Vanessa: A midweek gathering brought team FFS to the recently opened Alpha Foodstore on Sydney’s Castlereigh st. Sitting adjacent to the beautiful establishment of Alpha restaurant, the foodstore serves up an array of Greek artisan products including honey, preserves as well as traditional pastries and sweets.
The space itself is quite small which lends itself to passing trade wishing to stop in for a coffee, of which they serve Greek coffee, Will & Co espresso as well as frappes and if you have been to Greece you will know they are consumed on the regular there as they are delicious!
We were fortunate to learn more about the Dionysis olive oil line, which is a family run business which has been pressing and producing Kalamata olive oil for 300 years. The olive oil range, available as a delicate and robust varietal, are available for purchase in store and also used in the restaurant.
Both types of olive oil were served up with warm, fluffy pita bread, the perfect companion that allowed us to get a taste for the oil. The Robust oil leaves a sharper bite on the palette and is best served with red meat and salmon. The delicate oil has a fruity tone and is best served with white fish.
Following on from this we were treated to an array of the foodstore’s finest, which brought on nostalgia from past trips to Greece.
Alpha restaurant’s pies, including the well-known spinach and feta spanakopita, are available as individual serves perfect for lunch or a snack on the go. We were lucky enough to sample all four available flavors, the spanakopita, three cheese and capsicum, chicken and lamb.
I have to say the cheese pie was a taste sensation with its blend of feta, haloumi balanced perfectly with the saltiness of the cheese and the bitterness of the capsicum. Encased beautifully in crunchy, filo pastry this was delicious as was the traditional spanakopita which came in just behind as my second favourite.
The food store stocks a variety of Greek table sweets, including figs, that are traditionally offered to visiting guests. They were a little too sweet for my liking but am told they are paired well with cake, ice-cream or even on toast. Personally, I think they could also be paired well with a bitey cheese.
Next up was a definite crowd pleasure – the Greek equivalent of Nutella, known as Merenda, served up with pistachio cigars. This was indeed a taste and texture sensation! The crisp, crunchy texture of the flaky cigars dipped into the chocolate was a divine combination..definitely one I’ll be putting on the list to try again.
To finish off we were presented with a serve of chocolate and pistachio baklava, consisting of multiple thins layers of flaky filo pastry enveloping a thin amount of filling – it was just perfect.
The Alpha Foodstore also serves up a variety of gluten free desserts and all of their sweets are made in house. You can also purchase a variety of different sized and priced hampers which contain various products sold instore..for those of you looking for a foodie Christmas gift..there’s an idea!
If you happen to find yourself on or near Castlereigh St in Sydney CBD..stop in for an espresso and sample one of the sweet delights on offer…I’m still thinking about the pistachio cigars!
Photos by Alex