122 Pitt Street, Martin Place, Sydney, NSW 2000
Monday – Saturday 12pm-12am, Sunday 12pm-10pm
02) 8080 7070
As I was welcomed into the Pitt Street restaurant, 1821, the first thing that struck me, naturally, was the appearance of the restaurant.
The lights were at just the right level of bright, the feature wall was unobtrusive yet still impressive and the obscure details, grouped together, were a standout. It was extremely inviting and impressive, which set the tone for the rest of experience.
1821 is a Greek restaurant, which pays homage to the 1821 Greek revolution against the Ottomans. The owner, Jim Kospetas, describes it as his passion project for the love of his Hellenic roots. The restaurant was designed by Athens-based designer Dimitris Economou and the three-level fit out was built in Greece then shipped to Sydney. The head chef curated the menu to celebrate all things Greek. So, if any word comes to mind when describing 1821, it’s authentic. But on to the food.
Well first, the drinks, to be specific. Here at Hunter and Bligh we are drink enthusiasts, in my case specifically cocktails. I ordered the Lost in Lemnos ($20), which is vanilla vodka, Soho lychee, lychee purée, lemon juice and vanilla syrup, which was one of the best cocktails I’ve ever had. To accompany my drink, I had entrée, I had the Cod ($24), which was battered and served with ‘olivier’ potato, a creative take on a potato salad and beetroot aioli.
Next was the main; chicken, lamb and potatoes. The Chicken ($35) was oven roasted, with okra, carrot puree and tomato sauce. The Lamb ($35) was souvla style with crackling, potato puree and pistachio crumble. Our pick, and recommendation, is the lamb. While it is not surprising, the lamb was beautiful, tender and melt in the mouth and accompanied perfectly by the pistachios and potato puree. The chicken dish was a surprise for me, as I had never before eaten okra, but I can happily say I would go back for more. The mains were sizeable, as we had only room for one side of potatoes, yet quite honestly, it was flawless. The chicken was paired with a glass of 2018 Starborough Sauvignon Blanc ($16) from the Marlborough and the lamb with a glass of 2014 Stonefish Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($17), which were recommended to us by the staff and, of course, resulted in being two perfect matches.
Any sane person could not have looked at 1821’s desert menu and turned away – we struggled to pick two. We finally ended up on the Galaktoboureko ($17) which had filo pastry, custard, vanilla ice cream and cinnamon. The other, Lemon Semifreddo ($16) with yuzu, almond crumble and meringue. Trust us when we say “leave room for desert.” The sweet dishes was the stand out of the night, specifically the Semifreddo. Lemon is already a must in deserts, in our opinion, and this was no exception. The tartness of the lemon cut through the sweetness of the meringue, and they worked together better than I could have imagined. I will be going back just for that desert.
Executive chef George Economidis says of his philosophy that both dictates the restaurant and his cooking, “my cooking is inspired by my passion to create, my love for raw ingredients and the blue Greek ocean. It is not the recipes that make Greek cuisine special but it is the soul of the Greek culture that make it unique.” The soul of the Greek culture was very much in the atmosphere and food at 1821.
I can promise we will be back, to try more of the delicious food, experience more of the impeccable service and enjoy the pleasant and welcoming atmosphere.