bar is reasonably priced, offers a decent array of wine, cocktails and spirits, is available for functions and offers a banquet option for 2 or more people at $40 each.