“I put exotic foods in the menu in order to attract more clients. I did not expect that the crocodile, kangaroo, and bison will be so successful, when you keep in mind that few years ago they were unknown for the Greek taste.”
Kostas Sarayanoglou is the owner of “Finikes” tavern in Egaleo – one of the few, which offer exotic food in Athens. As he says: “I wanted to serve something different, which would attract people’s interest and they couldn’t find it in other taverns. Now I have clients from all over Athens, who are lovers and in search for special and different tastes. And the prices are not too high – not more than 16 Euros.”
Mr. Sarayanoglou admits that at the beginning when people saw “kangaroo or crocodile fillet” in the menu, they were a bit suspicious. His observation shows that men are more likely to try something new but “the ones who are really impressed are the children, because for them the dishes are like taken out of a fairy tale.” A regular client of the restaurants, which serve crocodile meat, is Mr. Isaac Kondos – trade representative who says for “Ta Nea” newspaper that he has eaten worms in Thailand and snake in China, and also that “when someone tries grilled crocodile meat, he will not be disgusted because it is tasty, healthy, and it is a very tasteful experience.”
“During the last few years Greeks have become more open towards the new tastes” notes the owner of the exotic restaurant “Altamira” Mr. Nikos Tzabunaris. Exotic meats could be found around Christmas in the supermarkets as well, because then people are more interested in them. The prices will be higher though – one kilo of crocodile meat will be sold for 28 Euros.
Except for exotic dishes, people will be able to find on the market, and specifically at Fruit Center on Solonos street, fruits from the Far East – lychee, rambutan, mangosteen. As owner Yannis Sarandaenas says: “We decided to bet on those products because there are always clients who look for different tastes without being worried about the price.”