Fans of the hit movie A Touch of Spice will easily recall the mouth-watering sight of endless herbs and spices strewn across tables, hearty meat and vegetarian dishes and a devilishly syrupy baklava that Asia Minor cuisine is famous for.
In a first for Australia, an Asia Minor themed restaurant has opened its doors to all who wish to sample the unique flavour combinations, close their eyes and for a second allow themselves to imagine an aromatic, flourishing Constantinople.
Tucked away in Ramsgate, which is fast becoming the new hub of Greek eateries, Loxandra offers everything you expect it too, as well as the traditional Greek dishes such as moussaka, kleftiko, and souvlaki.
Chef and nutritionist Aris Chatzigeorgiou and 2MM radio journalist Yiannis Meravoglou are the proud owners and hosts of this new venture and regularly navigate their booked out seatings, discussing the menu and offering suggestions for the most authentic dining experience.
Chatzigeorgiou who has been in Australia for a year, and whose ancestry is from Asia Minor, has put a lot of love in creating a comprehensive mezethes-based menu which also offers numerous mains and banquet options. From the not to be missed tarnahaspies (golden crispy pies filled with pastrami, graviera cheese and sundried tomatoes) and hunkyar beyendi (veal slow cooked in tomato saltsa on a bed of eggplant puree) to the traditional imam baildi (eggplant stuffed with onions and garlic, cooked in a tomato-based sauce with herbs), keftedakia ayvaliotika (meatballs cooked in a rich tomato-based sauce served with feta and fries on top) and Loxandra saganaki (2 eggs cooked in a tomato-based sauce with pastrami).
There is also a range of seafood dishes including ktapodaki (grilled octopus served with fava, onion, and capers), kalamarakia tiganita (crispy fried calamari), and prawn saganaki, as well as a plethora of vegetarian options such a stavas (slow cooked chickpeas and eggplant with fresh tomatoes and spices),and dolmades(vine leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice, onions, fresh herbs, and pine nuts) that leave diners spoilt for choice.
Live music after 8.30pm on Friday nights and weekends provides the perfect ambience as people wash down their loukoumades or galaktoboureko with good Greek coffee. With booked out seatings night after night, best to make a reservation to avoid disappointment.
A: 244 Rocky Point Rd, Ramsgate
Ph: 0451 104 980
Open: Tuesday to Sunday
Lunch: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Dinner: 5:30 – 10 p.m.