GT tableware

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Subscribe to Gourmet

Subscribe to Australian Gourmet Traveller and you’ll go into the draw to WIN a Scenic 15 day Jewels of Europe river cruise for two people.

Gourmet on your iPad

Subscribe to Gourmet Traveller for your iPad.

The most spectacular waterways in the world

Whether snaking through clutches of pretty small towns, winding the entire length of countries or docking on the shores of the world’s biggest cities, travelling over water is both relaxing and thrilling.

The hot 100 moments in design

From distinguished architectural icons and game-changing gadgets we can’t live without to fashion classics that have become ubiquitous staples and timeless furniture classics – it’s by no means comprehensive, but we’ve narrowed down thousands of contenders and rounded up the most inspiring, visionary and intriguing moments in modern design history.

Chicken sandwiches

Whether it’s sesame-crumbed katsu in a brioche bun or a classic hotel-style club, we've found recipes that'll turn the classic sandwich filler into something rather special for lunch.

Chocolate tart recipes

Some include a layer of gooey caramel, some incorporate poached quince or pears, but all these tarts have one thing in common - plenty of chocolate.

Igni, Melbourne Review

Aaron Turner has made a triumphant return to the restaurant world and his cooking, at Igni in Geelong, is better than ever.

What we’re cooking for our mums this Mother’s Day

The Gourmet Traveller editorial team reveals which recipes they’ll cook for Mum this Mother’s Day.

Overnight pork shoulder with fennel

There's something super-comforting about cooking overnight - you wake up in the morning to the fragrant dish, ready for a long lazy lunch ahead. Some bread, mustard and a leafy salad are all you need to serve with this beautiful cut, which is ideal for slow-cooking, but a potato or cauliflower puree would also be a welcome addition.

Hot 100: the best in food

From chicken sambos to goat's milk, our team of intrepid taste testers and critics brings you the year's hottest (and most delicious) food trends from around the globe.

A Greek tragedy

Fergus Henderson condemns anglicised Greek food, and saves his applause for the feta and raki of Athens.

Just north of London's Oxford St there used to be the Greek strip, famously frequented by the Bloomsbury group, where tavernas rubbed shoulders. But everything runs its course and this street no longer runs with retsina, one's Geiger counter no longer goes off the scale when waved over bright-pink taramasalata, and no longer can the sound of merry revellers breaking plates be heard late into the night.

If I've started this thought with a far from upbeat tone, more of a Greek tragedy than a legend, the memory of a visit to Athens quite a few years ago adds to my gloomy outlook. Every time I got into a taxi, I would tell the driver where to go and he would turn around and say, "No good. That part of Athens is shut," and so lively discussions would ensue: not the best apéritif.

But please don't cry into your pita bread just yet. If it seems I'm somewhat down on Greek food, then I have misled you; when treated properly, Greek food is truly Olympian.

Let's take a Herculean leap to a more recent trip to Athens and a whole new culinary myth and epic of deliciousness. The artist Angus Fairhurst was having a show and Sarah Lucas was placing a mechanical masturbating arm on a rooftop. Things were looking chirpy already.

Lunch was in a vault under the central market. All through lunch I observed legs arriving into this vault down the stairs from the street - a strange thing when we're used to meeting people face- rather than feet-first. The vault housed a restaurant feeding about 100 diners and was staffed by an old man and a very young boy. Not speaking Greek myself, I was a little thrown when our young host said something to the old man with a force that sounded like "Go and suck crap in hell." Well, a fantastic platter of grilled sardines appeared. Then another exchange of a similar nature took place: this time it sounded like "I pissed in your coffee this morning." And the most sublime bowl of chickpeas arrived, cooked in stock, olive oil, and my Greek was not up to finding out what else, but chickpeas have never tasted so good. A final conversation between our host and the old chef - which sounded, incidentally, as though they were threatening to disembowel each other and use their giblets to beat each other around the head - actually meant "If you go up to the market and pick up some halva, you can have that with your coffee."

My next lunch was again simple but perfect: a platter of small red mullet salted and deep-fried, eaten with fingers, and washed down with something you should not try at home, as it will never work outside Greece: retsina, served not very cold in a coloured aluminium jug. You couldn't help but think that there was a certain musk of Alzheimer's about it.

The night fell and I drove out of Athens to a little taverna between a concrete factory and a truck garage. It looked very promising. But that may have been because of the baby lamb cooking on a spit over a fire just outside the front door. My Alzheimer's was fuelled by the homemade raki with which we washed down our splendid dinner, but I can still recall something with Greek feta sprinkled with fresh chillies, the grilled offal of the lamb and the beast itself, served with potatoes that were boiled and then grilled thoroughly with butter and lemon squidged (a technical term) on them.

The strange anglicised Greek food has had its day; once again you've got to go there to see the real deal.

I just wish I could remember where "there" was.


GT
Signature Collection

Find out more about the Gourmet Traveller Signature Collection by Robert Gordon Australia, including where to buy it in store and online.

Read More
Twenty
things to do this autumn

Whether it's foraging for wild mushrooms in a picturesque Victorian forest or watching a film by moonlight in Darwin, we've got you covered with 20 exciting autumn experiences from around Australia.

Read More
Gourmet TV

Check out our YouTube channel for our latest cover recipes, chef cooking demos, interviews and more.

Watch Now

You might also like...

Best of Italy

Rome, Florence, Naples, the Amalfi... the list of our favour...

Best New Hotels 2009 slideshow

We’ve got the keys to the most fabulous new hotels in the wo...

Burgundy, France: Top soil

“Water can rust iron. Imagine what it does to your insides. ...

Bali's new high

It’s no secret that recent times have been tough for Austral...

New South Wales South Coast

Unsung hero Flashier holiday spots may steal the limelight, ...

Gourmet Barcelona

From the city's best sandwich bar to its favourite charcuter...

Greece's Mani peninsula

Greece’s rugged and bloody Mani peninsula was once a no-go z...

Venice in pictures

Read our story on what to do if you only have 24 hours in Ve...

Great Brittany gallery

Take a walk on the wild side. Follow Brittany’s windswept co...

South African safari lodges gallery

Travelling from the Great Karoo to the Kruger, Emma Ventura ...

Iceland photo gallery

Erase the images of that volcano with the unpronounceable na...

Happy holidays

They’re following the sun and chasing the snow, staying clos...

Kyneton and Castlemaine

Kyneton and Castlemaine were born out of the gold-rush era, ...

Insider's guide to Manly

Breath of fresh air The classic Sydney beachside neighbourho...

The best of New Zealand

Choosing from the bounty of New Zealand's holiday destinati...

get the latest news

Sign up to receive the latest food, travel and dining news direct from Gourmet Traveller headquarters.

×