Rating: ★★★★☆

Address: 28 Apollonos street, Lemos Vouliagmenis, Athens, Greece

Telephone: +30 210 8963747 / +30 210 8963739

Email: info@vsgroup.gr

http://www.ithakirestaurantbar.gr/en/

It was my second visit to Athens, the capital city of Greece which has an impressive historical heritage and is widely known as the birthplace of modern democracy. Besides the ancient sites such as the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Panathinion Stadium and the Parthenon, one of the most memorable things for me about Athens was its stunning coastline.

Located on the Peninsula of  Vouliagmeni, ITHAKI is one of the most charming restaurants I have visited all year, with the outdoor tables overlooking an absolutely breathtaking, endless sea view. This illustrious venue has been host to many internationally renowned figures, including Bill Clinton, Sean Connery, Julio Iglesias and Leonardo DiCaprio.

The restaurant offers an enticing selection of Greek and Japanese dishes, but being tourists coming from Asia, we only tried out their Greek offerings. The service was gracious and polished, and dining at this beautiful sanctuary was a sublime experience.

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As we went on a weekday for lunch, the restaurant was relatively quiet. A selection of bread was soon brought to our table.

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(1) An amuse-bouche of cooked salmon in a teriyaki sauce tasted attractive, and showed off the kitchen’s ability to master both Japanese and Greek cuisine.

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(2) Our Greek Salad (€15.50), a simple but brilliant salad of tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, onions, capers and extra virgin olive oil, was brought to our table on a steel trolley. The three-dimensional presentation of the salad was thoughtful, and the flavours of the salad were bright and vibrant.

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(3) A Mediterranean Seafood Soup (€24.50), made with shrimp, langousine and fish, was irresistibly flavourful, extracting the best flavours from the pristine ingredients used.

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(4) We also ordered some grilled seafood (€75.50 to share), such as squids and octopus. The seasoning was minimal but sufficient; my only complaint was that the scampi were a tad too oily.

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(5) The fresh seafood in Greece is the ultimate indulgence, and we can never resist ordering some succulent grilled fish every time we dine at a restaurant in Greece.

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A large Fresh fish of the day (€88.50 per kilo) was ordered, and each bite was extravagantly tender, succulent and delicious. The crispy skin was moreish, and the fish had a magnificent bite.

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(6) After having mouthwatering seafood, some desserts were simply obligatory. The Apple Tart served with vanilla ice cream (€10.50) was accomplished – the pastry was thin and flaky, and the different flavours in this dessert were well-balanced.

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(7) When I was in Greece, I became obsessed with Greek frozen yoghurt drizzled in Greek honey and sprinkled with walnuts – I simply could not stop eating it! At this smart restaurant, I decided to satisfy my daily cravings with a Greek yoghurt ice cream drizzled in Greek honey (€7.50), which tasted divine, as the tartness of the Greek yoghurt ice cream was a match made in heaven with the sticky Greek honey.

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(8) Since I could not get enough of it, I also ordered the Greek yoghurt with honey and walnut (€7.50). The (non-frozen) Greek yoghurt was beaten until fluffy, and the gooey Greek yoghurt and the crunchy walnuts offered elegant textural contrasts with the velvety yoghurt – call me boring, but I can eat different variations of Greek yoghurt every single day!

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A minor point to note: the bill for this impeccable meal was hefty. However, to me, the sea view alone was enough to justify every dollar spent!