GOR­GEOUS FOOD FROM GREECE

HI Weekly - - FRONT PAGE - —shruthi@time­so­fo­man.com STORY SHRUTHI NAIR • PHO­TOS SUP­PLIED

Fresh, colour­ful, and wel­com­ing — a feast of Greek food with some warmth from Greece is here in Mus­cat at Greek Way.

I’m not quite ac­quainted with the Greek cul­ture or tra­di­tions ex­cept for Greek mythol­ogy that I would of­ten read on­line or in comic books as a child. So ob­vi­ously I hardly had any idea about Greek cui­sine, which got me in­ter­ested to visit Greek Way, Oman’s only au­then­tic Greek restau­rant. Although my job re­quires me to try out a num­ber of restau­rants and cafés, I am the kind of per­son who gets com­fort­able in one place and makes it my home. It is usu­ally the am­biance and the lo­ca­tion that helps me de­cide such a place, but this time it was the peo­ple run­ning this place that helped me make the de­ci­sion.

Greek Way is a small, cosy Greek home (I say that be­cause of the vibes) run by a hus­band who man­ages the busi­ness and the wife who pre­pares the most de­li­cious meals. Although this place was started as a café where stu­dents from the neigh­bour­ing col­leges could just come and chill and fin­ish their home­work, on public de­mand the menu started ex­pand­ing to serve all kinds of Greek food.

The thing about Greek food is that it is not spicy at all, but that shouldn’t make you think it is bland as it is re­placed with a lot of other spices in­clud­ing cin­na­mon, basil, orig­i­nal oregano, rose­mary, and thyme. The Greeks don’t re­ally have a sta­ple diet, but most of their dishes con­tain potato ei­ther as French fries, or as mashed pota­toes, wedges and more.

Vasileios Kal­imeris, the owner, in a good hu­mour told me that they don’t have the con­cept of healthy food, which is prob­a­bly why Greeks are usu­ally big­ger in size. While talk­ing to him, I was thrilled to have learnt so much about their cul­ture just by be­ing with him.

When he was telling how the Greeks are usu­ally loud and pre­fer to chat and laugh even while eat­ing, a cus­tomer en­tered the restau­rant and Vasileios rushed to at­tend to him. He ended up sit­ting with him en­joy­ing a hearty con­ver­sa­tion. Later, he ex­plained that all Greeks who come to the restau­rant ex­pect that kind of hos­pi­tal­ity, oth­er­wise it is con­sid­ered rude.

Hav­ing learnt a good deal about the Greeks in gen­eral, I couldn’t wait to try out some of their dishes. One of their best sell­ing meal is the Giros Pita and I just wasn’t sur­prised why. It is their clos­est equiv­a­lent to a chicken shawarma.

An­other hit is Stra­p­at­sada, which is tra­di­tional Greek recipe for scram­bled eggs. It is dipped in tomato sauce and served with feta cheese that is im­ported from Greece, and cap­sicum. The Greeks also like to use egg­plant in their dishes and mous­saka is one such thing.

It is oven­baked egg­plant with minced beef topped with home­made béchamel. Not a lot of their dishes have rice, but giou­var­lakia is one of the few that is served as a thick tex­tured soup with minced beef and rice meat­balls dunked in it.

On pop­u­lar de­mand, they have even started serv­ing steak and lamp chops and in­ter­est­ing seafood with a Greek touch and a homey taste given to each one of it. One thing you need to re­mem­ber, if the servers for­get to tell you is that the por­tions are huge be­cause the Greeks like their plates filled. So if you are not a heavy eater then make sure you don’t or­der too much.

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