The aroma of sizzling roast lamb beckons as you walk into Greca, a contemporary taverna offering the sort of Greek food people fight over at Howard Smith Wharves.

Fronting the Brisbane River at what is rapidly becoming a must-be-seen-at location, Greca manages to evoke Greek charm married with local flavours including those which have made headlines at its Sydney sister The Apollo.

A perfect Brisbane River dining evening at Howard Smith Wharves could start with a locally brewed beer at Felons, followed by dinner at Greca and a post-dinner cocktail at Mr Percival’s.  You won’t miss one second of sunset on the river, and that is a real treat.

Sydney restaurateur returns to his roots

Greca comes to Howard Smith Wharves courtesy of Gold Coast boy turned Sydney restaurateur Jonathon Barthelmess.  He has had Sydney-siders swooning over his saganaki and weed pie which have developed iconic status.

The restaurant occupies a prime wharf position and is designed like a traditional Greek taverna.  Outside dining is filled with rush covered chairs and benches. The same chairs hang on the whitewashed walls underexposed, darkly stained beams inside.

Upstairs there is a loft area that would be perfect for large group dining.

Greca’s menu

This is a menu filled with simple, traditional Greek flavours but done very well.  It is all cooked over wood and fire in a stone oven.  The dishes arrive in a random order as they are prepared.

If you are an Apollo lover, you will find their classics on the menu.  Expect the wild weed pie, taramasalata, baked lamb shoulder and the saganaki.

We started with the saganaki which came to the table bubbling in honey and covered in oregano.  My neighbour told me she usually gives her husband the larger portion but was not giving up one bit of this oozy cheese drenched in honey.  I followed her lead – sorry K2.

Next came the spanakopita, a traditional Greek wild weed and cheese pie.  It also has legendary status but didn’t quite evoke an image of a black-clad Greek granny foraging in the rocks for weeds to me.  I’m still pining for the version I tasted in Athens.

Greca’s village salad was filled with full favoured, ripe red tomatoes, crunchy radish, black olives and creamy feta.  I finished every last bit.

We shared a half-baked lamb shoulder which came with two roast potatoes.  The lamb was soft and tender with enough crunchy, chargrilled bits to keep us both happy.

Greca’s desserts

K2’s eyes lit up when he saw there was lemon meringue pie on the dessert menu that night.  He was not disappointed by the pot pie that arrived.  It was topped by a layer of soft, fluffy meringue with a sharp but sweet lemon curd beneath dotted with crunchy pastry bits.

I tried the galaktoboureko, which is a filo and vanilla custard combo.  It was light and flaky with a hint of baklava and plenty of honey.

The full Greek sharing menu is $65 per person and includes a wide selection of dishes including the famed saganaki and a choice between the baked lamb shoulder or charcoal chicken

Where is Greca?

You will find Greca at 3, 5 Boundary Street, Brisbane. When you enter the Howard Smith Wharves precinct, go straight to the river walk.  The restaurant is at the end close to Mr Percival’s which is the overwater bar.

With less than half the planned dining options open, Howard Smith Wharves is already hitting high with diners attracted by its vibrant atmosphere, river views and range of flavour-filled food and drink.

The best place to park if you are driving is not the Secure Car Park at Howard Smith Wharves.  It is very expensive, even for night rates. Instead, enjoy a short stroll along the riverwalk and park in Eagle Street or the top of Queen Street where nighttime parking is around $16.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was a guest of the restaurant.