Plaka’s new look is set to whisk customers away to Greece, and it combines perfectly with their revised menu which calls for long lazy lunches with friends and family. The first of the three Plaka Restaurants to show off its fabulous makeover is Menlyn Park Mall’s Plaka.

The interiors are light and refreshing, with warm touches such as fresh cool blue mosaic tiles, soft wood finishes and bougainvillea, which adds a pop of vibrancy.  “Plaka Eastgate and Plaka Cresta will be revamped early next year in line with the new look,” says Angelo Haitas, founder and owner of Plaka. “We are also very excited about the introduction of the new Deli and retail offering, where many of the ingredients used in our recipes can be purchased over the counter at competitive retail pricing.”

The store’s new deli is filled with home-made biscuits, cheese, olives, olive oil and other delicacies, allowing guests to take home a taste of Plaka.  And really, when it comes to Plaka, it’s all about an authentic taste of Greece, and part of that authenticity are the ingredients.

“Using only the best ingredients is the key and we have trusted suppliers from whom we procure our fresh meat, seafood and organic vegetables. Many of our spices, cheeses, olives and olive oils are imported directly from Greece as substitutes simply do not do the food justice.  We also import our Tsipouro and Ouzo, an aperitif that brings it all together,” says Angelo.

The menu presents modern-traditional Greek faire, with traditional favourites such as calamari, moussaka, kleftico, whole-grilled linefish, prawns, lamb chops as well as more contemporary dishes such as honey-mustard pork fillet and a fisherman’s pasta. Street food such as yiros, souvlaki and toasted pitas are of course on offer for quick meal on the go.

“Having grown up in a Greek household with a brilliant chef as a mother, Greek was the obvious choice that came very naturally to me,” says Angelo, when asked what drew him to Greek food and why others seem drawn to it too. “I am also quite fortunate that this cuisine is easily loved and it is complicated only by its need to be fresh and simple. This is what continues to draw patrons of good food, and why it has been a firm favourite that has not been a victim to fashion but has stood the test of time.”

A new portion of the menu is one that goes straight to the heart of Greek food – the family table. This includes a selection of popular meals that are served with a variety of salads and sides, allowing family and friends to share a meal.

“The essence of Greek cuisine is to have many dishes on the table at the same time from which everyone shares – this is known as Meze,” says Angelo. “The selection can be varied according to mood and taste, but the art of having a widespread feast that is more than just a meal but rather a social interactive experience is what I love about our menu. This experience is an ancient custom that is desperately needed in our world today.”

Plaka’s revamp is the latest step in Angelo’s more-than-two-decades-long journey to bring the heart and soul of Greek food to diners. “While I was studying, I recognised an opportunity to open an authentic Greek Restaurant. It all just happened very naturally and grew organically from there. The journey so far has been amazing – having started with eight tables and grown to where we are today.”

Angelo believes in starting every day as if he was fresh in the business, and constantly looks for ways to be better and improve – a necessary way to stay on top in an industry that has so many pitfalls.  “I think every industry has challenges, and the restaurant business is loaded with them,” says Angelo, when asked about some of the challenges involved in starting and running restaurants. “To start off, it is capital intensive and owners face huge risks when opening new restaurants.  One has to find the balance between high input costs, procurement, food preparation, staff, financial and stock control, pricing, customer service, location and ambience – and all of this is generally in real-time. In addition, restaurants need to evolve to stay current while at the same time remaining true to their original ethos. Being hands-on and developing experience helps manage and balance all the moving parts especially when times are crazy and it is hot in the kitchen!”

And while it might get hot in the kitchen, you’d never guess that surrounded by Plaka’s calm interiors, with friends and families gathered around tables, feasting on delicious food. It truly is a beautiful slice of cool and one that’s very much welcome in today’s world.

For more information, visit Plaka’s website.

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search

BosjesStellenbosch at Summer Place