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[Restaurant Review] Greek Tavernaki: YIA MAS

[Restaurant Review] Greek Tavernaki: YIA MAS

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What do you get when you put a Greek multi-award-winning restaurateur and a beautiful and resourceful Maltese entrepreneur together? You get YIA MAS Greek Tavernaki, Malta’s first authentic Greek meze and street food restaurant in the heart of the island’s city of Mosta

Owners Dimitrious Nakos and Katza Dingli Bennetti put in a lot of time and effort to bring to Mosta the most authentic and delightful Greek restaurant on the island.

They brought their cook staff, wait staff and managing staff from Greece to keep everything truly authentic. They import most of their ingredients from Greece and prepare their fresh food daily just the way their grandmother Yiayia taught them. They carefully choose their spices, oils and honey to maintain top-quality dishes. But when you talk to them, they will be the first to tell you, the food is not the most important. If you are their guest, then you are their family…and taking care of their family, eating at their restaurant is the most important thing. The service is what is most important and they bring a level of service that makes you feel welcome, warm and wanting to come again.

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must-try food

When you sit down to begin your journey into your unique Greek experience, you will first be served a shot of Ouzo or ούζο. This is a traditional Greek aperitif flavoured from anise and only produced in Greece and Cyprus. Dimitrious told us that this is a traditional way to greet a family member, so of course they will do this when you eat there.

My very favorite must-try dish lands on the appetiser menu: the Saganaki Feta with sesame and honey. This is a recipe that was created by Dimitrious himself that consists of salty feta cheese encrusted with a sesame seed blend of something crunchy (he would not give up the recipe) mixed with sweet and salty and topped with a generous drizzle of Greek honey… truly sublime. I would never eat here without starting off with this specialty item. We enjoyed it so much that when we weren’t looking, they slipped us a second one!

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There are many meat platters to choose from at YIA MAS. If you want to have chicken or pork Gyro’s they are always cooking on the vertical rotisserie. They also serve chicken and pork additionally as Souvlaki. They also serve pork, beef and lamb plates Soutzoukaki with crispy and perfectly seasoned French cut fries. If you are looking for sausage, then try the traditional Greek village sausage served with fresh cut fries, tomatoes, onions and their tzatziki sauce. They also have plates where you can mix and match up your many different meat options. There is a platter for basically anything you desire!

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desserts

There is a tray that they might bring out to tempt you with for their desserts. It has cakes like karidopita cake (walnut cake) or revani (coconut cake) or you could choose what we did and take the Greek yogurt mixed with chocolate and topped with graham cracker crumbs and drizzled with that incredible honey. Whichever dessert, go ahead and say yes! They are all incredible! I thought I couldn’t eat another bite, but then sharing that perfectly sized chocolate Greek yogurt was so delicious that I savoured and celebrated every single bite.

 

I cannot recommend this restaurant highly enough. If you get really lucky you will find yourself there on the evenings when there are guitar players. You might even find yourself yelling the famous Greek word: Opa! So raise your glass of Ouzo and join us at YIA MAS for your authentic and delicious journey into Greek cuisine! And remember, when you go there you are now part of the family.

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