This year it seemed that half of Instagram holidayed in Greece, inundating our feed with shots of crystal-clear skies, deep blue water and bleached-white houses. While South Bank might not be Corfu, Mantle Group Hospitality (the brains behind Babylon and The Charming Squire) has brought a piece of Greece to River Quay Green with Ithaka – a pop-up restaurant specialising in the fare of the Ionian Islands. Ithaka has taken over the site previously home to Aquitaine on Sidon Street, making use of the restaurant’s proximity to the waterfront to instil a sense of Mediterranean magic across the venue’s 300-sqm footprint. Boasting a capacity of 158 patrons across interior and sun-soaked alfresco spaces (plus room for an additional 20 in Ithaka’s own private-dining room), Ithaka is well poised to be a popular summertime lunch spot.
Overseeing the menu is Mantle Group Hospitality executive chef Deniz Coskun, who is utilising a chargrill to add a delicious smokiness to Ithaka’s fare. The a la carte menu is divided into three easy-to-navigate sections – flora, fauna and ocean. Flora features the likes of melitzanosalata (smoky eggplant dip, best enjoyed with a serve of Ithaka’s housemade lagana bread,), classic spanakopita, pan-fried Olympus halloumi drenched in honey, and baked rice pilafi. Protein-centric dishes like chicken souvlaki, koulakli manti (beef dumplings with chilli butter) and slow-cooked lamb shoulder are tempting options, but pescatarians will be stoked to see grilled and glazed octopus, ouzo-cured kingfish, and roasted snapper with mussels on the menu. Just keen for a nibble? A bar-snack menu featuring dips, dolmades, calamari and beef keftedes is available alongside a drinks list boasting Greek wines, beer and spirits alongside a clutch of Aussie vino as well.
Ithaka is now open to the public – head to the Stumble Guide for menu details, operating hours and booking info.