Decent Chinese in Athens?
I live now in UK, but I will move to Athens early next year.
One of my major worries now is that maybe I cannot find decent Chinese restaurants in Athens (yes, I love Chinese that much). Do you know any place worth trying for someone who has been totally spoiled by the richness of Chinese food in UK?
As I am going there over the Christmas, I want to start investigating.
Your help is much appreciated!
It's true that -compared to London- choices for really good Chinese are relatively more limited in Athens. However, there are a few places that would keep you happy, though usually at relatively higher prices (good Chinese is still regarded as somewhat of a luxury). My personal favourite is Saipan in Halandri (K. Varnali 9), excellent choices and consistent high quality. Far East (with several outlets, Kifisia and downtown spring to mind) is decent, though overpriced, but they also deliver and their caramel chicken is delicious.
Apart from that, there are a few neighborhood places that can pleasantly surprise you, though the majority is mostly disappointing. It's a matter of trial and error really...
On a tangent, as you will be giving up one of my personal favourites for fast-ish food in London (wagamama), the Athenian chain "Noodle Bar" is a decent substitute.
Thank you for the suggestions and sorry for the belated reply (I was monitoring by feed, but your reply did not turn up and I have just noticed now!)
Saipan and Far East sound interesting, but not Noodle Bar, as I do not like Wagamama (the Est Asians like me usually do not like it).
There was an oriental restaurant in Marousi which was actually very, very good. Some Chinese, some Japanese, some Thai, etc., a good mix of Asian favourites. Near the old square (say a 20 min walk), just off the highway, and at the base of one of those large glass office buildings common to the area.
This was years ago and you will have to do your own research to find name/location. Hope this helps in some (small) way.
Thank you for the tips. You are right. I really have to make my own research.
About a week ago I went to the highly renowned Japanese restaurant in Syntagma area called Furin Kazan. I had sushi and was really disappointed. It was not bad in itself, but compared with the sushi I could eat in Japan, it was below than average and over-priced.
I heard that Nobu Matsuhisa has opened a Japanese restaurant in Vouliagmeni. It should surely be over-priced but I hope they serve at least a decent Japanese food.
very nice to see that there are others in athens who are asian-food oriented! am korean-american living in greece (nearly 10 years) and am always searching, trying, etc...but often end up in my own kitchen cooking. however, there are some places that will satisfy and/or delight.
Rasa Sayang - in Glyfada (Malaysian owned) - nice place/atmosphere. Good service. You can expect a good meal here.
Jingis Khan - in Vouliagmeni (Korean owned - good menu & the only decent Sunday Buffet) Very good service, it's been around for 20 years.
The Great Wall - in Maroussi (Chinese-Philiipino owned) not much ambience, more like a chinese tavern. Sunday buffet is disappointing with poor service, but ordering from the menu is often satisfying and with decent service on other days of the week.
Golden Phoenix - in N. Kifissias (the one on Tatoi) - more expensive than the others but preferable to Far East.
The Sushi Bar 2- in Psyhiko. Good mainstream sushi. All their locations seem to be consistent, but the fave is #2.
Dosirak - near Syntagma on Voulis 33 (Korean owned). Sushi is always fresh and well priced. Both Japanese and Korean dishes are tasty. Very small place with few tables. Over 90% of their customers are Asian. Very close to a Japanese supermarket if you want to pick up a few things.
Square Sushi - in Kefalari Square. Expensive, but consistently good.
Matsuhisa - in Astir Palace Hotel in Vouliagment. Very expensive but worth the splurge.
last time I was in Athens I dined at the New Dragon Palace. Located at 3 Antinoros St. They weren't Chinese. I taught them some things to say in Chinese. It was a hoot. Very friendly. They gave me some ceramic butterfly chop stick holders as a gift. The Singapore noodles were pretty good.
I am so glad I just noticed this posting because I have been to the BEST Chinese place ever in Greece...East Pearl in Pireas, in Marina Zeas area. it is Excellent. I think not everything on the menu is good, but we got seafood wrapped in seaweed and scallion shrimp steamed dumplings for an appetizer, spicy hot chicken with jasmine rice, and a half roast peking duck. It is the only place here that does peking duck the right way. crispy crispy on the outside and succulent-ly tender on the inside.
I love Asian food and live in Crete. While I have enjoyed a few good Asian meals in Greece, I hesitate to recommend them because I don't go very often. But I hear that more good restaurants are opening in major metro areas...so it's worth exploring. Meanwhile, I'd recommend creating your favorite dishes yourself. As for sushi...well...that's tricky everywhere based on food safety issues. But I suggest getting to know the fishermen at the nearest dock. There are a few Asian food product shops in Athens. Another tip is to at least grow some of the Asian herbs yourself on your balcony, windowsill, whatever space you have for Thai basil, etc. You don't need land for some of the produce used in Asian cuisine...container gardening is just fine. And so many plants that thrive here in Greece are from Asia anyway. Might be the best bet!
Kali Orexi! Nikki
It has been some time I wrote the original post. Big thanks to the contributers.
I agree with you who say that East Pearl is the best Chinese in Athens area (as much as I know - which isn't much).
Recently I went to Imperial Town near Omonia Square. I did not think it was high quality Chinese, but is also cheap and cheerful. I left with a positive impression and I intend to go back.
In contrast, Shanghai Night near Royal Olympic Hotel was a disappointment.
For Sushi, I prefer Dosirak to Furin Kazan, as the former gives a bit more than the latter for the same price, although I did not like much the Korean dishes I tried at Dosirak. It is strange, as it supposed to be a Korean restaurant.
I will report when I try somewhere else.
hi, just read all the previous comments. As a huge fan of chinese food, and having lived in China for some time, here s my input:
East Pearl is good mainly for the Dim Sum and the properly made Beijing Duck. Quite expensive for chinese food though. The Great Wall (Maroussi) is a good choice, as is The Imperial Palace, the latter scores high in authenticity but often the dishes are not well prepared and the ambience is pretty awful. For me, the best chinese restaurant in Athens, that combines authenticity with an OK environment (basic but clean) and low prices is Fulihua, on Leonidou street in Keramikos. I urge you to try it and by all means order the fried dumplings (Jian Jiao). They re a dream!
As for sushi, I consider Furin Kazan to be the best in the affordable category. Kiku and Nobu are great, but too pricey. Dosirak has great cooked dishes, but I think their sushi is low quality, even its low price can't make me eat it. Square Sushi (Kefalari) maybe as good as Furin Kazan but pricier (but has a better ambience, so it s an option). The Sushi Bar chain offers overpriced mediocre sushi in my opinion.
Hi all. And thanks for all the commentary over the last two years. I'll be back in Greece soon and can't wait to try some of the suggestions.
I went to Sao Tao Chinese in Glyfada (Leof. Posidonos). The spring rolls were very average, Chichen in Sichuan style was ok (I think the chicken was pre-cooked), but the prawn fried rice was excellent. The price was on the expensive side, but not as much as at East Pearl in Piraeus.
Will keep on searching...