LUNCH for one at Yefsi at Attika turned into a Shirley Valentine moment as Greek music played in the background and the decor evoked the sparkling blue water and white sands of an idyllic Greek island.
Then my food arrived and my love affair with Greece was sealed.
Yefsi means flavour, “and food, life and people,” says owner Artha Limnios.
The cafe is a labour of love for the Perth businessman and his family, and they gave me a warm welcome as I walked in, easing any anxiety I had about dining alone.
Grant Greyling, a former sous chef at Jamie’s Italian, is in charge of the kitchen where everything except the pita bread is made in-house.
Even though breakfast was long gone I was tempted by the baklava pancake ($7), which comes with dried fig, apple, baklava syrup and vanilla ice cream.
Grilled squid with goats cheese ($18) also sounded good, as did the revithokeftedes (chickpea fritters $18).
The fritters arrived in a steel ramekin, where they rubbed shoulders with horiatiki (Greek salad), grilled haloumi, pita bread and a tzatziki dip.
The soft pita had been lightly charred and was just crisp on the outside and soft and moist inside.
The salad was so fresh the capsicum looked like it had been picked minutes prior to being served, and the fritters were soft but dense with a crisp coating.
I’ve never been a fan of olives, but somehow they combined with the other flavours to conjure magic in my mouth.
I took home a couple of spanakopita – made fresh in the eatery’s bakery that morning – for dinner.
The huge swirls were great, with the sharpness of the feta overlaid with garlic and spinach, and encased in bread rather than filo pastry.
Costing $8, they’d be perfect for a workday lunch.
The D’Angers finished dinner with a bougatsa ($8), a custard-filled sweet pastry that was sweet, but not cloying.
After all that Greek tucker D’Angerous Dave was concerned I might do a Shirley Valentine and jump on a flight to Athens – but Yefsi’s authentic food is enough escapism for me.
Yefsi at Attika
279 Newcastle Street, Northbridge
open 7 days 7am–3pm
0420 388 851