Funky Gourmet is one of the most special restaurants I’ve ever been to. No, actually strike that. It’s not a restaurant, it’s an experience and a really special one indeed. All senses are involved, although sometimes what you see can be deceiving… Curious to learn more about this wonderful spot?
Housed in a neoclassical building in the Keramikos, Funky Gourmet is the brainchild of of three young and driven Greeks. Chefs and co-owners Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nick Roussos worked in different restaurants, including the renowned El Bulli, before opening their own in Athens in 2009. Three years down the row, they were already awarded with their first Michelin star, followed by a second one in 2014.
On the ground floor there’s a private dining room and a cocktail bar where you can kick things off with an aperitif. The main dining room is upstairs – not too spacious but cosy, dimly lit, with large open windows looking onto the street and subtle artworks on the black walls. As soon as you are seated, the journey starts. It’s playful, creative, theatrical and guided by the chefs through a tasting menu. Our waiters started presenting us with the dishes, one by one, with perfectly choreographed moves while explaining what they were.
I don’t want to reveal too much and spoil the experience for you but there were just so many dishes that I absolutely loved and still remember vividly! Some were traditional Greek recipes with a modern twist, like the “invisible stifado” where the onions have been replaced with tapioca and the rabbit is nowhere to be seen on the plate but the flavour is all there, and the Greek salad in the form of a white sorbet eaten with a tiny little shovel that encapsulates the taste of all the typical ingredients – a nice example of molecular cuisine. Then there were others that surprised me with their unconventional combination of flavours which worked really well, like the bottarga tartlet with white chocolate. Who could imagine they’re a match made in heaven?!
Beautiful visuals is a theme here and I loved the fact that the presentation was hiding a little surprise in most instances. A soft-boiled egg for dessert? Check! A squid oreo? Check! Another playful course that I really liked was the “picnic”, a delicious spread on a red and white gingham cloth which was both funky and gourmet (see what I did there?). The one course I had to skip, despite my best intentions, was their famous “Silence of the lamb”. Nothing wrong with the taste but I just couldn’t get there (don’t judge until you find out what it is!). By the end of the meal, we were positively stuffed but couldn’t resist a last bite when presented with delicious mignardises – a fine end to a fine night of dining.
My meal at Funky Gourmet is amongst my all-time favourite ones, so it’s unsurprisingly amongst my favourite spots in the Greek capital. Fantastic food, innovative presentation, impeccable service – it seems to have it all. Sure, it may be pricey (no surprises there) but is worth every penny and lives up to its reputation. If you’re planning a trip to Athens, don’t miss out and make a reservation. Oh, and do share your pictures with me with the #seemybrussels hashtag (and make me jealous!).
|Address: 13 Paramithias & Salaminos Street, 10435 Athens, Greece|
|Telephone: +30 210 5242727|
|Website / Facebook page|