Thursday, September 10, 2009

New York New York Greek Restaurant

Fresh Halibut

Restaurant: New York New York Greek Restaurant

Cuisine: Greek/Mediterranean
Last visited: August 24, 09
Area: Surrey, BC
6361 - 152 Street
Price Range: $10-20

1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: Tres Excellent!!

Food: 4
Service: 3.5
Ambiance: 2
Overall: 3
Additional comments:
  • Greek family owned and operated
  • The Greek items are authentic and really homemade
  • Hummus made in house/homemade sauces
  • Some Italian dishes/influence
  • Kind of all over the place with their menu - stick to the Greek items
  • Lunch combo platters
  • Gyros & burgers available at lunch
  • Pasta & steaks available at dinner
  • Most desserts made in house
  • Attracts families and locals
  • Busy, but reservations not required
  • Open Monday-Sunday 11am-10pm

Appetizer platter: Kalamari, dolmathes etc., really good hummus and tzatziki, Ecmek

This restaurant is kind of in the middle of nowhere in a random plaza located at a major intersection too (64th Ave & 152nd Street). I've been here a couple times for dinner and it's pretty good. I'm always skeptical of these restaurants, but a friend recommended it so I decided to give it a try. It's not dodgy or anything, but just a simple family owned Greek restaurant in Surrey. There's always a dinner crowd, but no line-up
s or anything which is good. They're kind of all over the place with their menu - one of those do it all Greek restaurants - fish, steak, pasta, Greek, Italian, burgers and the list goes on...just stick to their Greek food, because that's what they do best. Greek owners that know Greek food and follow their own recipes - they don't need the other stuff on the menu. The Greek food is good enough on its own.

On the table:
  • **Appetizer Platter $17.95 4/6
    • Kalamari, dolmathes, olives, hummus, tzatziki, pita bread
    • It's a platter made for 4. The variety is not bad, although they could have included maybe one more appetizer in there - like the spanakopita. You're basically paying for the dolmathes (4) and the kalamari (half the plate). You get a good portion of each though. It's not a bargain, but it's reasonable.
  • **Dolmathes 3.5/6
    • Grape leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice in a "light" lemon sauce.
    • I actually really enjoyed these and I usually don't. The stuffing is really good, and the ratio of meat to rice is fair. The rice keeps its texture and shape even after they cook these, so I really like that. I would have appreciated another layer of flavour, either stronger on a the dill or maybe a hint of mint. Something to make these stand out!
    • They call it a "light lemon sauce", but it's not. It's a rich and creamy lemon sauce - looks like hollandaise sauce. Kind of tastes like it too, except it has a tang. It tastes good and goes great with the dolmanthes, it's definitely one of the better sauces I've had served with dolmathes. At this restaurant, you should give them a try.
  • **Hummus 5/6
    • This is pretty wicked hummus. It's made in house and a greenish yellow colour. I think they go heavy on the parsley, although you can't really taste it. It's thinner in texture, not the thick kind. Really fresh, flavourful and creamy and at the same time light. Strong garlic and lemon flavours. They should have given a bigger portion (as as appy and in the appy platter) - they serve it in the same dish as the tzatziki. I expected more.

  • **Kalamari 4/6
    • I really appreciate this. They serve you quite a bit, which is good. It's basically half the plate. The deep fry the kalamari really well, and it's big pieces. They are relatively lightly batters, so you really taste the kalamari. They're a nice colour too, and the oil they used was fresh. Good quality squid. You know it's good when you can eat it on its own even without the tzatziki dip - and I love that stuff!
  • Moussaka

  • Moussaka 2.5/6
    • Layers of ground beef, potatoes, eggplant and bechemel sauce.
    • This was good, but not the best I've had it. It's a big portion. You get lots of beef and potato, but not much eggplant at all. I could barely taste it or even see it. It was kind of lazy (really homemade) moussaka. Which is good and bad. The potatoes were cut in chunks rather than slices, so it kinds of separated from the other layers. I like to bite into all the layers when I eat a piece and I felt like I was missing something.
    • They could have went heavier on the seasoning for the ground beef as well. Couldn't really taste that slight hint of cinnamon that makes moussaka special. The bechemel sauce is really good though. Really nice and creamy, really good. I didn't taste much tomato, cheese, or bread crumb flavours either - so this was a good moussaka, but too simple for my liking. I like my moussaka more elaborate and complex because it's such a time consuming entree that takes experience - I felt like I could have made this version at home.

  • Chicken Souvlaki 3.5/6
    • Chicken souvlaki, rice, Greek potato & Greek salad.
    • Standard for a Greek restaurant. Pretty much what I expected. The meat was flavourful, but could have been more juicy - it wasn't dry, but just not that juicy either. You get 8 pieces.
    • The rice is actually really good here - I think they cook it in that Lipton chicken soup - at least that's what it tastes like. But whatever, as long as it's good, and it's not like this is an upscale restaurant. The point is, the rice is very flavourful.
    • The potato - they could have cooked it for a bit longer. I've had more flavourful Greek potatoes in my life for sure...where the lemon flavour just absorbs throughout the entire potato...YUM
  • Fresh Halibut 4/6
    • Topped with white wine sauce. Served with Greek potato, rice, Greek salad, pita bread and tzatziki.
    • This was a nice and light dish. It's a pan-fried fresh halibut and they cook it really well. Nice and juicy which is hard to do with halibut. They don't give you too much white wine sauce which is good because you want to taste the freshness of the fish. The sauce is a a simple white wine sauce mixed with cream, but it's not heavy or thick. Nothing creative or gourmet, just fresh ingredients and a simple sauce - and there's nothing wrong with that.

  • Desserts

  • **Ecmek 4.5/6
    • Yummy! Homemade vanilla pudding topped with roasted almonds and whipped cream.
    • This is almost like a Greek Verizon of a bread pudding...with a lot of vanilla pudding on top. It's a really traditional Greek dessert, and this one really tastes like someone's mom made it.
    • The bottom layer is almost like a really really moist bread pudding. It's pieces of pastry soaked up in syrup - which is cinnamon and lemon flavoured. I felt like I was eating an apple pie, but there were no apples. I loved this pastry. The next layer is their homemade vanilla pudding. It's really good pudding! It's really thick and creamy - you can really slice through it. However the vanilla is extract and not the real deal. But whatever, this generous portion of Ecmek was only $4 - so I'm not expecting top quality ingredients or anything gourmet. Lastly they top it off with whipped cream and toasted almonds. This dessert just melts in your mouth even though it's served cold. It's creamy, flavourful and absolutely delicious.
    • I need to order them more often so I can compare them to other places.

  • Homemade Bougatsa 2/6
    • Homemade lemon custard wrapped in filo pastry sprinkled with icing sugar and cinnamon.
    • This is served warm. Yes the lemon custard is homemade, but no they didn't do that great of a job with it. It was a good attempt if only they didn't curdle it! And I don't think they even knew. I could taste the curdled texture, it was kind of funny cause I could just imagine some one's mom experimenting with this and not even realizing she had curdled the custard...and then just serving it anyway. You do get a lots of custard though, you can't tell in the picture, but they're generous - I just wish it was good custard though. For $4 I didn't mind the screw up.

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