Have you ever visited Plaka? This Greek restaurant franchise is no newbie and has been around since 1993 and in that time, come to be known as one of the most authentic Greek restaurants in our city.
Plaka’s namesake village
Named after the famous village of Plaka in Athens, the restaurant takes a fresh approach to the best of traditional Greek dishes.
While I haven’t yet been to Greece, it most definitely is on the bucket list for future travel plans.
When I think of Greece, I think of blue and white houses, irresistible food, strong coffee, sweet biscuits, ancient ruins and high-spirited people.
It is no secret that the Greeks are known for their hospitality and laid-back attitude, and it is these two principles that are displayed first hand at Plaka’s restaurants.
From the management to the waiters, to the cooks to the cleaning staff, the restaurant is run like a well-oiled machine, which is why it has stood the test of time in Johannesburg.
There is a saying that goes – Greek people do not eat to live, but rather live to eat.
Eating together is a social occasion in Greek culture, without any interruptions, just good food and meaningful conversations.
You can see that first hand at Plaka.
There are definitely the regulars who are fiercely loyal to the restaurant – the families that come to eat together every weekend or so, sharing platters from the “family table’ menu.
What I have found every time I visit Plaka (and I have visited all three) is a lunch or dinner can extend on for hours, particularly because of the relaxed and vibrant atmosphere created by the restaurant.
Crisp whites and cool blues, airy ceilings and cleverly placed shutters transport you to a mini-holiday that you did not know you were taking.
So, sit down and prepare to enjoy yourself…
The Greek Experience
You will undoubtedly start with a series of starters, known as the mezze.
Presented on little plates and designed to whet your appetite, they could be accompanied by a cocktail or glass of wine, depending on your preference.
Mezze is meant to be shared by a table, but you may prefer to order a few plates for yourself instead of ordering a main meal.
One thing that will strike you immediately is the freshness of the food, even the seafood (which is never easy being in Jozi) and most especially for me – the bright and crispy salads.
What makes the experience feel so authentic?
For me, it is the variety of olives, dips and pitas. Oh and my favourite greek meal – The Vegetarian Mousaka. 😍
For Shaun and my inlaws – its the chicken and the meat selection.
The main dishes are simple and slow cooked, seasoned with herbs and olive oil, plus a sprinkling of love and imagination.
The desserts include an assortment of traditional treats such as sweet biscuits, halva ice cream and my favourite – Baklava.
I don’t know about you, but whenever I hear the word ‘moussaka’ it makes me think of the My Big Fat Greek Wedding movie.
Remember when the popular school girls ask the main character, who is Greek, if she is eating “moose kaka.” 😁
Well, I am obsessed with Plaka’s Veggie Moussaka!
Oh, and these little delights below are my go-to starter – Dolmades.
Vine leaves, stuffed with a delicious herby rice mix, shaped into little rolls and boiled until wonderfully tender. 😍
These yummy looking biscuits are traditional Greek cookies, often enjoyed after dinner but also around Easter time.
BAKLAVA! A sweet dessert pastry, made of layers of filo, filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and held together with syrup. 🤤
Eat Together at Plaka Restaurant
Plaka’s food is unpretentious, yet contemporary, the service is impeccable and the atmosphere is lively, but peaceful at the same time.
If you’d like to visit this restaurant, there are three to choose from – located at Cresta, Menlyn Mall and Eastgate.
Both Cresta and Menlyn have a deli section too – so you can take a few delicacies home with you when you leave.
Oh, one more thing, I am running a giveaway on Instagram and you could win a R1000 Plaka voucher!
Head to my Instagram page for more info.
- This review is sponsored by Plaka
- All images were taken by me unless otherwise stated