esti, London

esti, London
photo provided

Greek-inspired restaurant esti comes to East London

Founder Kostas Vais will look for a permanent site after a six-month residency in Shoreditch.

This week, a new restaurant opened in Shoreditch, East London: esti will hold a six-month residency at TT Liquor, the eatery focusing on Greek-inspired dishes served in a sharing style.

esti? It is the ancient Greek term for “to do”; the restaurant’s name is also a playful take on ‘estiatorio’, the Greek word for restaurant. Kostas Vais, the founder of esti, has been influenced by the cooking of his mother and grandmother. He also has experience in food and beverage in Australia and, combining these influences, Vais wants to offer a Greek-inspired dining experience alongside Australian hospitality.

Head chef Sal Galasso has experience in some of Australia’s most renowned restaurants, including Totti’s and Rockpool Bar & Grill. And he has a passion for Mediterranean open-fire cooking. Therefore, fire-cooked dishes are the restaurant´s main draw: classic chicken and pork souvlakia are served with tzatziki and traditional trimmings in flaky pitas. Twice-cooked lamb ribs are charred and then dressed with tzatziki and an Australian spice mix known as desert dust. Octopus is braised in a spicy bush tomato sauce and served alongside a green salad. Fish of the day is served with the moreish garlic-spiked Greek dip with macadamia, skordalia.

Dishes at esti, London
photo provided
Dishes at esti, London

There is also a selection of snacks such as white taramosalata topped with zhoug and served with potato skins for scooping; or the Fried ‘Osso bucco’ with corn flakes, feta, avocado and pickled onions. If guests want to have dessert, the iced parfait uses Cretan olive oil; lemon aspen berries, native to Australia, are made into a confit to finish the parfait along with a sprinkling of Murray River salt. Or they could choose the Cretan Pie (sweet, pan-fried pita topped with thick Greek yogurt, Cretan walnuts, cinnamon and British honey).

esti will be open for six months at TT Liquor´s building which was a police station during the Victorian era. Following the residency, esti has plans to migrate to a permanent site in the autumn.

Robert Prazak
Editor Falstaff International

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