Tilting at the windmill

Aspiros Mylos, Tigaki, Kos Island, Greece (June 17 and 28 2016)

Aspiros Mylos means ‘white windmill’. There is only one working windmill left in Kos which I visited last year, but they used to abound on the island and the cylindrical remains of many can be seen as you travel around the island. We visited Aspiros Mylos a couple of times on this holiday.

On our first visit I had the pastitsio which I much prefer to moussaka. Pastitsio is available all over Kos and is one of those Italian influenced dishes that abound in Kos, made with bucatini (much like macaroni) pasta, beef or lamb mince, cheese sauce, and a thick layer of béchamel on the top. Siggy had a very British gammon steak with a fried egg and chips.

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Pastitsio and chips (there’s a token side salad out of shot)

The pastitsio was served with chips which was a typically Greek carb double-whammy. I’m not a huge fan of béchamel which I find rather sickly and too much like a dessert – unfitting for a savoury dish imo especially if the chef has gone mad with the nutmeg. Rice pudding and meat anyone? No thanks. The pastitsio was warm rather than hot which I also find a little disconcerting. So suffice to say that I wasn’t blown away by the meal.

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The camera angle doesn’t do the size of the gammon steak justice…

Siggy enjoyed her huge gammon steak which was salty as salty as a fish’s armpit but quite succulent. To compensate for the mediocre pastitsio I ordered a bit of baklava for pud-pud. Baklava is a traditional Mediterranean dessert made of layers of filo pastry filled with chopped nuts and sweetened and bound together with honey (or syrup).

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The baklava wasn’t properly layered in my opinion and so was a bit disappointing

We received a couple of small glasses of some unidentified drink for free, which might have been apricot brandy or seriously strong peach schnapps. The staff were great by the way even if the food was a bit hit and miss.

On our second visit we had some excellent garlic bread, chicken al a crème (for Siggy – she had it here last year and enjoyed it) and mixed fish for me. At twenty euros it was the most expensive plate I had purchased all holiday so I expected great things.

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Siggy’s chicken is under there somewhere!

What I got was enough fish to feed two people but disappointingly everything apart from the huge shrimps and the salmon steak was battered and fried. I doubt that anything apart from perhaps the mussels was cooked from fresh – it all had the appearance, taste and texture of being cooked from frozen.

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A table creaking mixed fish plate at Aspiros Mylos

The squid and octopus were overcooked and chewy, the shrimp rather mushy without the firm meaty texture I’d expect from something so large and the mussels (lots of them to be fair) were low in flavour and all rather small. One of the fish steaks was very mushy and almost undercooked – not sure if it was the sole or bass as both fillets tasted almost identical – more of the oil and batter than the flesh itself. The only satisfying bit of fish on the plate was the salmon and that’s something I can cook myself at home, so I felt let down and perhaps a little foolish to expect subtle treatment of fish from a restaurant in Tigaki.

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A view from inside a rather quiet Aspiros Mylos taken on our first visit in 2016

We got a couple of large glasses of peach schnapps after paying the bill which went some small way to taking away the bad taste in my mouth. Having such a mishmash of fish the day before we flew home was not perhaps the best idea, but that is a story for another blog (see couchmagpie’s entry for 29 June).

All photography (c) Matthew Haynes.

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