In its fifth year of resolutely holding its status as a trendy, Greek-Asian fusion restaurant with a unique menu of gourmet-style comfort food, Nolan is definitely a place to visit.
Its location in Athens’ Asian food block, where you’ll find several Chinese and Japanese restaurants, is also close to Syntagma square, which has also become a buzzy nightlife spot over the last few years. Nolan thus both adds a rousing touch to the area and makes for a gratifying gastronomic experience to enjoy on the way to some of the coolest bars in town, either towards Ipittou Square near Plaka or in the opposite direction of Monastiraki.
Greek-Japanese chef Sotiris Kontizas is the brainchild behind an unfussy yet sophisticated list of dishes that Michelin has awarded with the Bib Gourmand. The ambiance is modern, upbeat and vibrant, the flavours are memorable and sometimes very exciting, and the service is fast and professional. Since it opened, I have only heard positive reviews about Nolan, for all the above reasons, which I can confirm from my own experience.
Type of cuisine? Greek-Mediterranean fused with Japanese, Vietnamese, Thai, Korean, Peruvian and Chinese.
Type of eatery? Modern and a la mode in an easy-going way.
The low down…Whether you come here on a date or with a bunch of friends, the buoyant vibes, friendly service, decent prices and noteworthy cuisine almost guarantee a great time.
Décor/ Ambience? Bright and airy during the day, this is a corner restaurant with glass walls and tables along both sides of the street corner, looking out at the city’s architecture and passers by and offering a fun sense of urban chic. Diners are of all ages, although perhaps more on the young side, and it’s favoured by locals as much as foreigners.
Entrees? All the dishes here, served in stone-like ceramic dishes with raised sides, are medium-sized portions and as the waiter told us, designed to be shared. Nonetheless we started with the mouthwatering shrimp and anchovy with chilli and coriander in rice paper served as mini-sandwiches and the steamed bao buns with pulled pork cheeks, served with a pear and carrot dipping sauce.
Mains? Try Nolan’s play on fried chicken (Nolan Fried Chicken) which is perfectly cooked and crunchy nuggets of chicken served with spicy mayonnaise and marinated salad as well as a side of dreamy mashed potatoes with chicken broth. The menu changes according to the seasonal ingredients available throughout the year and there are always two to three dishes of the day. We tried the crispy duck with rice, which was indulgent yet light.