HEAD CHEF – TRAVIS McAULEY
Alonissos. June 2012
With Melbourne winter knocking on the door and peak season for the islands only a few weeks away from starting, we were off.
First stop Alonissos (that is after a day and a half of planes, taxis, buses and ferry’s). Part of the Sporades group of islands famous for it’s dense vegetation, mountainous land and the most amazing crystal clear waters you’ve ever seen.
With a population of just under 2000 people, Alonissos was the perfect island to quickly switch off and forget about any responsibilities back home.
With the majority of the islands population located around the harbor town, you only have to drive several minutes (there’s 1 road that runs from one end of the island to the other) until you’re out of the cobble stone streets and amongst the forest mountain side where you’ll find private villas for rent with some spectacular views of the other islands popping out of the Aegean sea.
With the sun punching out the heat from the moment it rose, there was no way sleep in’s past 7.30am physically possible, so breakfast. Every time we come to Greece breakfast consists of 2 things. Greek yoghurt drizzled the local honey and coffee. The creamiest thickest strained Greek yoghurt you’ve ever seen. With 10% fat this stuff is amazing and so wish we could get a hand on a product back home. And the local honey was just brilliant (there is a lot of bees on the island).
After breaky there’s the beach. With 18 plus beaches to choose from there’s a beach to suit everyone’s needs.
Lunch. I’m a sucker for Greek bakeries. So lunches would usually be a spanakopita, tiropita or a crusty loaf of bread with a Greek salad made with some of sexiest tomatoes I’ve ever seen. Also can’t forget all of the amazing biscuits
Afternoons were generally lazy, maybe back to the beach or lazing by the pool, always included icy cold Mythos or a cheeky ouzo or 2.
Dinner, stand out place was a place tucked away in a small bay not far from Chrissi Milia beach. Tables dotted in between trees over looking the bay, with small waves tumbling on to the pebbled beach, very nice for a restaurant.
With the son running the front of house and his wife, sister and mother in law in the kitchen, we were well looked after. Stand out dishes, horta, goat kleftiko, chargrilled octopus, gemista and their dolmathes.
Other stand out dishes we ate whilst in Alonissos includes, whole fried calamari and red mullet caught by the husband that day and cooked and served by a lady they called crazy Aphrodite. The island is also famous for it’s tuna, and Aphrodite did a brilliant hilopites with fresh tuna and olive oil which hi the spot.
One other place the stood out was small restaurant located above a mini supermarket, run by a young couple featuring traditional dishes done with a bit of twist which was refreshing seeing as every of menu on the island was exactly the same. Tuna with fava puree, tzatziki with almonds and mint, grilled eggplants with feta, garlic and tahini.
As far as the food goes Alonissos was the stand out Island. Only disappointment was most of the touristy restaurants near the port. It’s funny how little the staff have to care when they know that theres another boat load of tourists coming in the next day. Lesson learnt, always ask the locals where they eat.
Alonissos we will be back.