Monday 7 July 2014

Taverna Vrika, Anti Paxos, Greece.

Taverna Vrika is situated at the far end of the little beach where you get dropped off on the island. We'd caught the boat that leaves daily at 10am from Gaios in Paxos and picks you up again at 5. Anti-Paxos is without doubt one of the most beautiful places we've ever been to, with the clearest aqua-turqoise waters you've ever seen, framed by a verdant carpet of green trees. There's hardly anyone living there and no hotels, most people go home at the end of the day. So there's no need for the taverna to be anything better than average, there's not really a lot of competition, only the two on Vrika beach and another two on Voutoumi beach just around the coast. But Taverna Vrika is really good. Serving the same sort of simple cuisine as you find all over the Greek islands, but just that little bit better than most, (and we tried a lot) everything we had here was absolutely spot on. So simple, yet just so right and so fitting within the setting.
On the first occasion we had the best Sardines straight off the barbecue, they were excellent. That char-grilled taste of the crispy skin along with the freshness of the fish, the perfect seaside food for me. Does anywhere in the UK manage this simple fish on a beach that doesn't cost a fortune? Yet it's just so bleeding obvious; fresh BBQ'd fish by the sea where it was caught locally presumably. We also enjoyed a very decent seafood risotto. (Nice and wet, how we prefer it).
Later on in the week we were back for more.
The tzatziki starter was wonderfully creamy, I never got bored of eating this garlic, yoghurt dish every single day for two weeks, love it. For mains it was another fish, a marvellously succulent, smoky Rockfish. Again, so simple, but when the fish is fresh and the setting is perfect, this is as good as life gets.
Even the moussaka was up there with the finest we had on our two week trip. We came to the conclusion that when it's in an earthenware dish like this (and not free-standing) it's better as you can make it more satisfyingly gooey without it losing shape. This food, eaten in this relative paradise was as memorable as any we've enjoyed in recent times. Sometimes, the simplest things in life are the best.

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