Throwing a wedding and moving to another country within four months can certainly do a number on your bank account, but occasionally, I will treat myself to a nice meal. This was one of those times. I live in the heart of city of Adelaide, right next to a large outdoor mall and the East End area of restaurants. Most of the surrounding restaurants are a bit pricy, but we finally got a chance to eat at one of them, Eros Ouzeri. The Meditteranean themed restaurant turned out to be a place that specializes in large group meals, so needless to say, you don?t need to watch your voice in a place like this. There are plenty of options?they serve your typical appetizers (known as entrees in Australia), entrees (known as mains in Australia) and desserts, as well as a mezze menu (small dishes, like tapas), and a group meal menu. We ended up with three appetizers and an entr?e to split. We started out with a cold dip of skordalia, basically a potato and garlic puree served with pita bread. Now you might be thinking, hmm, cold potato puree?could it be that they just served you mashed potatos with a fancy name, Leena? But seriously, these cold spuds were so fricking garlicky with just a hint of tang from some lemon, even if they are cold mashed potatoes, you do not want to stop eating it. You WISHED your leftovers tasted this good.
Then came a trio of saganaki, typically flaming cheese, although some places leave the flamb? for the kitchen. This was the best fried cheese I have ever had. It had almond crusted fetta, fried haloumi, and grilled kefalograviera with pomegranate lemon dressing. So many different levels of crisped rich cheesy goodness with the tang from the lemon and pomegranate (I?d swear there was pomegranate molasses in there?), some of the cheese sweet, some salty?it was just a beautiful, perfect dish. I was a particular fan of layering the skordalia with the saganaki to make a kick ass-awesome sandwich.
For my main (which was really an appetizer), I ordered prawns wrapped in kataifi pastry served on a baked ricotta with green olive tapenade crust and orange glaze. I love shrimp, I love green olives and ricotta, so this had to be a killer dish. But for me, it was orange overkill. There was a thin slice of orange on top of the whole dish that was almost melted, and all I could taste was the rind and pith. Without the slice of the orange, the orange sauce went lovely with it all, a nice blend of salty and sweet. But the slice just killed it for me.
Good thing Adam?s dish was better AND bigger. He ordered the marinated lamb skewered with red onion and peppers, chargrilled with spinach and pine nut pilaf rice, tzatziki sauce. Wow. Who knew so much crazy deliciousness could rock up in a skewer! The hunks of lamb were huge, cooked perfectly medium, and really tender. And the tzatziki sauce?ugh. It was like it had feta just melted in to it, and was a nice, tangy accompaniment to the big honking skewer of meat.
This is me, taking no prisoners with the skewer.
The only downside to the whole meal was the service, which sadly has been the same at almost all the restaurants we?ve eaten at here. It just takes forever. We got the skordalia dip right away, but it was forever until they brought our mains out?I would say nearly 45 minutes. The Lonely Planet Guidebook even warned me about Australian restaurants, how they are laid back and expect you to be there all night, so they rarely have quick service. But I still can?t get used to it. I may have to start bringing reinforcements like crackers and cheese along in my purse. Don?t complain, Australia. You pushed me to this point. Even though the service was bad and it was more on the pricy side (all that plus two glasses of wine equaled $100, including tip), the food was honestly so good, we didn?t even mind. And the best part? The two block walk home. It really helped me work off that skewer. ~LTG