I recently went to the Greek island of Mykonos for a few days with some good friends (and am still in recovery-as my friends say, ‘Mykonos won’). During one of our more quiet days, we went to the beach of Ftelia, famous for its windsurfing and more laid back attitude than the rest of the island. After a few days of nonstop partying and little eating, I was ready for a more relaxed evening and a quality meal. Putting aside the prices, (anywhere you go in Mykonos, prices are x 10), this felt like being in Morocco. The building and smooth walls were a mud colour with large lanterns hanging from the ceilings, along with sculpted wooden fans. Large red carpets were on the floor with blue and yellow poofs to lounge on. The restaurant was on an upper level and the view of Ftelia beach (and of the windsurfers) was ideal.
Let’s start off with the main course for a change. Being avid meat eaters, we all ordered the Angus Veal Tagliata with cherry tomato, rocket, parmesan and truffle oil. The meat was cut to perfection in thin long strips. It could have been slightly more burnt on the outside but the redness on the inside was divine and melted in the mouth, as a tagliata should. You could smell the truffle oil before the plate was on our table and the presentation was even more impressive. There were some doubts in the group as to whether the parmesan was in fact parmesan and not some cheaper pecorino, but we never cemented the fact. Overall it was a dish worth its money. The starters arrived quite fast- only a minute after our bottle of white ‘Kanenas’, Tsantali wine. We ordered 3 starters- Tuna tartare with soy and sweet miso paste, buffalo mozzarella with tomato paste and an eggplant carpaccio with balsamic dressing and parmesan shavings. The tuna was presented immaculately with small mashed avocado balls and with the first bite you could tell this was a taste sensation. The other starters were less memorable, but very good nonetheless.
Overall, the meal was definitely one to remember, although the location, decor and setting also helped. Even though the restaurant is priced like a 4* do, the waiters are all dressed in baggy pants, hippie t-shirts (or in some cases their swimsuits) and appear like they have just finished a surf session. When we asked some questions about the food or wine, some did not know how to answer, but went off to go and ask in their relaxed surfer stride. The hammocks, floor pillows, chilled music and vibrant colours gave the whole restaurant a gorgeous yet relaxed glow, also ideal for afternoon drinks. You have to hand it to Mykonos, it is definitely a place where you can always be pleasantly surprised, but never by the high prices.