Innovative cooking activates the senses. The slogan of Funky Gourmet instantly sets the tone for this fine dining restaurant in the capital of Greece, Athens. The restaurant is managed by three young and driven Greeks; Restaurant Manager and Partner Argyro Hiliadaki, Head Chef and Partner Georgianna Hiliadaki and Head Chef and Partner Nick Roussos. Both Georgianna and Nick completed a study at the university, but their persistent love for gastronomy made them change course and drove them towards the opening of Funky Gourmet. Before starting their own restaurant, the duo completed studies at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York and gained experience in top restaurants such as El Bulli in Spain and Cineac in The Netherlands.
The restaurant opened its doors in November 2009 and received several international recognitions in the years after. Today, Funky Gourmet is one of the best and most famous restaurants in Greece. A team of 25 persons are serving around 30 guests, providing a unique experience and an excellent service.
Funky Gourmet’s interior is quite original. The entrance of the restaurant is located in an unsuspicious house in a back alley in an upcoming neighbourhood of Athens. On the ground floor you will find a private dining room and a cosy cocktail bar where you can start with an aperitif. Afterwards, you will be led upstairs through a spiral staircase to the main dining room: a modern, minimalistic, but comfortable room with large open windows looking onto the street. Black and white are the main colours in the dining room and subtle artworks as well as subdued lighting create a cosy atmosphere. After dinner, guests are led outside through another staircase at the back of the building.
Chef Patrons Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nick Roussos cook together at Funky Gourmet and they create exceptional dishes, based on the Greek cuisine, but presented in innovative, creative interpretations. A lot of the plates are custom-made which enhances the unique experience. The menu at Funky Gourmet is constantly evolving, following the seasons and the local produce. There are three tasting menus available and Georgianna and Nick are not afraid to use the newest techniques and special ingredients to surprise their guests.
An appetiser with salsify root, dipped in a cream of tarama, topped with dried bread crumbs and served with a small shovel, refers to the roots that have to be dug out of the soil. Another appetiser is served as a traditional Greek picnic with a boiled egg, meatballs, cashew nuts with edible plastic wrap, xerez vinegar, a sandwich, a miniature picnic basket with bread and aioli mayonnaise. It is presented with real stones and a traditional table cloth to enhance the picnic experience. The meat dish ‘Clever’ is presented as a traditional Greek meatball with egg & lemon sauce, and lamb brain (hence the name ‘Clever’). A restaurant in Athens would not be complete without a Greek Salad, and at Funky Gourmet it is served as an ice cream: all ingredients are boiled, distilled and turned into sorbet, served as white ice that tastes exactly like a Greek salad.
The owners are clearly perfectionistic in their approach on the management of the restaurant and maintain control over all aspects that can contribute to a perfect dining experience. Service is impeccable and the waiters and sommeliers are very knowledgeable and keen on offering the guests an unforgettable experience.
Funky Gourmet is must-visit when you are in Athens. The combination of the authentic Greek flavours and the inventive, creative take on the contemporary cuisine is simply outstanding and will surprise every gourmet lover..
Written by Sven & Adriaan