WORTH FINDING: Tables are small and bare and the food mouth-watering.
WORTH FINDING: Tables are small and bare and the food mouth-watering.

Greek dining experience that will rival all others

WHAT are the chances? You discover a tiny taverna on a Greek Island, so hidden it is invisible.

It has no telephone, no electricity, no signage, a no reservations policy.

You have to know someone who knows someone who knows someone else and is willing to tell you all about it.

It is in a remote section of Mykonos, on a desolate hill amid a brown denuded landscape, blocked from sight beneath the bushy umbrella branches of a large tree.

Three of us were determined to experience it after learning of its rustic charm in hushed whispers on a busy beach on the island.

"It's very small. It opens only for lunch. They cook enormous pork chops and delicious sword fish and giant baked potatoes on an open fire and the views over the sea are wonderful but you might have to wait to get in, and if the food runs out, that's it, they close."

Such pressure.

But we were unwavering. We found it. A queue had formed outside. Opening time was 1pm and not a second before.

When the clock struck one, the owner, a large handsome man looked over the top of a wall at the long line of desperate hopefuls outside, pointed at those he deemed first in line and said: "You, you, you and you."

We were in. And smug.

The small bare tables, the inspiring simplicity of the mouth-watering food, the smell of the open grill fire, the glittering sea views, the haughty discern of the owner, and the strict policy that the baked potato came only with the pork, never with the swordfish, all made for such a vivid experience, I returned to Australia and wrote about it.

I referred cheekily to the wonderful owner as The Potato Nazi. He had refused to give our friend with the swordfish a potato despite our pleading and offers of extra payment.

"No potato with the fish," he said firmly and there was no question of negotiation.

We had loved it very much and despite the tongue-in-cheek reference to The Potato Nazi, I wrote fondly of it.

In my wildest dreams I could not have imagined someone from regional Queensland would cut out the article, take it all the way to the remote part of Mykonos, find the hidden taverna and brandish my story in front of The Potato Nazi. Really? What were the chances?

He was not pleased when we returned the following year for another magical experience.

With a livid face, he pointed at me. "You," he thundered, "I don't let you in."

Fortunately, after my pleas that the story really had been flattering in its mischief, he conceded and let us in where he produced my small story from a scrapbook and reluctantly said his wife thought I had described him perfectly.

We have returned to the taverna every year for a decade now on an annual pilgrimage because it is, quite simply, the most glorious Greek Island food experience.

Other writers before and after me have written about this marvellous place - there was even a story in the New York Times, much to our owner's feigned horror.

The Potato Nazi has a soft heart. His taverna is small and despite the fish/potato policy, he loves to please everyone. and is uncomfortable about the queues.

He even passes free wine in small pink aluminium containers over the wall to the people waiting outside.

I'm not going to tell you the name of the taverna in case you print this out and take it to him.

I really like my annual pilgrimage.


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