The idea of a Greek restaurant in Chennai has been the cause of much excitement in my life (says a lot about my life, doesn't it?) and I have frequented this place quite a bit. True to its name, Kryptos (the hidden one) is tucked away in a basement on Khader Nawaz Khan Road. The ambiance is cozy and the warm not-so-bright lighting complements the mood of the place. I like the understated decor.
For starters, I recommend you try the Warm Meze dishes. Cheese lovers will like the Tiropitakia: a small phylo pastry filled with different types of cheese (Rs. 280). While I am generally wary of pumpkin based dishes, the Kalitsounia (Rs. 300) (pastries with a filling of ricotta cheese and pumpkin) was surprisingly good. It had the right sweet-sour mix. My favourite however is the Eliotes (Rs.250)an olive filled phylo pastry. The salty, tangy flavour was spot on and quite unlike any of the other starters. All of these are served with aubergine crisps (like the tamil 'varuvals') and tzatziki dip.
In the main course you can choose from Gyros, Souvlakis and many other traditional Greek dishes whose spelling I shall not butcher. If you are looking for something uncomplicated and filling, then the Gyros (Rs.450-520) are the way to go. These sandwich wraps (the mispronunciation of which led to the American hero sandwiches) filled with meat/veggies, fries, a little salad and generous helpings of tzatziki sauce are a good lunch option. Caveat: they can get messy.
However, when I do make the trip to Kryptos I prefer to order something more indulgent. Grumpu had the Grilled Haloumi Skewers (Rs.580) last time and quite enjoyed it. The sweet peppers stuffed with rice, pine nut and spices (or as they like to call it, the Domates Piperies) has a distinct tangy-tomato flavour and is one of my favourites. I love brinjals and consequently, love the Imam Bayildi (Rs. 450)(slow cooked aubergines with oil, spices and other good things). If you are looking for something healthy (and given my burgeoning waistline, I should be :( ) try the Spanakopitta (Rs.520) : phylo pastry filled with spinach and with barely a hint of oil. They also have a Cold Mezze (Rs.450) buffet in the evenings which is a good value for money option.
Quantities at Kryptos are fairly good and should leave you satisfied. However, don't leave quite yet. My favourite dish here has to be the Baklava (Rs.180). I never leave without ordering this sweet, nut and syrup filled pastry and neither should you. The Kryptos version avoids the sticky-sweetness and dripping-syrup to which so many other baklavas fall prey and for this I am very thankful.
Kryptos definitely livens up the Chennai eating scene. Between you and me, I prefer Kryptos to its much adored cousin: Tuscana. However, quite like most good things in life, it is a tad on the expensive side. So be prepared to loosen those purse strings.
Pricing: Rs. 1200 - 1400 for a meal for two
Location: No.24, Khadar Nawaz Road , Nungambakkam, Chennai