Let’s Eat, Massalia, Nea FokeaOct 4th, 2013 | By Peter Minakis | Category: Best of Greece, Featured, Halkidiki, Review, Travel
One day, on the way back from a day at the beach near Paliouri, Halkidiki, we headed back up the peninsula of Kassandra and stopped in at Nea Fokea, a town just south of Nea Potidea. Nea Fokea is one of the older towns in Halkidiki and it’s where Massalia is located.
Massalia is the ancient Greek name for Marseilles, yes…France’s Marseille, a city whose roots began back in 600BC, when Phoenicians first settled there. Greeks like paying homage to far away lands where Greeks once lived. Hey, we’re a proud people.
Massalia is located at the main square (platea) of Nea Fokea. Take the exit off the main Halkidiki road towards town and simply ask for directions to the main square. Look for parking and you’ll find Massalia there. Massalia is run by two Thessaloniki buddies in Niko and Yianni and they spend their summers in Nea Fokea serving up classic Greek dishes with modern twists and panache.
This taverna came to my attention via Greek food blogger Madame Ginger, who shared her enticing photos of Massalia’s dishes this past summer. Mental note was made and when it was my turn to visit Greece, I visited Massalia.
We ordered a mix of meat and seafood dishes and the first of the dishes to arrive were the fries. Hand cut, crisp and fluffy on the inside. When you’re in Greece, you learn who hand cuts their own fries and who doesn’t. Reputations are made (and broken), depending on how well an eatery does their fries. Massalia delivers!
Next up was a seared Tallagani cheese, from Messinia. Seared well, dressed with a sweet and sour Balsamic. Presented and made very well, I just would have liked a bolder cheese, like a Halloumi or Mastelo.
Another fave for me to order are the kolokithokeftedes (zucchini fritters). These zucchini fritters were the best ones I ate this past summer in Greece. Many tavernas make a decent zucchini fritter, Massalia’s is perfect with it’s golden breaded crust and soft, flavourful filling with herbs and Feta.
The lone fish dish we order were fried anchovies, another taverna classic. Small, fresh anchovies are dredged in flour and simply fried until crisp and golden. Simply squeeze some lemon juice on them or dunk them in a small glass of wine vinegar.
A fine day of swimming followed by a great long lunch at Massalia. Yiannis and Niko are enthusiastic, young and they care about the food they put out. If you’re in the Thessaloniki area or vacationing in Halkidiki, drop by Massalia for a memorable meal.
Massalia is only open during the summer season, always wise to call ahead.
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© 2013, Peter Minakis. All rights reserved. If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://kalofagas.ca then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at truenorth67 AT gmail DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author.