On a warm evening in September we had dinner at Kyani Akti, a restaurant in Angostoli – the capital of Kefalonia, it’s blessed with a coastline so beautiful it stops the clock. We sat on their lit terrace that overlooks the sea – we watched the sun set and admired the misty views to houses in the hills, their night lights spring eternal. Where we sat, there were about a dozen square tables – each one decorated with crisp paper table cloths embellished with a print of the island. Writing this made be realise that I had an intensely romantic relationship with dining by the sea, even though I’m a terrible swimmer. Its a simpler place here than in London, a place less challenging, somewhere that induces calmness. Many of us have a dream summer life and a part of that dream involves eating tasty food by the sea, at a price that will not force us to consider the sale of a vital organ. Kefalonia will give you that in abundance.
The bread €1 comes first, it’s a dense and doughy specimen, and we use it to mop the glistening pool of olive oil from our octopus dish. More on that later.
When ordering the “boiled greens” €5, I asked what they were, our waiter, to his credit was full of zeal, told me the name in Greek but had no idea in English. I’d say it’s amaranth, at least it tasted like it anyway judging by the earthy notes. I could be wrong so feel free to be a clever-boots and correct me in the comments. A squeeze of lemon gives the succulent greens a shot of adrenaline and I was happy to call them as part of my five-a-day.
Then arrives the crispy white bait €8.50 which shouts freshness, a testament to having the sea right above your kitchen. What is there not to like when you’re sipping on local white wine and eating these?
Grilled smoked eel €13.50 were four slender pieces of flesh, blushed red from the smoking it gets. They were ok, but I’d avoid for the money they charge you for them.
From what I’ve gathered, they seem to sling their octopus €13.50 on the grill in Argostoli without any of that slow simmering till tender goodness you get at the likes of Barrafina. The result is a more intense flavoured tentacle, especially with the carbonic sear it gets. It does require some jaw work to enjoy it, you’ll get a crunch instead of pillowy indulgence.
The “razor clams” €25 as advertised are actually mussels. They were from the specials and this is where the restaurant lets itself down. Those of you with eagle eyes will know that these are actually mussels and NOT razor clams. Our waiter was adamant that they were, and even suggested that the rings on the shells denotes the age of them in an attempt to throw me off the scent. You’ve been busted mate, I’m not falling for that red herring! They were delicious nonetheless, but not €25 delicious or on the level of razor clams delicious.
Dessert was a cube of cake €5 soaked in orange non alcoholic liquor and was all the better for it. The vanilla ice cream that reflected the harbour lights wasn’t bad either.
When did I go? Sept 2018
The damage: Expect to pay €35/40 per head sans drinks
The good: Eating seafood on the waterfront in Greece? You’d be crazy not to like this script.
The bad: Forgive me if this is your favourite restaurant and rake me over hot coals if you want to, but I found the food here tasted very ordinary. And don’t get me started on the fraudulent razor clams again. Our waiter was either misinformed, some might say ignorant or just being down right duplicitous. Ok, it’s off my chest now.
Would I go again? Nah
Address: Ι Metaxa Street Ι. Μεταξά, Argostoli 281 00, Greece