April 26, 2014

Easter at Brika

It's been a week now since Easter and that feeling of overindulgence has almost completely subsided. I still haven't returned to work, having started leave from Good Friday and I'll be back in the office on Tuesday. It feels like such a long time. 

I'm not madly into eating Easter eggs. In fact, I still have a bowl of Easter eggs sitting on my table. It's not the Easter eggs I overindulge in but all the other foods that are dished up throughout the day.

See Exhibit A below. See all those foods? That was my lunch. Just my lunch. Nothing like a four course meal to start your Easter day on the right foot and full belly.

Nonna cooks a feast.

By the time I finished up at Easter lunch and rode my bike home (first outing of the bike by the way) I barely had enough time to start to feel hungry again by the time dinner rolled around. Of course, I had to have the traditional post Easter lunch nap which is as steeped in tradition as the post Christmas lunch nap. I napped, woke up and got ready for dinner and I still was not hungry. But as we all must, I soldiered on.

Easter dinner was at Brika. It was not my first time to Brika. I ate there I believe in its second or third week of opening and really enjoyed, which is why I went back and what better time than Easter? It saves all the fuss of cooking and it's almost like a double celebration with it being Western Easter and Orthodox Easter on the same day. It's like Easter Easter.

I didn't make a booking but I think they only take bookings for groups of 6 or more however I was told that they had no bookings for Sunday night so it should not be a problem to show up at any time and get a table, which turned out to be correct. Initially we were sat along the window but when a group of four left I asked if we could sit at their table rather than along the window and they were happy to fulfill my request.

I ordered for the two of us and although there was much more that I wanted to eat, my stomach really did not wish to accommodate this desire of mine. I ordered the pita bread, zucchini fritters, village salad (which is what most of you will know as a Greek salad), the slow cooked lamb and calamari. Initially I also ordered their sausages, which I have had before and are so yummy, but thought better of it and took it off the order. Smart move.

EPSA - Greek lemonade

I apologize in advance for the dodginess of these photos. It was dark and it was the best I could do without faffing around with my camera in the restaurant. I am still somewhat self conscious about pulling my DSLR out especially when the people at the table next to you are looking at you either with intrigue or interest or thinking "oh, here's another person that has to take a photo of everything they eat." So the photos are as good as I could get. I quite like Brika and I'd return just as an excuse to get better photos of the food. Probably during the day so I could show you how wonderfully they have fit the restaurant out. It's like you've stepped off of Stirling Street in Perth and right into a taverna nestled on some rocky cliff on a Greek Island (pick one, any one) with its lovely whitewashed floors and colourful wooden shutters.

The food came out pretty quickly. It wasn't too long a wait at all. Brika was quite busy too with most tables inside occupied. They have an outdoor alfresco section on the sidewalk but I didn't see anyone occupying those tables.

Pita bread...duh

First to arrive was the warm and fluffy pita. Perfect accompaniment to their dips or mopping up the sauces of some of the dishes. I had neither, I just wanted to nibble on some pita.

Dodgy out of focus shot of the zucchini fritters

Zucchini fritters came next. These were crispy on the outside but soft, warm and gooey on the inside. The mixture of zucchini with the herbs and cheese is a hit. The fritters are football shaped, rather than the pancake style fritter a la corn fritters. I like them this way. The only thing is having three on a plate is kinda like who eats the last Rolo, you know? I would think, perhaps assume, that it's more common to have people dining in pairs or even numbers (two couples, four friends, three friends and the tag along, whatever...) so when you're served a dish that has an odd number of pieces it's either a decision of portioning it up or someone insisting that the other one eat it. The sausage dish which we didn't order but had the first time I was at Brika was also served as three pieces and it was so yummy that we did break that into half.

The Village Salad

The Village Salad is your traditional Greek salad of cucumber, tomato, capsicum, red onion, olives and feta. The slab of feta comes on top for you to break up and combined throughout. It's a good feta. Very strong in taste and the slab is a generous amount, which was more than enough considering the strength of its flavour.

The slow roasted lamb came served that day with the special Easter dressing which tasted like a spiced rice. The lamb was just falling off the bone. It is slow cooked over charcoals and it is just beautiful. It comes apart with such ease and tastes so good, especially when you use some of your pita and wrap it all up like a DIY gyro.

The calamari is another dish I had on my first go-round at Brika and it was so good I ordered it again. I love how simply prepared this calamari is yet it is so flavoursome. The slightly charred calamari mixed with the olive oil, herbs and a squeeze of fresh lemon makes for a winner. So simple, but so good. The best things often are. That char taste to the calamari is everything. Oh, so good.

Being so full, dessert was never going to happen. No amount of my love for baklava or loukoumades would be enough to make me even attempt to force another spoonful of food in my mouth. It's a shame because I really do love both and having had the loukoumades at Brika before, I knew they would be good if I ordered them. Instead, I settled for nibbling on a braided koulourakia (Greek Easter cookie) as I fixed up the bill. A perfect end to a wonderful Easter.

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