Yiamas Greek Taverna is one of those places you've sped past hundreds of times, a burst of colour and noise that suddenly appears out of nowhere on a busy highway. It's a spot that only locals seem to know about, as drivers whizz past obliviously.
Mythos Greek beer $7 and Yia Mas Merlot $6
You'll find Yiamas just past St Peters station, where King Street turns into the six-lane Princes Highway opposite the sprawling greenery of Sydney Park. We amble in at 6pm on a Saturday night to find the restaurant fully booked, and gratefully accept the offer to be squeezed onto a side table.
The dining room is a sea of blue tablecloths topped with white butchers paper and no nonsense glasses and cutlery. The crowd is predominantly Greek, the room swelling with laughter and spirited conversation as Greek grandmas cluck over hyperactive grandkids and large groups tuck into huge platters of chargrilled meats.
Saganaki cheese $14
The modestly-priced wine list offers two whites, two reds and one sparkling by the glass. The house merlot is a generous pour, even at $6 a glass ($22 bottle). I'm straight into the Mythos ($7), a Greek lager that is crisp and light.
It's a good match with the pickled octopus ($16.50), a sprawl of tentacles that are smoky from the grill, but tender to bite. Saganaki cheese is like a mattress of golden-fried dairy, a squeaky slice of kefalogaviera topped with slices of grilled fresh tomato drizzled liberally with olive oil.
Glykadia sweet breads $15
We move onto glykadia sweet breads, a tumble of delicious thymus glands pan-fried so the outside is slightly crisp. Garnished with parsley and a heavy squeeze of lemon, it's a lesson in simplicity and the joys of offal.
Ortikia marinated and chargrilled quails $23.90
I'm happy to relinquish cutlery to attack the ortikia quails with my fingers. Marinated and then cooked on the grill, the flesh is tender while the skin has a finger-licking blackened char.
Spit roast chicken $19.90
Can you really have a Greek feast without a spit roast? We dive into plates of spit roast chicken and spit roast lamb that arrive with a heavy dusting of oregano.
Spit roast lamb $19.90
The chicken is a little dry in parts but there's plenty of fatty goodness to be found in the plate of lamb, especially the glorious bits with skin.
There's plenty of food and we eat our fill for about $25 per head. Good value in anyone's language.
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Yiamas Greek Taverna
5 Princes Highway, St Peters, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9517 9492
Lunch Thursday to Friday 11.30am-3pm
Dinner Wednesday to Sunday 6pm-10pm
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6/28/2012 03:26:00 a.m.