Amalthea Greek Bistro – A Greek Delight

Image of Amalthea restaurant inside (faded) with text overlay "Amalthea Greek Bistro: A Greek Delight".

I have another food/restaurant review for you today.  The Amalthea Bistro in Leeds.

So, I have a fondness for eating out and experiencing something a bit different, as you can see in Samba Afternoon Tea and Gin Tasting Evening. Today’s post is no different and I want to share my experience of eating truly yummy Greek food in my hometown of Leeds. The place of choice is my favourite place to eat Greek food, the Amalthea Bistro.

About Amalthea Bistro:

Amalthea Bistro is in the Adel area of Leeds, just off the busy Otley Road. Independently Greek-owned and family run, with products being sourced from their native Greece. The bistro offers a deli too, full of produce from Greece, including olives and chutneys. It is also the proud receiver of two awards, the Best Suburban at the Oliver Awards 2018, and the Best Suburban at EAT Awards 2017. It’s not hard to see why they have won these awards; with the food, atmosphere and staff being wonderful. 
The bistro offers traditional and authentic Greek food, as well as modern takes of the classics. They also have a few experimental dishes, with all of the dishes on offer being packed full of flavour.

Image of shelves in Amalthea Bistro  with jars of chutneys and hamper baskets.

Inside:

Inside, many photographs and pictures of various places in Greece adorn the walls. Fairy lights hang in the windows, with a bit of a beachy feel to the place too. It feels very welcoming when you enter through the door. You definitely wouldn’t realise there was a busy road outside once you are in. 

Image of a window with various items decorating it, including a large wooden lantern, white starfish and bottles with white sand in. Fairy lights up one side of the window

This visit was not my first, and I have been wanting to write a post on this fabulous place for a long time. I think I even mentioned it in one of my earliest blog posts – Birthday Shenanigans.  
The lovely Georgia greeted us, one of the owners, who works at the front of the house. Offering us a friendly and warm Greek welcome, she showed us the menu and specials on offer. She even gave us a bit of information about a few of the dishes. 

On previous visits I think it has mainly been during the summer and warmer months of the year. This time however was a colder evening at the end of October, meaning that there was a slight change in the dishes on offer. That leads me onto what we ordered on this visit:

Image of Amalthea menu on a clipboard.

Starters:

Between the three of us, we ordered the Cretan olive selection, the handmade Greek bread selection, with olive oils and fried whitebait.

Olives

There were three small pots of olives; one type whole, another stuffed with almonds and the last stuffed with chilli. Just a word of warning, the chilli ones were very hot and spicy, but still delicious!

Image of three bowls of olives on slate. Olives are whole, stuffed with chilli and almond.

Breads

There are two types of bread advertised on the menu; white bread with aniseed and wholemeal multi seed with honey. Unfortunately, on our visit they had just run out of the white bread, so we opted for extra of the wholemeal. You could definitely tell it had been homemade. It was warm and delicious. To go with the bread there is a selection of two different oils. The first being Cretan orange infused olive oil and the second being Cretan chilli infused oil. They were both delicious, and I know I want to have a go at making my own version of the orange infused oil. It was delicious!

Image of several slices of homemade wholemeal bread with two pots of oil in the middle. One oil infused with orange, and the other with chilli. All on a slate plate.

Whitebait

The third starter we shared was the fried whitebait. A decent portion arrived of these, with a small side dish of tzatziki on the side. Cooked just right, but I must admit I am not a massive fan of whitebait. I much prefer calamari (which is also available of the menu).

Image of fried whitebait with tzatziki  in a dish and two lemon wedges on a slate plate.

Mains:

For mains, we ordered Amalthea yiouvarlakia, Lamb arhontiko and Pork Lahania. All traditional Greek dishes from the main menu.

Amalthea Yiouvarlakia

Pronounced yiou-var-LAkia (quite a mouthful isn’t it?!). Yiouvarlakia is a traditional Greek meatball soup with rice, courgettes and butternut squash in a sour egg and lemon sauce. Served with warm pita bread and a few cubes of feta cheese. This was such a hearty, warming dish, and was perfect for warming me up on the cold October evening. Georgia mentioned that this was her grandma’s recipe too.

Image of a bowl of Amalthea Yiouvarlakia with pita brad and feta cheese cubes on the side. All on a slate plate

Lamb Arhontiko

Lamb Arhontiko is a yummy slow cooked dish. The dish consists of boneless lamb with Mastelo cheese (a soft cows milk cheese from Chios. Perfect for a variety of dishes including Saganaki). This is all wrapped in baking paper with Mediterranean vegetables and olives and baked in the oven. It is also served with grated kefalotiri cheese (Goats or sheep milk hard cheese, again perfect for saganaki). Roasted lemon potatoes were the accompaniment of choice too.
This dish looked and tasted yummy. Again, another hearty and warming dish, which was totally filling. The meat melted in your mouth!

Image of Lamb Arhontiko on a plate, with lemon potatoes in a bowl on the side.

Pork Lahania

Another warming dish perfect for the colder months. Oven roasted pork with fermented cabbage, carrots and kidney beans is the dish. It is also served with feta cheese cubes and pita bread. Again, this was delicious, full of flavour and melt in your mouth meat. 

Image of Pork Lahania on a plate.

I would highly recommend any of the above dishes, but then again I would recommend anything on the menu. It all looks and tastes delicious. I think what is great about the menu is they change with the season, and offer a great selection of Greek dishes that you wouldn’t ordinarily see when visiting the country in the summer months

Finish:

To finish off the meal, we opted for coffee. Not just any coffee though, we went for Greek coffee. Boiled rather than filtered through a traditional machine or cafetiere is the way the coffee is made. Strong in taste and served without milk, but a lovely froth on top called kaïmaki. I prefer mine without sugar, but the coffee can be made as sweet as you like. Drinking slowly is also the way.
A Greek lemon sweet acompanied the coffee, and was delicious. Definitely the perfect addition, offering the bit of sweet to the bitterness of the coffee. Heaven!

Image of Greek coffee in a small cup. Lemon sweet on the side of the suacer.

Amalthea is also a bring your own booze restaurant so we bought a bottle of a sweet Greek red wine called Mavrodaphne. The wine is quite a sweet heavy wine, similar to a sherry and is delicious. Amalthea also use this wine in some of their dishes, which adds a great taste to them.

Image of a bottle of Mavrodaphne of Patra wine, with some of the wine in a wine glass next to it.

If you are looking for a Greek restaurant to visit, Amalthea definitely gets my vote and recommendation. It has to be my favourite place to eat in Leeds!

Do you like Greek food? Have you sampled any of the dishes above?

Let me know in the comments below!

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