Food and drink
With only a handful of Japanese restaurants in Athens, Matsuhisa doesn’t face much competition. The dishes are all dazzling to look at, but occasionally disappoint. I’d go for the new style sashimi in an olive oil and lemon dressing, the sashimi salad, and Matsuhisa rolls. The chocolate bento box with green tea ice cream is a winner. The sake selection is extensive, but the signature cocktails by Dale DeGroff are unmissable.
The blackened cod, of course. For a full immersion into the Nobu experience try the seven-course omakase tasting menu, which is (relatively) affordable at €70 a head.
Cigar-chomping, yacht-sailing yuppies and their glossy, tanned girlfriends make up the majority of the clientele. It’s a name-dropper’s paradise. The music is loud and clubby; I’d prefer a less intrusive, more Zen-inducing soundtrack.
Predictably polished and well informed. Although the constant, self-conscious greetings shouted in Japanese can be a little grating.
The glass-fronted restaurant takes advantage of the seaside location in the Astir Palace Resort. It’s part of the resort’s private beach-fringed peninsula in the swanky seaside suburb of Vouliagmeni. It’s a 45-minute drive from the city centre and not accessible by public transport.
Be prepared to dig deep. Top-notch Japanese food – and that view – don’t come cheap. Expect to pay more than €100 a head.
Tables to book
Obviously the tables closest to the seafront are the most coveted. I like sitting up at the sushi counter and admiring the chefs’ mildly terrifying knife skills. You don’t have to book at the Martini Bar upstairs. It’s more intimate, with hand-carved wooden furniture, delicious cocktails and bento boxes.
- Business travellers
- Seasoned travellers
- Celebrity spotting
- Great views / scenery
- Design and architecture