A recent arrival in the Athens scene, in up-and-coming Pangrati neighbourhood, Walla Walla is a wine bar and international food restaurant with a cozy modern ambiance.
It was created by celebrity chef and food writer Costas Tsingas, whose wide and colourful experience in the New York and Greek food scene has earned him a high reputation as an innovator and pioneer. Named after a valley in Washington State where grapes, strawberries, and sweet onions are grown, the restaurant has tapped into Greece’s newish love for exotic and ethnic flavours; whereas even a decade ago there were but a handful or two of Indian, Chinese, Arabic, African and Japanese restaurants around the capital now one comes across an ethnic food eatery around almost every corner in the centre.
The restaurant has warm, low lighting that creates a feeling of intimacy, combined with witty messaging such as ‘The Wine Down’ plastered on the wall by the stairs, clean and minimal Zen-style touches like bamboo shoots and rattan lampshades but also an edgy urban zing.
Using a lot of homemade ingredients like udon noodles and dumplings, the restaurant creates a highly changeable and often surprising menu that combines known flavours to create a unique or even unusual result, although there are classic flavours for those with a tamer appetite. We tried the grilled prawn tacos with a lime cream sauce, udon noodles with a saucy black gravy and a pork crackling dumpling and wild grilled mushrooms with foie gras. Every mouthful was a delight.
Apart from being a top quality restaurant, Walla Walla is also a wine bar. Here, again, Tsingas’ expertise with wines comes into play and with over 10,000 labels of wines and champagne from Greece and around the world diners can receive great suggestions for pairing their dish with the perfect drink. One can also shop wine directly from here to go.
A: Archelaou 7, Pangrati
Tip: Pangrati has become a hotspot for bars so after dinner head next door to dinky Pink Freud or squeeze in with the hip crowd at The Chelsea.
*Images by Alexia Amvrazi and Walla Walla (Copyright)