Ellenika Taverna at Glenelg is the perfect place to go on a Greek getaway, without the expensive price tag.
Set along the Marina Pier with beautiful views of the water, Ellenika gives off a lovely, relaxed atmosphere for all to enjoy.
Views of white yachts rocking in the marina, paired with vibrant Greek beachside paintings hanging on the walls, feels as if you have been transported to a Greek island.
It’s not only the atmosphere and the views, but the delicious authentic food that takes guests on a journey to Greece.
Owner of Ellenika Taverna, Damian Vasilevski, takes pride in his restaurant, wanting guests to feel welcome and at home and to enjoy every part of their dining experience.
He prides in not only getting the best possible ingredients, but also creating and hearty meals while giving guests an authentic taste of Greece.
The Trio of Dips is a selection of three dips served with pita bread. We were recommended to try the most popular: Taramosalata, Traditional Tzatziki and Skordalia dips. Appon arrival the smell made our mouths water. The pita bread was light and fresh, holding a subtle fresh herb flavour that lifted the stronger flavours of the three dips. The Taramosalata is a fish roe based dip. It was a lovely thick, but smooth paste that had a nice slaty flavour; balancing with its strong olive oil tang that smoothly balanced the pita bread. The Tzatziki was creamy, fresh and light and holding a slight tang which lifted the palate, creating a cool sensation. The Skordalia is a roasted baby potato and garlic dip, mixed with olive oil. It had a strong garlic flavour which was balanced by the smooth and creamy potato. It was a relatively light dish, and the perfect way to start our meal.
Kolokithokeftethes are Zuchinni flower fritters, made with fresh dill and Bulgarian fetta. This entrée was delicious. The fritters had a lovely soft creamy centre with a perfectly crisp outer. They had a mix of fragrant flavours which were lifted with the fresh shredded zucchini, while the Bulgarian fetta was gooey and creamy, giving a more dense texture to the fritters. The fried outer shell held more balancing savoury flavours, and the batter was perfectly thin and not too overpowering. Another beautiful dish to start us off.
The Tiri Saganaki is grilled sheep milk cheese served with dill olive oil, and is similar to halloumi. The lovely fried cheese had a slightly crispy outer that reminded us of the delicious, slightly burnt pieces of cheese left on the griller after making a toastie. Yum. The cheese was semi-hard in texture but was lovely and creamy in flavour and head slightly salty tones. The accompanying fresh rocket helped to lift the denser creamy flavours of the milky cheese.
Kefthethes are traditional Greek meatballs served with tzatziki. The house-made meatballs were thick, meaty and full of flavour. The lamb meatballs were cooked to perfection, having lovely and tender mince showing grilled lines that not only looked good, but added a lovely subtle smoky flavour to the dish. The rich juicy meat was balanced with the added tatziki dressing and also the various fragrant and light herbs throughout, added sweeter tones to lift the heavier lamb flavour.
The Kalamari Tiganito is South Australian sourced calamari, which was lightly dusted with Ellenika’s in-house special flour mix and lightly fried. The dish contained whole baby octopus as well as pieces of squid; all fried and delicious. There was a lovely balance between the fried outer batter, which was not too thick or overpowering, and the softer, subtly chewy centre of the calamari. The baby octopus also had lovely crispy tentacles from being fried. Both the squid and octopus meat was cooked perfectly, not too chewy, and balanced well with the additional garlic aioli that was fresh and vibrant, adding a light tang to the seafood flavours.
Ellenika’s Deconstructed Yiros Board contained chargrilled marinated chicken on homemade pita bread, and was served with hand cut potatoes and tzatziki. The dish was both pretty and delicious. The lovely salsa on top was fresh and juicy that balanced and lifted the generous amount of chicken pieces. The chicken was cooked perfectly, soft and tender, and had a lovely chargrill on the skin that gave off a slight smoky tang. The marinade was fragrant and packed full of flavour from an array of spices and herbs. The fresh salsa and house-made tzatziki, helped to lift the stronger meaty tones, while the wedges gave a denser flavour and added texture balance with its crispy skin and soft creamy potato centre. The chicken was the hero of the dish; succulent and juicy pieces with the marinate only complimenting the chicken flavour. A lovely balance of heavy and light flavours creating a delicious and hearty dish.
The Hirino is Pork Belly served with a fermented chilli glaze, slow cooked red peppers and rocket. The pork was of a generous serving size and was cooked perfectly. The lovely and tender pork belly was cooked with fragrant herbs that shone through, holding warm fatty flavours that are just perfect for the current cold nights. A lovely small hit of chilli came from the glaze but it wasn’t too overpowering and gave a nice balance to lift the sweeter pork flavour. The pork belly also had a nice crispy skin, giving off slightly salty tones that paired well with the smokier flavours and tang of the roasted red peppers. The light and fresh rocket helped lift the savoury tones but also held a slight tang from the dressing and added red onion. Each component helped to tied in the flavours nicely and create a balanced dish.
The Arnisles Brizoles is chargrilled Lamb Cutlets, served with roasted Mediterranean vegetables and a Skordalia puree with rice. This dish was large and we were given a generous serving size. The cutlets gave off a lovely fragrance of rosemary and herbs, while the meat itself was cooked perfectly. The juicy and tender cutlets paired well with the light tatziki sauce that held a light tang, which helped to balance the richer meat. The rice was creamy in texture from the skordalia puree, that gave a subtle garlic taste with a fragrant flavour from the added cloves. The rice was fluffy and light, giving another lovely flavour to balance the richer meat. A filling but delicious dish that also is the perfect winter warmer.
Each dish we tasted looked, smelled and tasted amazing. The head chef has created a lovely authentic menu full of fresh Greek flavours, that are certain to fill the stomach and the heart.
Complimented by friendly staff, wonderful Greek food, and a lovely seaside location; you don’t want to miss out on visiting Ellenika Taverna for your next Greek getaway.
Words by Cyndal King
WHERE: Marina Pier, Lights Landing Holdfast Shores, Shop 6/3 Chappell Drive, Glenelg