They don’t serve modern Greek food per se – a term that brings with it connotations of fancy fusion dishes – they serve the food that you find in modern Greece today. A subtle but important difference. Whilst other restaurants are dishing out funky redesigns of classic Greek dishes (things like tzatziki made with mango, or Greek and Italian fusion food), Salona isn’t having a bar of it.
And the ambience is everything you’d expect from a cosy family Greek restaurant, too: warm lighting, friendly service and the odd story about the owner’s grandmother’s lemons.
But about that food. Although well presented, the starters still retain that comforting home-cooked feel. And they aren’t too heavy as is sometimes the case with Greek nibbles, which we’ve all realised after going few a bites overboard at our local Greek joint.
Start in the street food section of the menu with the seriously moreish tarama with pita chips. We’re told that what makes this tarama so good is the combination of both red and white roe, and of course the secret ingredient: lemons from grandmother’s lemon tree (see, we told you!).
Don’t forget to try the zucchini kefte with smoked feta – the feta is cold smoked to stop it from becoming too salty. And an order of the saganaki with poached apricot is a must. It’s made from a recipe that was only passed down to the current owner only after he allegedly slipped 50 Euros in his grandmother’s apron.
If you haven’t got too carried away with the street food and sharing plates, there are some really excellent mains, too. Like the lamb riganato, which is a grass-fed, slow-roasted shoulder in white wine and wild oregano sauce. It’s so tender that with just a touch of pressure from your fork, whole chunks fall off.
Don’t forget to order some Greek wine, too – what’s that, Greek wine, you say? Although it may not be the most highly regarded of wine growing regions, there are some real gems. And you’ll find them here. Like the Akakies rosé from Amyndeon, which is just bursting with juicy strawberry notes.
Salona is cosy, comfortable and serves up top-notch food with the kind of family recipe pride that you want from your favourite Greek eatery.
By Christina Wylie
Salona Food & Drink
t: (03) 9429 1460
a: 260A Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121