David Tsirekas introduces signature dishes to Nostimo Restaurant & Bar
Internationally acclaimed flavour-maker, David Tsirekas, has introduced two of his signature dishes – Pork Belly Baklava and Ancient Salmon (recipes below!).
Drawing inspiration from his journey of understanding authentic Greek fare – by reading ancient literary texts – David’s signature dishes balance traditional Greek food with a much-loved contemporary spin and sense of fun. My signature dishes focus on tradition while still being contemporary and fun, and hero everything that is celebrated about Greek cuisine: produce, quality, seasonality and freshness.”
- Pork Belly Baklava, roasted pork belly, pistachios, dates, pork crackling, date mustard mastiha sauce
- Ancient Salmon cured in ouzo, lemon zest and pepper, smoked skordalia, mulberry, blackberry, fish sauce, honey, shaved fennel.
The Pork Belly Baklava, an original dish by David, represents a merging of savoury and sweet with the layering of meat and fat echoing pastry and nuts in the traditional baklava incarnation.
“I dream about new dishes quite regularly, and when I dreamt about this dish back in 2001 while I was at Perama, I jumped in the kitchen the next day and started experimenting. I always wanted to create a savoury baklava and using pork – one of the most used proteins in Greece – works perfectly in terms of flavour and balance.”
The belly is steamed, vinegar-soaked, roasted, sliced then layered with mustard, date puree, pistachios and pastry. Salty tiles of crackling on top work nicely with the sweetness of the dates, the whole dish served with a light date and mastic sauce.
David started his culinary journey later in life after a brief stint as a swimming coach and dived into ancient Greek scripture to gain a true understanding of traditional Greek cooking methods.
“I began my journey of understanding Greek cuisine by going back through history and reading ancient literary texts to help me understand better where Greek cuisine had come from, what path it travelled and how it has evolved to where it is today. In essence, my signature dishes and dishes overall reflect Greece through the ages, portraying elements of each period.”
Derived from a translated 3rd century scripture by Archestratus – a traveller of the Greek colonies who kept a record of how food was prepared differently across the ancient Greek world – David’s Ancient Salmon dish is based on an ancient Greek technique which involved preserving fish in distilled spirits and fermented anchovy sauce.
“This ancient Greek technique is all about subtle natural flavours. Our palates are more refined these days, so this dish has been altered slightly – the fermented anchovy sauce is now a honey and mulberry mixture that lifts the simpleness of the salmon when paired with Greece’s national liqueur, ouzo.”
These signature dishes are complemented by six additional new seasonal dishes that continue to showcase seasonal flavours and feature traditional Greek ingredients:
- BBQ Kefte, spiced pork and beef mince served with strained fresh Greek yoghurt and rich tomato sauce.
- Brizoles, thinly sliced T-bone steaks, roasted red pepper puree.
- Watermelon Salad, manouri cheese, candied walnuts, fresh oregano leaf, grape must vanilla dressing.
- Caramel Baklava Ice Cream, layered with vanilla bean ice cream, caramel fudge and baklava nuts.
- Passionfruit Bougatsa, passionfruit semolina custard wrapped in crispy oven baked filo served with passionfruit syrup.
- Samos and Saffron Poached Pears, with chocolate tahini mousse and toasted tsoureki bread.
Andrew Tambakis, The Greek Club general manager said David’s devotion to the finest Australian ingredients and sustainable practices shines through his signature dishes which showcase some of the country’s best producers.
“We want our loyal customers to fall in love with Greek food all over again. We’re offering them another reason to keep coming back by taking them on a journey of rediscovery.”
The new menu dishes are available now at Nostimo Restaurant & Bar.