Greece as you’ve never eaten it

Funky Gourmet in Athens, a new way of interpreting Hellenic flavours

25-06-2014
In less than five years, Funky Gourmet in Keramiko

In less than five years, Funky Gourmet in Keramikos, a young and lively neighbourhood in Athens, tel. +30.210.5242727, conquered two Michelin stars, as many as only another restaurant in Greece (namely Spondi, also in Athens). The two chefs Georgianna Chiliadaki and Nikos Rousssos offer three tasting menus thanks to which it is possible to take a journey across the most typical products in the country, but with unusual perspectives and original, aesthetically impeccable presentations

Some people say Athens is only a stopover. Some say that food in Greece is not good. Well, these people will be very much surprised. Athens is a city that deserves a visit that goes far beyond the Piraeus or the Acropolis. It’s worth spending at least a night here and visit the roofed market, pretending you’re in an eastern market, with meat and fish in fine order in the stands.

There’s nothing more to add with regards to the Parthenon, if not that the Acropolis’ new Archaeological Museum, right under the Southern slope of the Acropolis itself, deserves a visit; it is full of archaeological remains, left in open view under the building, as well as of parts of the glorious Parthenon Frieze. The Museum gives an excellent chance to dive into classic Athens without getting lost in the huge National Archaeological Museum.

This, with the spirit of the curious traveller in mind. When thinking of the body, and of the palate in particular, the gourmets who want to be at peace with the peninsula need to exit the touristic routes and move to Keramikos, a neighbourhood popular among young Athenians. This area is scarcely interesting during the day, but it livens up at night. You arrive here almost by chance so getting here by taxi, giving precise indications regarding the destination, can turn out to be useful.

A minimalistic dining room will immediately make you forget the classic iconography of Greek restaurants

A minimalistic dining room will immediately make you forget the classic iconography of Greek restaurants

In our case restaurant Funky Gourmet is certainly the most interesting location in town, perhaps even in the whole of Greece, which is packed, everywhere, with taverns that are perfect as to atmosphere, but almost always featureless when it comes to food.

Funky Gourmet
, we were saying: this is the name of one of the two restaurants in Greece holding two Michelin stars. Located in a classic building, Funky spreads over various, not too large levels, with the main dining room, seating some thirty guests, on the second floor. The decor is modern and simple, the kitchen is hidden behind a two-shutter-door from which the chefs sometimes peep into the dining room, discretely. This restaurant is elegant yet informal, with an atmosphere that can also suit the traveller on holiday.

Here the journey of discovery of Greek flavours is a 360° itinerary; almost a material journey, in which ingredients and dishes are alive, they conquer also thanks to their shape, and not just their substance. Stones and rocks become containers; herbs and Mediterranean aromas arrive on the table, on not just on the palate. Tasting the dishes presented by the chefs is like diving into the real flavours of the peninsula, made of salt, butter, honey and even mastiha, a special granular resin typical of the island of Chios.

There are three tasting menus, respectively with sixteen, thirteen and six courses. These are marvellously created by the kitchen couple formed by Georgianna Chiliadaki and Nikos Rousssos, young chefs who have the great merit of having given Greece a second two-Michelin-starred restaurant. Quite an achievement for a nation that never stood out gastronomically, especially not at a level that would be interesting to gourmets.

Langoustine on a shell: one of the dishes included in the three menus at Funky Gourmet

Langoustine on a shell: one of the dishes included in the three menus at Funky Gourmet

In this sense, Funky Gourmet is an exception: opened in 2009, in 2012 it received the first star and in 2014 the second one. A very well deserved acknowledgment for a cuisine that is adventurous but proper: you can taste all the local ingredients, in fact you can even see them, for example in the case of the goat butter leaning on a stone, made precious with butter. You can almost imagine the goats, balanced on the rocks, on the edge of the sea, looking for salt. And then there’s the Pasticcio, in the shape of cannelloni; and the Greek bottarga paired with white chocolate, not an exaggeration but a way to soften its saltiness.

There’s no children’s menu but upon request the young guests can be satisfied with some dishes made especially for them, such as the Mini hamburger served in its small box.

Funky Gourmet
13 Paramithios str. & Salaminos
Keramikos – Athens
+30.210.5242727
Closed on Sundays and Mondays, the other days open only in the evening
Tasting menu: 135, 100 and 70 euros


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