Great Greek food in Yokohama!
Was in Yokohama recently and tried a little Greek place called Parthenon not far from the Motomachi area. I went with a Greek friend who is very picky about the cuisine but had been there before and thought the place was great. We ordered arni youvetsi (lamb with orzo), fried eggplant appetizer, moussaka, and a side of tzatziki.
The tzatziki was wonderfully garlicky and cool at the same time and I loved the fried eggplant. The Japanese have a way with frying eggplant perfectly and this was no exception. Thinly sliced, crisp, blonde, and very clean tasting -- we quickly devoured the entire plate. I am on a mission now to figure out a way to fry up eggplant so perfectly now!
The lamb youvetsi and moussaka were very comforting and authentic tasting, perfect on a cold night in Yokohama. The moussaka reminded me a lot of my friend's family recipe, hearty and well seasoned. Service was sweet and efficient and that night the friendly owner had a chef friend there from Greece having dinner at the next table. I loved hearing Greek spoken with a Japanese accent! :)
Parthenon Greek Restaurant
From what I have heard, a fairly sizable Greek community arose in Yokohama from the 1950s and 1960s, as a number of Greek merchant marine workers who came ashore decided to stay, usually marrying Japanese women. The neighborhood centered around Akebono-cho, near Kannai, and as late as the late 1970s there were still six or seven Greek restaurants and bars in operation. My favorite among them was Sparta, which was sold some time in the 1980s and has since moved near to one of the entrances of Yokohama Chinatown. Recently opened in Tokyo are the two Spyros restaurants, the first in Omotesando, the second in Roppongi. (www.spyros.jp). These have nice food, but little of the hard core dishes once popular in Yokohama, such as huge trays of spanakopita, mounds of fried eggplant (using the more tender Japanese variety) with garlic paste, and fried squid that was heavily lemoned and amazingly tender.
Thank you for this! There are very few Greek restaurants in Tokyo and the quality ranges between very average and absolutely appaling. A Greek friend who has now been living in Tokyo for three years is getting quite desperate for Greek food of acceptable quality. She has tried everything in Tokyo and has been very disappointed. I will tell her about Yokohama.