Athens: raw fish and seafood delicacies at Scorpina
With a menu most seafood lovers would drool over and some cosy aesthetics, Scorpina is the next fish and seafood restaurant in Athens you'll love! Launched just over a month ago, we've visited with a dear friend who actually designed the interiors and loved every bite of it.
Located at the backdrop of the busy side of Neo Psychiko, Scorpina is a minimal and elegantly decorated space with a strong emphasis on high quality fish and seafood. If you happen to pass by, it'll definitely catch your attention in the same way it does as soon as you walk in. White, black and some bronze details make up for a cosy ambience in a venue that once used to host former food establishments. This time around, the team from fellow restaurant Atherina in Nea Erythrea has really nailed it calling Antigoni Kapsali for help to repurpose and freshen up the existing space.
Chef Yiannis Liakou, a familiar face from the foodie streets of Thessaloniki, has created an exciting menu that will surprise you! No, it's not only the foreign-inspired dishes such as the tangy peskandritsa ceviche and the tender seabass carpaccio - it's every single detail on the menu that lives and breathes Greece, with a twist! And one can understand this from the simple things - we tried the marinated anchovies and they were ridiculously delicious; matured to perfection, soft on the inside and buttery enough on the aftertaste. Same goes for the small pomodorini salad dressed with caper leaves that travels your palate to one of the Greek islands.
Being the typical Greeks that we are, we tried a bit of all of the above, shared everything and enjoyed every bite of it!
Front and center is the fresh fish that you can select from the marble-top counter, where the head waiter demonstrates and weighs it for you. Apart from a wide array of starters, we also tried some tasty standards like the caramelised grilled octopus laid on a bed of fava spread, as well as the tender grilled calamari - a must try! There are some specials too, if you're a fan of risotto, make sure you try their peskandritsa giouvetsi - spiced up with a mix of peppers, paprika and finished with a touch of Limnos semi-dry wine; divine!
The night went on with some more shots of tsikoudia and wine before dinner made its way to dessert time. And boy oh boy, Scorpina had a lot to offer. Borrowing some of that middle-eastern magic, chef Yiannis Liakou makes for a delicious Kanafeh, a traditional Palestinian dessert made with cheese pastry soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. A close cousin, and second on the list, the soft semolina halva wrapped up around a scoop of mastiha ice cream.