Review: Artemis & Apollo Introduces Greek Vibes And Great Mezzes To Wan Chai
We began our meal with warm pitas, hummus, and tzatziki Theodoros. The iconic flatbreads are beautifully crafted, with a dough that boasts a soft, chewy texture while spots of caramelisation are scattered around the edges and sides. The hummus is light and creamy, embellished with a rich drizzle of fruity olive oil. The garlic-rich chickpea spread is best enjoyed as a dip for the warm pitas. Tzatziki Theodoros was a contrast from the hummus, as the yoghurt dip is cool and fresh, thanks to a handful of fresh mint and chopped cucumbers mixed in.
Saganaki Platanos is one of the highlights from our visit. Native to Greece, the Saganaki cheese is sliced thin and pan-seared on a cast-iron skillet until both sides are golden brown before a dressing of spiced honey and candied apricots are added. The ultra-thin crisps of cheese remind us of the base layer of a Swiss fondue, where melted cheese caramelises into a tuile-like crackling, while the sweet honey and apricot glaze relieves the palate from the saltiness of the dairy.
Spanakopita is a Greek classic, and Artemis & Apollo excels in it. Traditionally made with thin, hand-stretched filo pastry, here the homemade pastry dough gives the establishment a competitive edge over others using store-bought varieties. Layers of filo pastry are folded into a large triangle after they are stuffed with a packed filling of spinach and feta cheese. The filo pastry is uniformly layered, offering an airy, buttery texture. The filling of spinach was a bit over-seasoned with feta cheese mixed in. The pastry, however, was close to perfect.
Grilled octopus is popular at Artemis & Apollo but we opted for calamaraki, or deep-fried calamari with lemon and garlic yoghurt dipping sauce. Tiny ringlets of calamari are battered and coated with cornmeal before they are deep fried until golden and crunchy throughout. Despite a great texture the dish bears little surprise. The pork souvlaki, however was on point. We enjoyed the spit-roasted pork with joy, thanks to its evenly charred exterior and tender texture, paired with wedges of fresh tomatoes and cucumber slices, sandwiched within more warm pitas. Portions for main courses are rather large, and so are the side dishes such as patatakia, which are potato fries seasoned with a generous helping of Greek oregano and salt, that are great accompaniments to a cold glass of wine.
Staying true to the conventional wine taverna concept, cocktail and beer selections at Artemis & Apollo are scarce, but reasonably so, allowing the all-Greek wine list to shine. Labels local to the Aegean nation, including its surrounding island wine regions, are widely represented at the restaurant, particularly wines from Macedonia. We particularly enjoyed a floral, crisp white wine for mezzes, one of the plenty options for wine by the glass. Labels sold by the bottle are moderately priced, ranging from HK$300 to just under HK$1,000 per bottle.
Artemis & Apollo stays true to being a meeting place for guests where conversations flow wildly with food and wine. While music plays a dominant role in taverna culture, and in this case, a heavy dose of Rebetiko and Laiko folk music, as well as urban additions such as hip hop and occasional psychedelic beats, the eatery comes alive at full capacity, although the space can become quite noisy when the volumes are being turned up.
Service is impressive at Artemis & Apollo, as staff members are energetic and lively throughout dinner service, with a high level of keenness to help and show deep understanding of the restaurant’s concept and offerings on food and wine.
Moon Street’s new addition transports guests to an immersive experience of the Greek taverna culture, with great food, wine, and service on offer, as guests, new or familiar to the concept, will be inclined to return for good and wines. After all, a good taverna offers a satisfyingly good time, and one can certainly find this at Artemis & Apollo.
A meal for two with one beverage and service: around HK$800
How we rate
Each of our reviewers score restaurants based on four main criteria: setting, food, service, and drinks, taking into account more than 35 different points of reference including manners of staff, usefulness of the wine list, and whether or not the restaurant makes an effort to be environmentally aware. 5/5 indicates an exceptional experience; 4-4.5/5 is excellent; 3-3.5/5 is good to very good; and 2.5/5 or lower is average to below average. Before visiting a restaurant, the reviewers will book using a pseudonym and do not make themselves known to restaurant staff, in order to experience the venue as a regular guest—if this is not possible, or if we are recognised, we will indicate this in the review.