Orpehus Taverna is a warm and welcoming restaurant that offers the best in traditional Greek food.
On a dark, damp Saturday evening, my son and I head out to sample some traditional Greek fare at the Orpheus Taverna in St Margaret’s and, as we walk through the door, are much cheered by the restaurant’s inviting ambience.
We’re seated by the proprietor and head chef, John Elia, who has been cooking and serving food at the Orpheus for decades. We glance at the menu, but the popularity of the meze dishes is all too obvious, as couples, friends and families enjoy the restaurant’s customary offerings.
We order our own meze which includes two generous platters of traditional dips with pitta, alongside olives, calamari, chilli peppers, baked halloumi cheese, Greek sausage and dolmades. We might not be eating al fresco, but the freshness and enticing appeal of the food stirs memories of holidays gone by in the warmth of the Greek sunshine. The atmosphere and buzz of the taverna certainly has that holiday celebratory vibe, as diners unwind and relax in the glow of soft candlelight.
We finish our starter and await our mains of souvlaki and kleftico. If there is something I feel confident of, it’s the ability of a Greek chef to cook lamb. The result is a delectable experience that takes traditional cooking to a whole new level. The meat is incredibly tender and it takes very little effort to remove it from the bone. Served alongside roast potatoes and a Greek salad, the portions are extremely generous, and at this rate, we won’t need to eat for a week!
We finally manage to finish our meal and opt for an apple pie and ice-cream dessert. It’s at this point that we begin to chat to a father and daughter sitting next to us. The father informs us that they first came to the Orpheus 35 years ago when his daughter was in a Moses basket! The owners join the conversation and bring their own recollections to this event. In an age when restaurants and food fashions come and go, I can’t help but admire the proprietor for staying with tried and tested recipes that prove to be an on-going success whatever the occasion – and our meal was less than £55 for two, so great value, too.
It was Winston Churchill who stated that Greek should be a treat, and who could fail to disagree when served with food as delicious as this.