238 Castlereagh St Sydney, NSW 2000
|Opening hours||Lunch Wed-Fri from noon; dinner Tue-Sat from 5.30pm|
|Prices||Moderate (mains $20-$40)|
|Phone||02 9098 1111|
Alpha is the first letter of the Greek alphabet: an apt name for one of Sydney’s top-ranking Greek restaurants. This impressive space - ancient Greece meets big, bright, contemporary diner - has truly upped the ante on what it is to eat good Greek around town. The jury’s still out on what Alpha’s alpha-dish is, but the clear winner for dessert is loukoumades: a golden ring of spongy, honey syrup-doused doughnut balls fringing a scoop of candied-walnut ice-cream. Otherwise, ‘vintage’ dishes from legendary chef Peter Conistis’ repertoire captivate, such as rabbit and olive pie or scallop and eggplant moussaka. The creamy arctic crab and haloumi tart with a fine filo pastry base has richly flavoured filling and souffle-light texture. To start, nothing surpasses hot, house-baked pita bread and mezes such as tangy, meaty pickled octopus and tirokafteri - a thick, creamy dip of sheep’s feta, chilli and red pepper.
And … An adjoining store sells Greek pantry products, cakes and pastries.
Vibe Kitsch-free, crowd-pulling, contemporary Greek.
Best bit The grand setting.
Worst bit Not all floorstaff seem up to speed.