When my sister Ella and nephew Csaba arrived in Kelowna last Friday night for a weekend stay, we felt like having Greek food for dinner.
Yamas Greek Restaurant (also known as Yamas Taverna) may not be a pretty building from the outside, but the inside decor is elegant with a beautiful mural, high ceilings, and tasteful designer pieces that complement the space without cluttering it.
Despite a fair number of people in the restaurant, the layout seemed to keep the noise volume low. We could hear ourselves talking and the background music suited the atmosphere without dominating it. The lighting was a bit dim for me (I like to see my food), but Csaba said this supposedly aids digestion — is that true?
There were so many things to choose from on the menu. The start of the weekend was something to celebrate, so Ella and I started off with a couple of martinis. Ella had the Dark & Stormy Martini (Raspberry Stoli, Alize Red Passion, and Blackberry Nectar) which was delicious. I ordered my first ever Chocolate Martini and was surprised to see that it was clear. This is because it was made of Vanilla Stoli and White Crème de Cacao. It was oh-so-velvety smooth.
We had to have appetizers. Ella and Csaba are big fans of Tarama, also known as Taramasalata (fish roe dip) and said it was one of the best they have ever tasted.
We all enjoy calamari, but were suprised to be offered a pan-fried version (rather than just the usual battered-and-deep fried that most restaurants offer). We chose pan-fried and were surprised that we really preferred it. It was very tender and tasty.
Despite the varied menu, we all decided to stick with our favourite: Souvlaki. Ella and Csaba had lamb, while I had pork.
Ella remarked that the rice was especially flavourful. I really enjoyed the lemon potatoes (and that’s saying a lot, as I rarely will eat them at all). The Greek salad had plenty of feta. The olives were especially tangy, and the tzatziki was very fresh.
While there were elements that we rated 5 stars, this had to be reduced to a 3.5 because I felt my pork was undercooked (it looked pink-ish inside). I had to ask for it to be thrown back on the grill. While the waitress was pleasant and accommodating, I did feel that this should have been compensated in some way, as most restaurants would. So this was rather disappointing. However, it would not stop me from returning, as the food was really good and the ambiance was pleasant. Next time, I’ll just ask for “well done” when I place my order!
The total bill came to $95.54 including 2 martinis, 2 appetizers, 3 main meals and tax. (Tip was extra.)
By the way, it says on their website that they have live belly dancing every weekend!