Medusa Greek Taverna
2 Market Street, Sydney
02 9267 0799
With snakes instead of hair, and a look that turned people to stone, Medusa was one fiery woman of the Greek underworld. Her beauty and strength were qualities that Peter Koutsopoulos wanted to reflect in Medusa Greek Taverna – a quintessentially Greek diner that emphasises taste, tradition and old-world recipes.
Raised in a household dominated by strong females, Peter was no stranger to the ideas that the legend conveyed. Therefore, when it came to naming his latest venture, where flavoursome and honest food would reign supreme, it was the perfect moniker.
With a number of different hospitality venues under his belt, Peter knew just what was required to create the ideal venue, including the importance of a smooth-sailing kitchen. And so, he recruited Michael Trifonas as Head Chef. Hailing from the island of Samos, Michael worked his way through the restaurants of the Greek Islands before arriving in Australia with a suitcase full of tips and tricks and a love of fresh produce.
Therefore at Medusa, seafood comes fresh daily from the Sydney Fish Markets and all fresh produce is locally sourced. Feta is imported from the homeland, alongside many herbs and spices. Halloumi is straight from Cyprus and the olives are, as you’ve guessed, from Kalamata. The olive oil is even sourced from Peter’s parents’ property in Peloponnesse.
The a la carte menu begins exactly how you’d expect. Dips of taramosalata, eggplant, Santorini fava beans and tzatziki are served with warm pita bread. Top off the starters with everyone’s favourite pan-fried saganaki or some traditional dolmades – stuffed vine leaves served with a minted yoghurt.
Unsurprisingly, lamb is the star of many mains. Options range from traditional lamb souvlaki served with chips, to a lamb backstrap with mushroom and kaseri cheese, wrapped and baked in filo pastry and served with sundried figs on mavrodaphne sauce. Don’t eat red meat? Order the irresistible eggplant and zucchini moussaka.
For dessert, you can’t go wrong with a classic walnut baklava in cinnamon syrup served with honey yoghurt. For something a little left of centre, try the Medusa, with ouzo strawberries, pomegranate coulis, ouzo ice cream and rosewater fairy floss exploding out the top – it’s an enticing embodiment of Medusa’s crazy locks.
Whilst there may be no plate smashing here, you can still get the classic Greek feel by sipping on a refreshing Mythos beer or a range of ouzos. The wine list is Australian-leaning, but a few Greek red and white blends are available.
The Grecian concept inspired more than just the menu: in an attempt to mimic a classic taverna, the interiors are largely blue and white with a tiled mosaic of the goddess herself behind the bar. Full length ceiling-to-floor murals of picturesque Santorini and Mykonos also cover the walls, sitting in direct contrast to the sleek and polished interiors.
In 2015 Peter expanded his offering, opening Medusa Greek Meze in the heart of the city as relaxed counterpart to its sister restaurant.
Just like its namesake, Medusa Greek Taverna is a beautiful space turning out strong and traditional Greek flavours. In returning to his roots, Peter has created a restaurant where everyone can enjoy the flavoursome and honest food of his homeland, without needing to break a plate.