I was invited by Charles de Olim and Evros Pappas from Pappas Restaurant to taste the Christmas Eve specials that they will be including on their menu this year. I was lucky enough to be in Johannesburg for the weekend of the 14th and 15th of December and so took them up on their offer. I had flown up to surprise my mom for her birthday and I asked my dad if he would mind us going out to Pappas for lunch. Gisela was kind enough to allow me to become a party of three, which was great as we could sample one of each of the special dishes on the menu. Charles met us when we arrived and spent quite some time talking to us about the menu and their restaurant.
Wine and Alcohol
Wine is available per the glass and per bottle with Groote Post wines being the recommended wine. The wine list is extensive and will include Cypriot wines in the new year. The prices are excellent by Sandton standards even if they are in the upper price range. There is also a cocktail list worth taking a look at and they have a lovely selection of single malt whisky’s. Lemon slices are provided for separately when you order water which is a very nice touch. We chose a Tamboerskloof Syrah 2009 (R270) which was an excellent year for wine in the region. The wine has a peppery nose and is smooth with rich red berries on the palate.
The menu is extensive and includes mezze platters, light meals and authentic Greek dishes. While we were looking at the menu warm flatbread was brought to the table. It is made on site and served with a flavourful hummus and a taramasalata that had a great citrus zing. The food should come with one warning “come hungry”. The portions are extremely generous and this is the first time I have ever been defeated by food. My mom had the 600g Pepper Crusted Fillet on the Bone done rare which she described as being as soft as butter and flavoursome. The chef recommends you order this medium to rare to medium. My dad devoured the Goat Kleftiko which was slow roasted for 8 hours. He was served the shank and the rib chops and I had a taste of both. It was amazing and I could taste the difference in the cuts of meat. Charles assured us that this would feature on the menu as a special whenever goat is available. It is not a meat that can be easily sourced but I can highly recommend that you give this traditional Cypriot dish a try. I had the Slow Roasted Pork Shoulder and the only negative for me was that there was too much fat left under the crackling. It was served with a gravy made from the pan juices and I loved that the pork was cooked with rosemary. Our meals were served with side dishes of the most delicious spinach and butternut.
Not having space to even finish my main meal, I ordered espresso instead of dessert. The dessert menu looks great and I look forward to going back to try a few of them out. My espresso was served with a sesame seed biscuit which was crunchy and not overly sweet.
The service is excellent and the staff are always there but never hover. We were treated warmly and I was nearly coerced into ordering dessert by our friendly waiter.
The outside deck is wonderful to sit on and there is a water mister ensuring that you are quite comfortable in the summer months. The deck overlooks the square and the interior is cool and very inviting.
And … go on a Saturday night to experience Greek dancing and plate breaking
Telephone Number: 011 884 9991
Open: Lunch and Dinner, Monday to Sunday
Average main course: R125
Corkage: From R75 per bottle
Food type: Greek Cypriot
Disclosure: I was invited to taste the Christmas Eve menu and our main courses were on the house. I was not required to write a blog post about the tasting. All opinions in this blog post are my own. This post is in line with my blogging policy.
I am on leave until the 6th of January and will reply to blog comments then.