Bahari The Hellenic Palate
179 Swan Street, Richmond
03 8658 3443
- Slow Roasted Lamb Shoulder
- Cretan Fried Mushrooms with Eggplant Aioli
The lamb shoulder was seasoned nicely without being too overpowering, allowing the lamb flavour to penetrate. Unfortunately it was let down by being not cooked soft enough and was erring on the chewy and tough side when compared to other lamb shoulders.
The moussaka was fresh out of the oven. The layer of potato mash on top was rich, smooth and creamy. This was contrasted well by the chewiness in the sliced potatoes and eggplants. The mince meat itself was seasoned too heavily though and, while I can’t identify exactly what herb was used, it definitely overpowered all other flavours.
The eggplant aioli was surprisingly the highlight of the meal. It was thick and creamy, and it somehow contained a slight smokey flavour that complemented the eggplant well. I could’ve just ate this sauce by itself. All day long.
The fried mushrooms unfortunately didn’t taste like much. Mushrooms themselves were unseasoned, as were the thick but flakey batter. A tad underwhelming overall.
The wait staff seemed to be rather reserved, both in making suggestions or introducing the menu. We had to really probe to get a suggestion besides the two mains, which resulted in recommending a Greek salad. What a boring choice given the extensive menu!
Overall a pleasant, although unspectacular dining experience. The dishes that we sampled were nice but not groundbreaking. There are definitely some problems with execution (even the simple stuff like seasoning meat) that prevents this restaurant becoming ‘good’ to amazing.
Would Penguin Eat Again?
Maybe. However, a much much better choice for Greek food can be found at Hellenic Republic, where the food is absolutely spot on.