CCU Undercover: Enigma at the Piazza

CCU cracked up once again while watching Big Fat Greek Wedding. The popcorn was flying around as she clutched her stomach and she tipped over her drink in a rush to grab the remote and rewind to the scene where Aunt Voula thinks lamb is not meat! 

She began to dream about her own Greek wedding. Despite not being Greek and not knowing any Greek men. Hmmm… So she settled for the next best thing and found a darling new Greek restaurant hidden to the side of the Piazza of her local shopping haven…

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The name is just so fitting for this restaurant. Located right on the edge of the Piazza, it is not the most obvious making it quite mysterious ;)

I suppose it is also more mysterious because of the cuisine it serves. How many of you actively know Greek cuisine inside out (If you are Greek, refrain from answering!) and say, ‘Oh, I want to go eat Greek tonight.’

But this is from an Australian perspective, maybe globally, Greek food is better well known, but here in Sydney, Greek restaurants are not that common, especially in comparison to Chinese, Thai or Italian restaurants.

But I found one and it was awesome!

enigma

Class. This place had class. And my brother and I felt so classy… until when I got up and bumpedthetablesothesaltnpeppershakersfellandcausedacomotion… don’t judge me, I am only 17!
To top it off, I may or may not have handed them to someone who actually was not working there but was in a white shirt and black pants… because he gave me a huge ‘what the hell?’ look but I was too embarrassed to really say anything before fleeing :P

But otherwise we were pretty high up, I must say ;)

Bane of my existence...

Bane of my existence…

This place had a dress code (no singlets) so, when you compare it to Nandos sitting opposite it, we felt like we were in a whole other realm. Haha, personally, I was this close to wearing thongs and thank god I did not!

Anyway, they were not that full on our arrival so we had immediate assistance and waiters who were at their optimum in professionalism and friendliness. It was such a change from the usual rush!

We started off with drinks, in which my brother got the Dry Ginger Ale ($4.50) and it was a little sweet with a real kick – honestly, I am not the biggest Ginger Ale fan but this was exquisite :)

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I just asked for some water, and of course, embarrassed myself here as well because, in the age of today, of course you don’t just ask for water (apparently!). You must specify – tap or sparkling or mineral yadda, yadda, yadda :P
So I eventually mumbled ‘tap please’ by the end of the miscommunication but truly, felt out of my depth!

But the water was refreshing and I loved the lemon in it. BAM, class ;)

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Then, swiftly, we got our cutlery and napkins, ready for our entrée. My brother and I decided to go with the Enigma Meze Plate ($35) – Tzatziki & taramosalata dip, wood fired pita bread, marinated olives, dolmades, feta cheese, grilled haloumi cheese, BBQ chorizo and sardelles. This was of course, after being assured it was suitable for two people, though you know my family’s appetite by now, so you must be wondering why we bothered ;)

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First, let me use my awesome Greek translation (via Wiki) skills for you :)

Taramosalata = A dip which features the salted and cured roe of the cod or carp
Dolmades = Grapevine leaves stuffed with rice and vegetables
Sardelles = Anchovies

Where do I even start with this platter? All the components were so well-laid out and looked so enticing. My mouth is watering as I think about it again. Sigh…

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Well, my brother was thrilled to be left with the non-veg parts all to himself. Here is his shot of the chorizo and anchovies. For him, the anchovies were an inch away from eating a handful of salt and I have heard them to be an acquired taste depending on your salt handling capacity :P
But the chorizo, hot damn, my brother definitely believed it to be the best he has ever had. And he has a lot of chorizo experience, believe you me :)

Courtesy of my brother!

Courtesy of my brother!

How about we move on to the haloumi cheese now. These days, cheese and I are not really seeing eye to eye. After eating this, we are the best of buds again! It felt like there was a coating of cheese covering soft cheese. And the grilled taste was delicious, so smooth and well, cheesy! Big thumbs up!

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Then we move on to the Dolmades. I have never tasted anything like this before, the vine leaves were salty and the mixture of vegetables and rice was sweet but savoury at the same time. I know, I am so nonsensical! But it is true and they were delicious – I felt so cultured eating them ;)

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The olives and the fish dip (because come on, that name is so long!) were delicious as well according to my brother. I did try the olives but honestly speaking, I am not the biggest salty olive fan but the olive oil rub they were in really gave them a kick!

Now, we move on to the tzatziki and feta and bread. Put them together and you a flavour explosion going on, no joke!

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The bread was firm, the dip was fresh and that feta cheese… so delicious with its dripping oil and herbs….

This was how we finished. And, the wonderful people at Enigma asked us if we wanted to keep the dips and olives for our main meal. Who does that? And this is where, you make ignore because I will keep fan-girling over the class ;)
Actually, I would not say fan-girling, more like fan-peopling because my brother was also very giddy at this ;)

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A new set of cutlery and a new napkin later….

Hands up if you like lamb? Oh, wow what a spread (this is a virtual image by the way but I am sure many of you do!) Well… if you ever visit Australia/are in Australia, do come visit this place for their Wood Fired Slow Roasted Lamb – Served with baked crispy potatoes and seasonal oven baked vegetables with Tzatziki dip as a side ($39).

enigma 13The lamb was tender and the perfect pink, cooked to perfection and flavoured beautifully. The potatoes (for which I can attest too) were crunchy golden delicious and the vegetables had been sautéed. Perfect side.

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I had originally planned to get the Yemista (Tomatoes and capsicum stuffed with rice, fresh herbs and Spanish onions) but can you believe they ran out during the lunch rush? I will be back, if only to try this dish!

