GET TO KNOW YOUR BYO with Kellie Larson
Niko’s New Greek Cuisine
With one year under my belt of North Shore BYO-ing, I am even more excited and determined to find the best BYO restaurants located in our backyard. I say this because I now know how important they are to our social life – or at least to my social life! These local restaurants are where we go each week to have a curry with our friends, where we go for a regular date night – and more than anything, where we go a majority of the time we dine out here on the Shore. And, if this is where we are eating – why not find the best of the best to ensure that each time we dine out, the experience is nothing but superb.
Upon hearing that Niko’s Pizza had become a BYO, I was very excited to check out what Greek delights my favourite pizza takeaway joint had to offer Takapuna.
Located at 2 Anzac Street, the new restaurant had just a few tables – however the candles and outdoor seating gave the restaurant a quaint charm. In short, I was ready to have a fabulous meal in what I hoped would be my new local haunt.
Despite a bit of a chill in the air, we opted to sit street side, to enjoy the true ambience of Niko’s Pizza, and our waitress was out right away to take our drink orders and light a few candles.
Making a conscious decision to not order our usual Mexican and Spicy Chicken pizzas, we took some time to look at the new Greek and pasta dishes on the menu. Plus, I had been tempted by the Chicken Souvlaki that had been advertised on an outdoor sign for the past few weeks and wanted to know more.
We started with the Greek Breads and Dips. The warm, garlicky pita bread triangles came with a trio of dips – hummus, tzatiki and a salmon dip called taramasalata. This was deliciously naughty and finished in less than 5 minutes between my partner and me.
For mains, I stuck with my heart’s desire and ordered the Chicken Souvlaki. The platter of food included marinated chicken grilled on skewers, Greek salad with lots of feta, hot chips and garlic toast. The chicken and salad were nice, but there was something very acidic on the chips that made them almost unpalatable. In all honesty, I ate this meal a month ago, and I can still remember the acidic taste of the chips. And, I really wanted more of the tasty, soft pita bread and was a bit disappointed to get crunchy toast instead.
My partner ordered the Spaghetti Marinara. The pasta was full of mussels, prawns and a tangy tomato sauce. While it wasn’t anything to write home about, it was tasty and satisfying.
All in all, we left satisfied but not in love. And, while the atmosphere and service were excellent, I think if I come back to this new Greek eatery, I will stick to my regular pizzas.
That being said, I could always be tempted to try the Greek dishes again if encouraged, as it would be great to have a Greek restaurant in Takapuna. Plus, Niko is amazing. Just look at the restaurant’s Facebook page and you will see an album of happy images – diners and staff alike.