In Brisbane we are often spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the perfect meal to dine on. But to feel part of a close-knit family, taste full-on flavour with every bite and immerse yourself in tradition, that culinary collection is hard to find within a single experience. There’s no doubt that with one visit to Lefkas Taverna in West End you’ll be filled with more Greek goodness than yiayia could possibly feed you and if you happen to catch restaurant owners John and Angela Theoharis buzzing around the bistro, you’ll practically feel like family.
“Our restaurant is fun there’s no doubt about it. People come here and it’s not pretentious, it’s warming. Lefkas is just like a local Greek village and we want people to feel like family with authentic Greek ambience, it’s comforting – with comfort food,” says John. As if that’s not enough to feel heavenly Hellenic, Lefkas bring out the authentic Greek music every Friday night and first Saturday of each month with live bouzouki and violinist – a duo who often get booked for many of the restaurant’s functions and private parties. The venue holds up to 190 people and can cater for weddings, christenings and Christmas parties with big bookings able to enjoy the traditional set menu. “The banquet menus can be customised to suit any budget or requirement,” says John.
From platters to puddings, Lefkas Taverna has a Mediterranean menu that’s both delicious and authentic - a duo that can be hard to match. “People try to modernise Greek food and really, it is what it is. We serve all village style food and it’s great value,” says John.
The combination platters are a popular menu go-to for regulars, groups and those new to Lefkas, alike, featuring all the tastes and delights Greek food is known for such as souvlaki, haloumi, tzatziki, pita, calamari and char-grilled baby octopus. Wash it down with a watermelon tipple (Lefkas signature cocktail) or a hit of authentic Ouzo.
Passing on most of her home-made recipes, John’s yiayia is behind the inspiration of Lefkas Taverna. From this the team have continued to be inspired and create dishes such as the Youvetsi (slow cooked lamb with tomato, fresh herbs served with rizoni pasta), Horta (boiled silverbeat with olive oil, lemon and salt), Horiatiki (traditional Greek salad with all the good stuff), but nothing beats the grilled eggplant, explains Angela. “It’s one of the best dishes on our menu. With a garlic smear, grated feta, olive oil and lemon you won’t find anything like it anywhere else!” she says.
Just as famous for their savoury feasts, the authentic Greek sweets make a big appearance on the Lefkas menu to complete the experience. The standout to get your spoon into is the Tourta, but don’t leave without devouring the Rizagalo – a classic creamy rice pudding with cinnamon and the perfect amount of sweetness.
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