Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Skiathos, Greece: Dinner on the Harbour at the ‘Fish Market – Old Port Taverna’

Dinners in the Greek Islands are what I always look forward to during the summer island holiday because for sure it is going to be alfresco.

Dinner at the Fish Market - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece

I am very fond of eating outdoors especially during the warm holiday season when everyone seems to be living outside their homes. In the Netherlands, people would flock to the city and village squares for a drink and locals would be dining on their balconies or gardens. I don’t take the sun for granted these days, I revel when she shines and I work steadfastly my agenda around her. This is the product of 15 years living in gloomy and wet Netherlands where any outdoor activities and social plans are mostly controlled by the darn unpredictable Dutch weather.

For me, there’s just an overwhelming sense of excitement and living the life when you are sitting outdoors clinking chilled glasses and forking your lunch or dinner on a terrace with stunning views of the horizon or at a busy harbour during a holiday or even on the beach with the relaxing sounds of waves turning in the background. But I look forward to these dinners (also lunches) during our yearly summer holiday in the Greek Islands.

Fish Market Taverna - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece

A nice dinner setting on the harbour of Skiathos.

This year we have chosen Skiathos Island, part of the Sporades group of islands in the Thessaly region. It is the busiest and most developed island for tourism among Sporades islands.

Naturally, I researched in advanced restaurants to dine in. But for the first night, I wanted to keep things easy for us since we were still checking out our bearings. So we settled on having dinner on the harbour, at the Old Port at the taverna called Fish Market – Old Port.

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The taverna has a Greek name which unfortunately I could not make anything out of since I do not speak and understand Greek. However, it is very easy to find and locate the place as it is the only restaurant at the end of the Old Port in Skiathos just before reaching the end where a number of bars are congregated.

Fish Market - Old Port Taverna in Skiathos Island, Greece

It’s our first night and we didn’t want to stray outside the epicentre so a dinner right on the harbour we thought was the best plan. Moreover, we have a fantastic view of the goings on the Old Port, we could see the thriving cafes that are facing the harbour boulevard that is filled with passing holidaymakers scouting the advertisement boards of the boat tour companies. Above the cafes are restaurants with open terrace seating which I am sure has a gorgeous view down the harbour and the Bourtzi peninsula. I told the Dutchman that we will dine one evening up there and he agreed.

We started our dinner with the usual bread which is very typical for many restaurants in Greece. Most will place the bread on the table without you asking and will charge you with this. It’s a cover charge and they vary from 1 to 3 Euros, depending on our complex the bread and dips are. In better restaurants, they usually charge minimum 3 Euros. However, we noticed that some tavernas do ask beforehand if you prefer to have bread. These are usually the less sophisticated places, the more local tavernas often frequently by local Greek tourists. We like these restaurants because they are somewhat cheaper and have a less touristy appeal.

Our starter arrived which is boiled vegetables – the local Greek spinach. The wait staff serving us does not really know the name in English but have been coming and going in the Greek Islands, I know it as similar to spinach, but not really spinach as we know. It’s coarser and thicker than spinach but many call it Greek spinach. The Dutchman and I are veggie lovers so we eat this with gusto. Best eaten when sprinkled with lemon and then given a sliver of salt and pepper. Can be paired of course with your bread.

Dinner at the Fish Market - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece
Greek Boiled Spinach at the Fish Market - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece

Boiled vegetables - Greek spinach, delicious when dressed with lemon, salt and pepper.

Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece

For our mains, the Dutchman settled for the usual fare, some Grilled Chicken with pepper steak sauce. It’s not very Greek I presume, especially the sauce but I guess the way it is prepared with local spices and the way it is cooked, grilled, then it could pass as a Greek dish. Very strange that they pair this with fries and rice? I would have omitted either one and pair it with some veggie or green salad.

Mine was a plate of grilled cuttlefish which was really nice. I love that it is nicely grilled yet it maintained its juiciness. A squeeze of lemon on top makes a huge difference in any seafood.

Dinner at the Fish Market - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece

The lovely ambience at the Fish Market - Old Port Taverna on the harbour of Skiathos.

Grilled Chicken in Sauce at the Fish Market - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece
Grilled Cuttlefish at the Fish Market - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece

This was a deliciously cooked/grilled cuttlefish. Very fresh!

My taste in food is far from northern European. I can say I am a true Mediterranean or Asian for that matter as well when it comes to how I garnish my dishes and eat my meals. Why? When I am in Europe, I use lemon to enhance the taste for grilled meats and seafood. When in Asia, I use vinegar, soy sauce, chilli and a local lemon/lime. Northern Europeans, especially the Dutch tend to eat grilled dishes with sauces which I find sometimes disgusting. Try explaining eating fish with garlic or whisky sauce to an Italian or Greek!

We closed the dinner with come coffee. A Nescafe for the Dutchman and a small Greek coffee with medium sugar in it for me. The taverna gave us an almond honey cake with cream to share for dessert as well which was a nice sweet touch to end the evening with.

Coffee at the Fish Market - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece
The Fish Market - Old Port Taverna in Skiathos Island, Greece
Honey Almond Cake at the Fish Market - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece

Honey almond cake with cream from the house.

This was a lovely first evening dinner on the island. We loved how relaxed the atmosphere is of the taverna and the service was just fine. The setting on the Old Port could not have been ideal. Just perfect to end the day and open the summer holiday for 2 more weeks of alfresco dinners.

Yup, lots of (Greek) dinners!

Octopus Fish Market - Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece

Octopus is a typical Greek ingredient. My favourite is the Grilled Octopus (1 tentacle please).

Old Port in Skiathos Island, Greece

Travel Period: June 2017
Destination: Skiathos Old Town (Sporades Islands - Thessaly), Greece

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Happy Travels! Enjoy Life =)

All pictures were taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.

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