But they accommodated beautifully for my vegetarianism by providing a Roasted Vegetable Stack (drizzled in balsamic vinegar sauce) – Served with grilled haloumi cheese, dolmades and fresh shoots. I may be vegetarian but am not a huge fan of eating vegetables like this. Until now.

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The dolmades and haloumi cheese were of course, delicious (as described above) but these vegetables, just look at them. How could they possibly not taste good?

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The sweetness of the sauce went very well with the perfectly roasted sweet potato, eggplant and zucchini (which I originally thought was cucumber :P).

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Perfectly roasted…

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Here, we show our fabulous appetites again. Check out the desserts!

My brother, a classic, went for his favourite Sticky Date Pudding – Served with a warm rich caramel sauce. Wild berries and vanilla bean ice cream ($15).  Rich, sweet and delicious, it was up to the standard of any great Sticky Date (of which my brother has a lot of experience of trying)

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Though I find it funny that they would write ‘wild berries’ and serve it with a single pretty strawberry…. :P

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I went all out for some ice cream and got the Assorted Ice Cream ($12) – Choice of either Gelato (hazelnut, chocolate, vanilla, pistachio) or Sorbet (Mango, passionfruit, lemon, raspberry). I was going to get only hazelnut but then the kind waitress told me it was three scoops. Instead of changing my order like I should have, I grinned like a goober and ordered 1 chocolate and 2 hazelnut :)

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Yay me!

The gelato was very smooth and the flavours were intense but by combining chocolate and hazelnut, it felt like I was eating Nutella Ice cream :D

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General Overview

  • Very friendly, fast service with continual checks if we needed anything – though it must be taken into account that there were not many diners
  • I think they should keep greater stock of their food and do not know their own popularity – it is an adjusting matter since they are newly opened but they also did not have a panna cotta dessert available
  • The professionalism of their serving was evident

Rating: 9/10

Booking: Recommended more for lunch than dinner but to be safe, at all times

Address:

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Shop 21, The Piazza
Castle Towers Shopping Centre
6 Castle Street
Castle Hill NSW 2154

Phone Number: 8850 3330

Websites:

Enigma at the Piazza on Urbanspoon

Just before I leave you to fantasize about Greek food, I just want to note how awesome it is that my brother (big burly teenage hungry brother) still lets me take photos of the food before digging in :)
And that he orders such exotic food that no one else in my family tries!
I wuv you bhaiya <3

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66 Comments

  1. Cakelaw says:

    GU, you crack me up – dress code: no singlets? LOL. For Oz, that’s about right, though no fear of singlets in Melbourne at present as it’s too cold. You must come to Melbourne to try Greek sometime – we have the largest population of Greeks outside of Greece!

  2. Hello CCU! Great to see you! Wonderful pics as always, makes us very hungry. You site looks great and we are happy you are doing so well – you so deserve it! Take care and best of days friend. Sharon and Denise @BeBetsy

  3. navane64 says:

    Very interesting spread of food and drinks. I would love to try out this restaurant too. That said I am not sure if we have Greek restaurants over here but now that I have seen your post, I am gonna look out for one.

  4. You have one awesome brother for waiting to dig into to his meals so the “foodie” could get all of her photo shots. Now please do share…have you ever stood on your chair on a restaurant to get that best shot? LOL Everything looks mighty delicious. Have a super week, BAM

  5. Zoe says:

    I’m laughing at the restaurant description of wild berries because all I can see on the dish is just a lonely strawberry. Nevertheless, the sticky date pudding looks really good!

  6. A_Boleyn says:

    Great menu and I think you made wise choices. I’m not a big veggie fan but that stack sounds pretty appetizing. I might not order it as my first pick but I’d certainly have one if it was served family style. Love the lamb too. :) The grilled haloumi is also very intriguing. I’ve never tried it but I’m going to see if I can pick some up the next time I go to the city market. As to desserts, I’m surprised they didn’t have any Greek desserts on offer.

  7. Suzie says:

    You know I have never seen that movie, I must add it to the list. I do however adore Greek cuisine. Once again I think I want to share your brother’s plates :)

  8. Catherine says:

    I can hear the excitement in your writing. You thoroughly enjoyed your experience. It is a memory you will look back on with a smile. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  9. Catherine says:

    I can hear the excitement in your words. You thoroughly enjoyed your experience. I am happy for you and your brother. It is a memory you will look back on with a smile. Blessings dear. Catherine xo

  10. applec says:

    My husband is Lebanese. I just love hummus and meatless grape leaves, all the other good things that Greek/Lebanese cooking has to offer.
    Your meal looks so good.

  11. Viveka says:

    Love Greek cuisine …. and lamb is my favorite meat. 9/10 not bad and I love the way they presented their dishes too. Things can happen at a restaurant and it could be that panna cotta was sold out or it could have gone bad, instead of selling a product that is not good is it better to take it off the menu until new has been done. I wouldn’t have a problem with that .. if that was the only dish on the menu that they couldn’t supply.
    Brilliant review again and the photos are to eat from. Great job.
    I would had visit the restaurant on your review.

  12. That place looks lovely (don’t worry I always embarass myself anytime I go out, too :P) and omg the ice cream!!! I live in Astoria (in Queens, in NYC), which is also nicknamed “Little Athens” so Greek stuff is everywheeeeere hahaa

  13. YUM! We love Greek food and stuffed grape leaves – dolmades – are some of my favorites! Looks like you had a lovely time with your brother. Just one question: What is a singlet?

  14. Carolyn Chan says:

    Wow Castle Towers has really stepped up its game in terms of ethnic cuisines ! (I used to live there gosh – ten years ago ?). I LOVE Greek cuisine and your meal looked delicious !

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