It is officially “the best Greek restaurant in Shanghai.”
Cool setting. (We have to correct ourselves — Secret Garden is very much still there … anyone know the backstory? Aegean occupies a large stand-alone sunroom of sorts behind Secret Garden, next to the big patch of grass, which we suppose is the “secret garden.” Aegean has outdoor seating which would be a great place to hang out when weather allows.)
Greek owner and chef. (Marios, the young, enthusiastic and talkative chef, knows what he is doing and is trying to work around the obstacles that come with preparing Greek food in China. Grape leaves are hard to come by, so until he has a reliable source, he is experimenting with a stuffed cabbage leaves recipe. He can’t find the right yogurt to make tzatziki … so he’s making it himself, a several day process. Feta cheese is expensive here, and he’s trying to make due the best he can. Etc. Etc.)
Reasonable prices. (Entrees go from 50 something to 100 or so. Most are around 60. There is nothing Greek about Sam Adams beer, but we were excited to see it for 28 a bottle, although we were warned that that price scheme may not last long.)
Awesome moussaka. (We were kind of surprised to see no gyro or souvlaki sandwiches on the menu. There’s a souvlaki, but it’s more of a knife and fork affair. The moussaka made up for those omissions, however. Delicious. Spinach pies were great, too. Marios said he has already changed the menu often in the six weeks the place has been open, so it could change again soon. He calls a lot of it homestyle Greek food, and would love it if people started treating the restaurant like a second home. Call ahead and order something — like pastitsio, also missing from the menu — and he will be more than happy to make it for you.)
Definitely a yea. And I think it will only get better. Let’s just hope they decide against changing the beer prices.
The restaurant has a website. And you can email them at [email protected]. For reservations, call 54031850 or 13601668257.
Aegean is having a party in its garden this Sunday. It’s invite only … but the restaurant (of course) would like to have some Shanghaiist readers on the guest list. The party runs from 4 pm to 10 pm and features “downtempo and worldbeats” music from DJs Tootekool and Kodama. If that’s not your thing, they will also have fire dancers. Free Greek appetizers will be served throughout the party and each guest gets one free drink. The first 20 Shanghaiist readers who email the restaurant will get a party invitation. Simply email your full name to [email protected] with “Shanghaiist Party Offer” in the subject line to get your name on the list. Good luck!
Aegean Greek Restaurant, 333 Changle Lu, near Shaanxi Lu (behind Secret Garden restaurant). Tel: 54031850.