Tasteful Athens: fish and seafood galore at “Psarakia kai Thalassina”
With a slender, coquettish black cat in their logo and a perky name like little fish/“psarakia” (a diminutive form of “psaria”, not connoting size as much but rather adorability!) the restaurant chain “Psarakia kai Thalassina” has been stirring the… sea waters in Athens, since 2013.
Excellent quality, great portions, and low prices define the successful trio that has established “Psarakia kai Thalassina” a top choice for the local fish lovers. Their specialty kitchen stuff are on a never ending quest for the freshest ingredients. Their hearty servings of fish and Mediterranean dishes and their top notch customer service guarantees a unique and enjoyable dining experience—all in affordable prices.
Giannis Marnas has been in the restaurant business, in various positions, for almost 20 years and has been diving into their kitchens for 12. He had been both a sous and an executive chef for several hotels and restaurants in Greece until he took the plunge and opened his own restaurant, in March 2013—the first “Psarakia and Thalassina” in Kifisia. For the past 5 years he’s the executive chef for the entire restaurant chain, currently comprising of 4 restaurants in Athens specializing in fish and seafood dishes.
What is the chain’s philosophy on sea food and Greek gastronomy?
In Greek religion and culture, fish and seafood are an integral part of everyday nutrition. The philosophy of “Psarakia kai Thalassina” is fresh fish and excellent-quality ingredients that make up affordable dishes in hearty portions, so that our customers are able to enjoy them to the fullest degree.
What were the challenges, given the time and age, in creating great but affordable menus?
The financial situation of the past few years has posed, of course, many challenges. We’ve had to make sure we maintain good quality ingredients for our menus and provide customers with great dining experiences nonetheless. As a group of restaurants, we have achieved long-term partnerships with our suppliers based on mutual trust. It ensures we buy the best there is in the market and then this trust also reflects onto our customers.
I’ve had several unfortunate experiences with restaurants in the past that didn’t care to comply with sustainable standards when it came to how their providers did their fishing.
As a chef, how do you advise customers make sure the fish and sea food they’re about to order comes from reliable fisheries?
As I mentioned above, our chain has developed partnerships with suppliers that hold prime positions in the fish and seafood industry. We give utmost importance to quality, maintenance, and cooking, so as to achieve the best standards possible for our customers.
As a chef I would suggest consumers also search for suppliers and/or restaurants with high standards regarding—but not restricted to—food safety, maintenance, sanitation, and certification so that they can be certain of what they’re buying.
You can find “Psarakia kai Thalassina” in Varkiza, Kifisia, Chalandri, and Glyfada and check out their impressive menu on https://www.psarakiakaithalassina.gr/
A few of the dishes that stand out include:
- Shrimp in buttery tomato sauce, using a special kind of Cretan butter called “staka”
- Perch fillets served on shredded phyllo pastry (kataifi) with Florina Pepper sauce
- A special salad from Paros, called “lathovroche” made with yeastless/“ftazyma” bread rusks, “xynomyzithra” cheese, and tomatoes Fresh, spicy mussels in ouzo and tomato sauce Crispy zucchini fries and many more suggestions for fish, seafood, appetizers and salads