Stergios Zdralis: The Greek Chef Giving Sydney Pubs a Greek Twist

The Greek Chef Giving Sydney Pubs a Greek Twist

Sydney, Australia - The Botany Pier Hotel Bistro has reopened its doors, bringing excitement to the local community. The bistro, run by renowned Greek chef Stergios Zdralis, is set to offer a unique twist on traditional pub fare with his signature Greek flavours.

“It's a great challenge to cook for the locals and put my passion into the food,” said Zdralis. “I have received so much appreciation from the eaters over the years.”

The Pier Bistro is part of the Oscars Group, one of Australia’s largest privately owned hospitality groups, founded in 1986 by the Gravanis brothers. The Pier Hotel, located at 1751 Botany Road in Banksmeadow, boasts a rich history. Originally purchased by Tooth and Company in December 1917, it was redesigned in November 1940 by architect R.G. Simpson in the interwar period Functionalist style.

Stergios Zdralis, originally from Thessaloniki, Greece, completed his food hospitality studies at university. However, his true dream has always been to make people happy through his cooking. "I run the kitchen, I know the area, and the locals know my food. It’s great that we have been able to reopen this historic pub which has been closed since Covid times," Zdralis explained.

Zdralis has become the go-to Greek chef in the Sydney pub scene, known for adding Greek twists and flavours to traditional dishes. His culinary journey in Sydney spans over a decade, having served as Executive Chef for the Gravanis brothers' Oscars Group at the popular 'Greek at the Belvedere' restaurant.

“Having run the Greek restaurant at the Belvedere hotel for ten years, I have met a lot of Sydney-siders and realised that people want and love real Greek food,” said Zdralis.

“People every day are eating spanakorizo with grilled calamari, pastitsio, moussaka, saganaki cheese, kritharoto with seafood, fakes, fricasse, spanakopita, and trahana with beef,” Zdralis said. “I love it.”

“But nobody makes Greek food like me in Sydney!” he noted.

The Botany Pier Hotel Bistro now offers the local community a taste of Mediterranean-inspired cuisine, blending Zdralis’s Greek heritage with his extensive culinary expertise. Why don’t you go and check it out.

Stergios’s Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) with Herb Yogurt Pesto

Zdralis has shared his recipe for Keftedes (Greek Meatballs) with Herb Yogurt Pesto, a dish that originates from Northern Greece. A star at every party, Keftedes is beloved worldwide for its juicy, flavourful taste. Here’s how you can make it at home:


For the Keftedes:

- 5 tablespoons olive oil

- 1 onion, finely chopped

- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

- 120 g sandwich bread

- 250 g ground pork

- 250 g ground beef

- 2 eggs

- 1 tablespoon mint, finely chopped

- 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

- 1 tablespoon oregano, dry

- 1 teaspoon cumin

- 1 teaspoon salt

- Pepper to taste

- 1 litre sunflower oil, for frying

- All-purpose flour, for frying

For the Herb Yogurt Pesto:

- 20 g Greek yogurt

- 1/4 bunch dill

- 1/4 bunch mint

- 1/4 bunch parsley

- 1 teaspoon Greek olive oil


1. Place a frying pan with 2 tablespoons of olive oil over high heat.

2. Add the onion and garlic, and sauté for 1 minute. Mix with a wooden spoon and sauté for another minute. Remove from heat.

3. Soak the bread in water for 2-3 minutes, then squeeze out all the water and transfer to a bowl.

4. In the bowl, add the ground pork and beef, eggs, mint, parsley, oregano, cumin, salt, pepper, remaining olive oil, and the sautéed onion and garlic. Mix well with hands (wearing gloves).

5. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

6. Heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan over high heat.

7. Place flour on a baking pan. Remove the meat mixture from the refrigerator, shape into 20-25 g balls, and coat in flour.

8. Fry the meatballs in batches for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Transfer to a baking pan lined with paper towels.

For the Herb Yogurt Pesto:

1. Combine all the herbs, chop finely, and mix with Greek yogurt and olive oil.

2. Spread the herb yogurt pesto on a plate and place the meatballs on top.

Book your table:

The Pier Hotel

1751 Botany Road, Banksmeadow NSW

Read also: Chef Stergios Zdralis Brings A Taste of the Aegean to Sydney

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