Symi Cafe serves up Dodecanese deliciousness in South Kolkata
With an uptick in Mediterranean diet trends, it was only a matter of time that something like Symi cafe opened up in Kolkata. Symi is a beachy, Greek harbour town in the southeastern Aegean Sea, and a part of the Dodecanese group of islands. Dover Lane’s Symi cafe has been set up like a contemporised ‘Kafeneio’ spread out over a space of 1100 sq. ft; there’s quite a bit of room to move around, which is ideal for long brunches as it’s easy to maintain distancing.
The colours are the first thing that’ll draw you there - an array of pop coloured Greek-style shutter windows livening up the quaint residential Gariahat bylane, a possible homage to Symi’s crayon-coloured houses. There are some very subtle but utilitarian Greek design elements strewn about the cafe, which works up a breathy uptown-meets-rustic interior, complete with mid-century detailing and a rested, inviting colour tone.
We chose to have our espressos at the Turkish-style paneled seaters, at the mezzanine space that has a wall-to-wall mural of the island of Symi. You can spend some time there and move towards the entrance seating that is flooded with daylight; the cafe also has really great ventilation which is a bonus for anxious cafe-goers, since small, cramped cafes are at a disadvantage at the moment. The variegated mosaic walls, yellow and Greek blue chairs, coupled with the artificial grass wall panels, accent the radiant interiors really well. The menu offers an eclectic selection of international beverages like Turkish Tea, Ethiopian Hazelnut Latte, and some familiar picks like Darjeeling First Flush and chamomile.
One of the signature items in the menu is, of course, the Shrimp Pizza, since Symi is famous for a particular variety of shrimp that inhabits the Greek island. We started things off with a Rustic Greek salad, a smart and breathy winter curation featuring mixed leaves, red onions, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers dressed with lemon vinaigrette and topped with feta.
The 12-inch pizzas are noticeably better-finished than usual Italian ones and had interesting, balanced crusts; we settled for the Pesto Chicken and Sun Dried Tomato pizzas and the Four Cheese pizza along with the creamy and delicious Pesto and Mushroom Pasta. The entree section is quite diverse, it features Peri Peri Rubbed Cottage Cheese, Shepherd’s Pie, Pork Chop Served With Apple Salad and some surprising picks like Gondhoraj Grilled Fish With Tossed Veggies and Mashed Potatoes. Do make it a point to have at least one dessert since there are plenty of interesting options. We went for the Nutella and Raspberry Crepe that is made with fruit compote and served with whipped cream. You can also try the Orange Creme Caramel with roasted pistachios or the Chocolate Mousse Martini. Price for two: Rs 1,400