Oh Santorini, I have such fond memories of you. I remember the stunning scenery, the slower pace of life, and the friendly people. And the food! I'm a huge fan of hummus, halloumi cheese, anything made with fava beans, and good olive oil.
To be honest, I wasn't sure if I would be able to find really good Greek food in Hong Kong. I didn't have high expectations when I decided to visit Santorini Hong Kong, a Greek restaurant with locations in both Soho and Wan Chai.
I was so pleasantly surprised!
I've been to Santorini Hong Kong three times now, and I really, really like it. The service is excellent (definitely above average - they are really friendly and attentive!); the food is very authentic and delicious; and the ambiance is charming and pleasant.
When you're inside, you almost feel like you are back in Santorini. The decor for the one in Soho (both inside and out) reminds me so much of Santorini!
The husband and wife team are from Greece and spent a lot of time in Santorini before moving to Hong Kong. They care a lot about sourcing authentic ingredients from Greece as much as possible.
I definitely recommend starting with the Dip Sampler [HKD 180] where you get to try all of their dips together with warm pita bread. From right to left: The Tzatziki is excellent and consists of their delicious thick Greek yogurt (imported from a very specific source in Greece) mixed with cucumber and garlic. Agioritiki Melitzanosalata consists of thinly chopped smoked eggplant, olive oil, herbs, sort of like a baba ganoush.
The Taromossalata White is full of cod eggs with potato puree & lemon. It is the dip with the "fishiest" flavor, and could be an acquired taste for some. Finally, the Tirokafteri is the heaviest one, made from a Greek cheese spread mixed with chili. They are all good, and it's fun to mix and match different ones together.
I love halloumi, a harder Greek cheese that can actually be grilled. The halloumi here is a pretty big portion (could almost be shared between 3-4 people as an appetizer) and is excellent. The texture is almost meat-like and the flavor is spot in. [HKD 165]
Their salads are quite nice. My favorite is the Manouri Salad (HKD135), a lovely assortment of greens tossed in a vinaigrette made with a variety of fresh blended vegetables (with carrots being one of the main flavors) and topped with a big disc of Manouri cheese.
I fell in love with the cheese and really loved the vegetable vinaigrette flavor as well.
The Fresh Tuna Salad [HKD 155] came with cooked tuna marinated with citrus, fresh greens, and balsamic vinegar. I wished the tuna were a little bit less cooked, though I'm not sure if that would make it any less authentic. This salad was enjoyable, but I preferred the Manouri Salad.
A great hearty entree is the Kleftiko Lamb [HKD 180], a lamb shank slowly baked with vegetables, garlic, and feta cheese. The meat is fall-off-the-bone tender and the flavors are quite lovely.
We tried lamb chops from a rack of lamb once (I think it was a special), and it was fantastic. The chef definitely knows how to execute! I don't usually like lamb if it's too gamey, but the version at Santorini was nicely charred, tender, and full of flavor without being too gamey.
The Greek Fries, which came with our lamb chops, were addictive.
I highly recommend the Greek yogurt with walnuts and honey [HKD 110]. They import their yogurt from a very particular source in Greece and it's delicious. I love how thick and flavorful it is. The yogurt is delicious with honey (sorry, I pushed aside the walnuts because I really don't like walnuts). It makes a great dessert and it's so Greek!
I'm thrilled to find such a cozy family-owned Greek restaurant so close to my apartment. The food is very good and you can tell that the cooking comes from the heart. Many of these dishes are authentic, home-style recipes.
I must give a shout-out to the staff at Santorini. Every single time I've gone they have been courteous, attentive, and really friendly.
The first time we went they took time to get to know us and even offered us some Greek yogurt on the house. The second time I went with a couple friends for a girls' night out and they were very attentive to our table's sensitivity to cigarette smoke. They even asked us if we were OK after a person on the patio near us lit up. The third time they sent us some free grappa at the end of the meal.
I definitely can see this becoming a place that falls into our regular rotation.
Santorini Hong Kong (2 locations)
LG/F 51 Elgin Street, Soho, Central
5/F, QRE Plaza, 202 Queen's Road East, Wan Chai
This is the twelfth post in the updated #50Postsin50Days - Take 2 Challenge. Other posts in this series will be added to the bottom of the original post.