AND so…Corfu has a decent restaurant, at last. Not in the north, the kensington by sea, where you might expect, but in the south, which you might deem more Dusseldorfia.
Take the road south on the west coast, almost to Lefkimmi, at the sign for Marathais keep taking the right hand slip roads until you reach the beach. There is a solitary red house on the hillside by way of a beacon. Below it, in among the dunes, like a Spanish chiringuito, is a white wood terrace that used to be Rick’s that used to be another cliche but now we have a chef. There is no phone, no web site, but Google maps has a few mentions of the new regime already and the season has barely started.
You might think it would be blindingly obvious that an island surrounded by fishing boats might have worked out that you can do more than grill the catch of the day. But here carpaccio is radical – not ceviche which would be a cure but closer to sashimi, thinly sliced with coriander, pepper and spring onion.
These sardines have been butterflied, boned, turned on themselves and then grilled with oil and lemon to the side:
And from the ice cabinet we have prawns and mackerel:
And anything that does not go the to the charcoal goes into one of two casseroles in cast iron, the one with white wine wine, garlic and potatoes, the other tomatioes and peppers…
And there are other things like excellent aubergine, a salad of split peas, sourdough bread…
And even even chips, because after all if there is one thing Corfu does well, it is chips. And other elements – the sandy beach, the calm sea, the headland that keeps out any afternoon winds, the local wine, and that increasingly hard pressed sense of hospitality are all extra pluses. Other venues, some of which I have written about here before, serve the tradional dishes well enough, but they are a bit of an old oompah band, but this kitchen has another tune…excellent little place.