Pantelis Tavern, Symi Island – Dodekanese, Greece

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For those of you who haven’t been to Symi Island in Greece, you are seriously missing out! This beautiful island is named after a nymph called Symi who used to live and mate with Poseidon. (How naughty!) The island is a part of the Dodekanese Islands in the Aegean Sea and it’s only 3.7 miles from Turkey. As a result, it is a very popular vacation destination for the Turks and is common to see many huge wooden Turkish boats by the ports.

It is no surprise that the first thing on my mind after docking is to find good food that can satisfy my belly. We pay a visit to Pantelis Tavern and since we are a group of eight we order a large variety of dishes to share, I am very excited because I get to try everything!

A great start is the warm and fresh bread toasted with extra olive oil, a sprinkle of oregano, salt and a bit of garlic; the mussels and grilled octopus are so fresh that they are fantastic without the need for heavy seasoning. But the highlight is definitely the specialty of the island: a plate of tiny Symian shrimps! They are lightly fried and seasoned with house special sauce, so flavorful that I pop them in (with shell) my mouth like popcorn. Apparently the local fishermen would eat them raw with a glass of Ouzo, oh yum!

I am already satisfied at this point but we still have the fish soup and seafood risotto coming. Although I am feeling full, these two dishes are still very enjoyable. To show their appreciation, our waiters offer us fresh fruits, desserts,shots of Grapa, Limoncello and Mastiha, all courtesy of the restaurant. It is very generous of them and it is nice to know that they care about keeping their customers happy. I am definitely coming back here!

What a wonderful island with great food and hospitable people, Symi, I will surely visit you again soon!

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