It's that time of year again when Facebook feeds get blasted with smiling summer snaps from the Greek isles and beyond. Sigh. And while we've just had one of the wettest winters on record, we've got just the thing to transport you to Europe's sunnier shores.
From hospitality veterans, brothers George, Nicholas and Stephen Aspros, comes Mordeo Bistro & Bar, the latest eatery joining the ranks of best restaurants in Sydney's CBD. Tucked in the Assembly of Deutsche Bank on Phillip Street, the new restaurant is redefining city eats with this innovative Greek and Southern European fare.
Tapas, wood-fired pizzas and daily fresh pasta are the order of the day. Head chef Marc Gehret is rattling the pots and pans and boasts an impressive portfolio of Michelin starred restaurants. To complement his exquisite food, there's a vast local and European wine list (including exclusive Greek labels like Alpha Estate, Boutari, Domaine Sigalas and Lafazanis), artisan beer and European cocktail menu. Our pick is the tiramisu martini, fresh espresso shaken with vanilla infused Wyborowa vodka, caramel and Frangelico, that'll curb those mid-week blues – it sure cured ours!
To start we indulged in Yia Yia's home made authentic taramasalata with wood-fired flat bread (an old family recipe) which was so good we wanted to spread it on everything. We then enjoyed slow-cooked octopus carpaccio with grilled chorizo that was beautifully prepared and disappeared faster than we could say "nostimo" ("delicious" in Greek). For mains, both the sautéed squid ink gnocchi and Wagyu beef burger were real winners, while the green pea, basil and pecorino risotto was a great choice for the vegetarians in the group and boasted a sweet, sticky balsamic glaze.
Now, onto dessert. The lineup is a mix of Greek and Spanish specialties such as loukoumades (doughnut puffs served with hazelnut gelato and honey cinnamon) and churros with dulche de leche and orange ganache. How could you say no? Well, to put it bluntly, we couldn't. We tried the crème Catalana which was like a crème brulee with an orange twist. Even though we were full to the point of unbuttoning our jeans, we couldn't stop at one bite and devoured the whole thing in mere moments.
Creating a unique space replete with super-sized lamp shades, subway tiles, copper sun pendant lights and a pressed tin bar, at Mordeo Bistro & Bar it's easy to forget you're still in rainy Sydney. And we don't mind that one bit!
Image credit: Mordeo Bistro & Bar