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Steki Taverna

Restaurants, Greek Newtown
3 out of 5 stars
 (Photograph: Katje Ford)
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Photograph: Katje Ford
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Photograph: Katje Ford

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Is this the best value night out in Newtown? That’s a hard yes from us

Have you ever wondered what’s behind the closed blinds of this long-standing Greek restaurant just off Newtown’s main drag? We sure have. Which is what made us book a table at Steki’s on a Friday night, and we have no regrets about our choices.

Steki is trapped in time, specifically on the financial front, but also it’s been a few years since the last lick of paint or an upgrade of any kind. They’re still charging mid-90s prices for their classic Greek food and the booze is outrageously affordable - the $30 bottle of Lazanfanis red from Peloponnese is a straight-shooting people pleaser. You can also prime your palate with a $7.50 glass of ouzo for that aniseed kick, and a cleansing Mythos lager will get the job done for the same investment.

If you just want a bit of everything consider the mixed entree plate. It doesn’t sound like much but what you get is a lot. Salty taramasalata and a super-yoghurty tzatziki bookend a platter of juicy vine leaves, zucchini fritters (golden on the outside and creamy in the centre), mild meatballs and a rustic ladle of baked lima beans in a Greek mirepoix of tomato, carrot and celery. You should also add the barbecued octopus to your order – the little, perfectly charred leg pieces cut into batons are the right mix of meaty and tender and they arrive at the table luxuriating in a whole lot of garlic and olive oil. Mop it up with the symphonically crunchy bread rolls – you’ll also need some to go with the saganaki, which is proof you can bake a slab of cheese in a pan and so long as it has a fancy name it still counts as dinner.

At this point the inertia created by generous serves, plentiful wine and homey service in a cosy, weathered taverna will make it impossible to get up and go, which is good because on Friday and Saturday nights a three-piece band sets up after 9pm playing Greek music that will have you calculating how many days you can afford in Santorini on a napkin.

But you don’t need to leave the Inner West to recharge your batteries with the kind of backstreet discovery you normally only make when you’re lost in a European city. Steki is a unicorn. It’s old school and fun, but also cheap and authentic. Normally those four things don’t go together, but at Steki’s they do.

Details

Address: 2
O'Connell St
Newtown
Sydney
2042
Contact:
Opening hours: Wed, Thu 6.30pm-11pm; Fri, Sat 6.30pm-2am; Sun 6.30pm-1am
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