Level 1 The Eastern Hotel
500 Oxford St
Bondi Junction

Anatoli is in the very interesting and varied Eastern Hotel. There are four levels to The Eastern and Anatoli is on level one.

It has a calm and simple elegant feel to it when you walk in and that flows through into all aspects of this charming restaurant.

The wall of preserved and pickled vegetables is a nice touch as well as adding a splash of colour.

It's quite a large restaurant providing a modern twist on Greek food from chef Matt Fitzgerald.

His passion is evident - he was on holidays in Tasmania on the evening of our visit but while we were on our way there he was kind enough to message us back with some recommendations - which we eagerly followed!

Anatoli has a nice feel to it. Life may be hectic outside but it all seems to melt away in this calm serene place.

We started with a taramasalata dip that was beautiful in taste and appearance.

It arrived nicely presented in a tin with plenty of fresh bread and some lovely crunchy croutons. We could have eaten this all day.

The whole dish had a real wow factor to it and the taste was delicious.

We then moved on to a beautiful serving of Kefalotyri cheese saganaki with honey spiced baby figs.

It arrived in a cute little fry pan.

It all went nicely together with the figs and cheese making a great flavoursome combination.

Then it was a delicious serving of lamb and pine nut koupes with lemon.

Lamb and pine nuts always seem to go well together and these were no exception.

The crisp outer was a nice contrast with the soft and tasty filling inside.

Add a squeeze of lemon and its even better!

Our next dish was certainly colourful.

It was baby squid mixed with cucumber, chickpea and yoghurt.

The baby squid was nicely tender and the fresh crisp cucumber offset it well.

It was a light salad that fused well together and the flavour was light and fresh as well!

We chose a side dish - although it turned out to be a substantial serving as always.

The charred okra, burghul, anchovy and garlic. Burghul is a wheat based product that is a bit like couscous.

The delicate combination of okra, anchovy and garlic (and none were overdone) went perfectly with the burghul.

If you want a dish with an overwhelming wow factor then you must have the oven roasted whole baby snapper.

It comes with fennel, herbs and lemon and looks absolutely amazing with this great garnish or decoration.

The fish was perfectly cooked and there was plenty of it as well.

We readily confess that dessert is always a must do for us. In fact Matt Fitzgerald told us to make sure we saved room for it - and he was right!

We started with chocolate mousse, hazelnut and burnt gerakas honey ice cream. It looked unusual and had a great combination of textures and flavours. It was rich and yet not overpowering and tasted great.

We then had the wine poached pear, custard, semolina and almond.

The presentation was again quite spectacular and unique in a lovely jar with the lid open to gaze down into your sweet treat below.

It tasted so nice with such a great mix again of flavours and textures.

Our final dessert was again unique.

It was described in the menu as watermelon and feta with crunchy bits - but to be fair this almost doesn't do it justice.

The fresh watermelon was nicely offset with powdered licorice and the crunch was added with a variety of nuts and other bits. It was delicious.

Anatoli was interesting, innovative and impressive. Matt Fitzgerald has done a wonderful job of putting together a menu that has something for everyone with flavours, textures and presentation that will excite you and delight your taste buds. The decor was also very pleasant and calming after the hustle and bustle of a busy day or week. Service is also attentive, friendly and very helpful. You can also choose your own drinks or do what we gladly did and get Manuel to surprise you - it's worth it!

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Anatoli. Special thanks to Matt Fitzgerald and also to Allira Carroll of Savannah PR for arranging our visit. Thanks also to Anatoli Restaurant Manager Wimmie for looking after us so well on our visit and to Manuel for the lovely wine matching.

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