Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Departure Lounge to Greece

I haven’t got any major holidays planned for the remainder of the year, which is a little sad; although the here and now is keeping me fairly occupied so that I don’t need a holiday goal to look forward to just yet.

Nonetheless, the prospect of sitting in a departure lounge is one that’s often received with mixed emotions. Excitement then boredom, frustration then elation – all in a couple of hours. At The Piano Room in Kings Cross, the emotions aren’t quite so volatile for the Greece edition of the weekly event, The Departure Lounge.

The Departure Lounge at Piano Room, Bayswater Road, Kings Cross
Presented by Fashion Palette and Eat Drink Play, The Departure Lounge is a 10-week event on Thursday nights that attempts to recreate the feel of flying out to some exotic international destination: Mexico, Japan and Greece in weeks gone by, with Zimbabwe, Morocco, France, Old England, Spain, Lebanon and Brazil yet to come.

Greek music for last week's Greece themed event
In the dark space of Piano Room looking out onto the dotted lights of traffic heading towards Kings Cross, I suppose a tight squint could turn these into departing jet planes, while the neatly-attired 'flight attendants' looked the part.

The reverberating music this evening was undeniably Greek (and not quite disco enough to encourage any dancing) as too the food, catered from nearby coffee house and pastry shop, Ithaka Kafeneion in Llankelly Place.

Every week for each country theme, the organisers try to source a local supplier; highlighting the very international flavour of the area – tomorrow night’s Zimbabwe theme will be one to check out.

Greek chef’s plate by Ithaka Kafeneion
Aside from vouchers for two cocktails each – this evening it was the Greek Bandy Red Apply Fizz (really, that's what it was called) – the boarding pass entry ticket entitles everyone to a ‘chef’s plate’ of food in line with the week’s theme.

In the darkness (the kitchen where my photos were taken was much brighter – thankfully), we can just make out four items each; two savoury and two sweet this evening, with an abundance of golden, flaky filo pastry.

I first take a stab at the tiropita; a lukewarm filo pastry pie with a cheesy egg filling that was seriously salty. The feta cheese in the filling could explain that but it was a tough slog to finish the entire slice despite the lovely flaky pastry.

I adore the combination of spinach and cheese; here more like silverbeet with feta cheese, onions and a good deal of spices for a genuinely healthy tasting slice of spanakopita – and a lot more palatable than the salty tiropita.

The two desserts were Mediterranean classics not exclusive to Greece. The roll of chopped nut-filled baklava was expectedly syrupy though the pastry wasn’t as crisp as hoped for.

Rose loukoumia
The rose-flavoured loukoumia, or Turkish delight by another name, was a pure hit of sugar; chewy and tooth-sticking from the very first bite. The half strawberry garnish was almost just as sweet.

With a taste of Greece – if only for a few hours – while wiling away time in The Departure Lounge, the cold temperatures of the Kings Cross outdoors made for a rude shock – but only until the next Thursday night.

Piano Room
 Food, booze and shoes attended The Departure Lounge with thanks to Alex from Eat Drink Play.

Piano Room on Urbanspoon


joey@FoodiePop said...

Interesting idea!

sugarpuffi said...

um, there seems to be something missing in your post...i know...ALCOHOL or u drank it so fast that u forgot to take a pic :P i want to go to the france one. wonder how that will be :D

Simon Leong said...

oh yeah. where's the cocktail? nicely spotted sugarpuffi :-)

Tina said...

Sharp eyes all around ;)

Gianna@TheEmptyFridge said...

Even more the reason for another departure lounge event..cocktail photos. From one boozehound to another I can relate for the need to sip first and then snap ;)

Great idea, especially for those like us not out galavanting in the Mediterranean sunshine


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