Seaside seafood — The Cave of Nikolas

Even if you don’t enjoy squid, you have to admit this looks amazing

Likely a staple of any Santorini holiday, we took a trip down to Akrotiri to visit the Red Beach and the Excavation Site where an ancient Aegean settlement has been uncovered, having been buried following a volcanic eruption around 17th century BC.

Naturally such touristy activities, plus a hefty amount of walking, led us to build up a healthy appetite for lunch. And what better excuse to escape the scorching midday sun?

Following a very strong recommendation from my partner’s colleague, we decided to dine at The Cave of Nikolas. This restaurant has a number of things to boast about, from its seafront location — our table was directly overlooking the sea, literally within spitting distance — to its own dedicated family farm from which it sources the bulk of its ingredients.

I was disappointed that they weren’t actually balls, but I can forgive them because of the taste

“Tomato balls” seemed to be one of the most prevalent traditional recipes in Santorini, and I was determined to try them at least once. The Cave of Nikolas’ “fish tomato balls” were apparently crowned as the best tomato balls recipe in Santorini, so this was the perfect opportunity.

More like fritters than balls, these contained plum tomatoes, fava (a traditional Greek split pea puree type thing — delicious), onions, feta and, in this particular case, cod.

These were absolutely lovely. The fresh ingredients gave the taste a somehow refreshing feel, and despite the fritters’ appearance they weren’t oily in the slightest. The accompanying dip — comprised of tomato, local cheese and pepper — complimented the flavours very well. Great stuff.

Very mussely

Seeing as we were by the sea it seemed like it would be rude not to go for one of the many seafood options. As such I opted for the impressively presented fava risotto with seafood above.

The menu’s description for this dish is “Santorinis’ fava stands out for its unique taste, in combination with rice and seafood is outstanding”, and I could hardly put it better myself.

The taste and texture of fava combined perfectly with the rice to produce a creamy and delicious base, which was then riddled with tasty prawns and mussels. The gigantic, juicy mussels around the outside were but a wonderful bonus!

Yet another fantastic meal. Without wanting to spoil anything, I don’t think we had a single duff dish in our entire stay on the island.

Once again we were treated to free bread and free dessert; something I’m going to dearly miss back here in the UK. Whilst the prices were a little higher here than at To Pinakio it was definitely worth it, even if just for the view and the stunning presentation of the food.

Another one to recommend if you’re ever in that part of the world!

We visited The Cave of Nikolas in Akrotiri, Santorini on 17/05/2017 and paid €42 for the fish tomato balls and our two mains (not including drinks and optional service).

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