Pappas is a Greek restaurant situated on Nelson Mandela Square. This is probably one of the few restaurants in the Sandton City vicinity with semi decent food.
During Winter the outside deck is covered but it’s still definitely the best place to sit in. It’s light, airy and pretty.
The indoor area is very dark, gloomy and in need of better lighting and brighter decor. Unlike other popular Greek restaurants in SA who go with a bright, clean, modern and eyecatching blue theme, the look and feel resembles a nameless restaurant. The decor doesn’t inspire you to dream of pretty Meditterean beaches. I would recommend sitting inside for dinner and having lunch outside.
We nibbled on complimentary pita along with a hummus dip and taramasalata dip to start. The pita was extremely soft and sweet, not what I am used to, the hummus very lemony and grainy, and the fish roe dip has flavours that are not up my alley.
Chicken livers starter in a mild peri peri sauce was served on a homemade pastry for R55. This somehow managed to be bland and salty at the same time. Sadly this dish will not be winning any awards in the foreseeable future.
The starter platter for four had a little bit of everything you would want to try: lamb koftas, haloumi, calamari, squid heads and spanakopita served with a lemon butter sauce and tzatziki for R220. I enjoyed everything on it. A definite must try starter for those who love sharing.
Pappas meals are all mains and not meze portions. While eating meze is a great way to share it does get quite pricey for a very small portion. The prawn calamari combo is served with 6 Prince prawns for R135 drenched in the yummiest lemon butter sauce.
If it’s fish that you are after try the grilled baby kingklip for R155. This is a firm favourite dish of my mother.
The lamb kleftiko for R165 is one of the signature dishes cooked slowly with herbs and a touch of garlic, served with roast potatoes and vegetables. It left much to be desired in terms of both appearance and taste. Life is too short to waste calories on slimy, tasteless meat.
I love that the menu offers plenty of different platters to suit what you might be craving. Try the grilled baby sole, 3 Prince prawns and calamari for R159 if you can’t decide what seafood you feel like.
I can’t say that the lamb chops flame grilled in traditional Greek style and sprinkled with lemon juice for R159 fared much better than the lamb kleftiko. The portion was indeed generous, the lamb was tender but also very bland.
The Cyprus platter for R149 has 3 Prince prawns, fried haloumi, grilled calamari tubes and chicken souvlaki on it. I love the prawns and haloumi here, the calamari was slightly rubbery and the chicken bland. For some reason Greek restaurants have been putting out dismal overdone chicken souvlaki lately. Chicken should be soft, succulent and served with a tzatziki dip. I can’t seem to find any Greek restaurant who is doing this right.
It wouldn’t be a Greek restaurant without baklava and ice cream on the menu for R45.
Ice cream and chocolate sauce will set you back a pricey R45.
Warm apple tart served with vanilla ice cream for R149.
Pappas might not be the best Greek restaurant in Johannesburg but it’s worth a visit if you in the Sandton area craving seafood. The food and service is consistent enough to be commendable and warrant a return trip.
Greek & Pappas,