Christmas with the other Nik

Christmas with the other Nik

A visit to the Whitford never disappoints. Whether popping in for a morning coffee, a late brunch, or that special celebratory meal; the food is only surpassed by the service and welcome.  The place has been a feature of Burry Port nightlife for many years, whether you remember “The George” or the re-fashioned “Whitford” named in honour of The Whitford Lighthouse; a Victorian lighthouse constructed in cast iron which was commissioned  by the Llanelli Harbour and Burry Navigation Commissioners to mark the shoals of Whiteford Point. It is the only wave-swept cast-iron tower of this size in Britain. The restaurant’s interior has been painstakingly designed to resemble its namesake with bronze coloured light fittings made from recycled pipes and brown painted ceiling beams depicting the 88 wooden piles that the lighthouse stands upon. 

Early in 2020 the restaurant saw a re-branding with Niko the current proprietor calling upon his years of cooking experience and his mother’s recipes bringing an authentic taste of Greece to the shores of Burry Port. “Nik the Greek” was born. I must admit I was not sure whether the departure from a wider global cuisine to a single national style would work. We do enjoy a more diverse palete these days but to venture into an ethnic restaurant whether it be Indian, Chinese, Mexican or Italian, is something we do, but not regularly; so I doubted it would be a roaring success. Boy was I wrong!

Nik has managed to put together a menu that satisfies diverse tastes and appetites. Whether you wish a little meal, or undecided a pick & mix from meze menu, or are ready for a full on main – the beef stifado is to die for – there is something delicious to be had. 

We recently visited for a late brunch on a lazy day, when after we had finished our meal, Nik appeared from the kitchen. A conversation ensued on our favourite topic: food, and how to cook it. Nik has always provided a 1st class fixed menu for occasions such as Valentines, Christmas and New Years Eve. These have always been culinary masterpieces so I asked if a “special menu” would greet us for Christmas 2020. The answer was no however Nik informed me that two special festive dishes would be added to the existing excellent menu. The conversation moved on and we were working on that menu – together. Finally came the gob-smacker, an invitation to a tasting. One felt very humbled and honoured and immediately agreed to be a part of this privileged event.

Finally the appointed time came and we ventured to our favourite table. I had decided that a ‘tasting’ would leave me wanting more so had suggested I would go for the feta and spinach filo pie from the desserts menu, a garden salad from the meze selection and a side order of the moreish chunky chips. After all my experience of tastings is derived from “ Saturday Kitchen”. Yet another shock as two full plates were placed in front of us.

Rolled Turkey Breast with Greek spiced stuffing

 

Nik’s take on the traditional turkey dinner comprised of a rolled breast stuffed with an aromatic and extremely tasty stuffing. The meat cut quite thickly ensures a good portion per customer. Thanks to the cooking style the meat remained  moist and full of flavour. Accompanied by seasonal vegetables roasted in a Mediterranean style made for a delicious main. Roasted potatoes with rosemary, carrots, parsnip, and the marmite of seasonal veg; the Brussel sprout, all adorned the plate. A slight glaze of cooking juices decorated where thick brown gravy would belong on other plates, but not on this one. Everything is moist, packed with flavour and drawing you in.

Rack of Pork with herb crackling

As with the turkey dish, you have a mean plate of dinner. A large portion of meat served on the rib but don’t let that bother you because the pork walks out on the rib faster than Den leaving Ange in classic Eastenders. Again the pork explodes on the tongue. Moist so juices release and the taste of the baste bring together a new take on a Christmas classic. The meat accompanied by the vegetables Ive mentioned as well as a piece of poached apple and pear and roast yellow pepper.

What amazed me further was finding out the guide price for the turkey dish. £15 per head which is outstanding value. I commented on all the office parties I’ve attended where the cost was high and quality low but for such an artisan dish you really cant go wrong. 

As we came to the end of our plates we both confirmed were as stuffed as the turkey, and had experienced something truly special.

I have spoken of the decor, the welcome and the food. In these uncertain times I feel it only fitting to comment upon the measures in place due to COVID-19. The restaurant operate a one way system for both entry and exit, also access to the facilities. Track and Trace for all members of the party so have your ID with you. Tables are located two meters plus a part and within designated areas marked by tape. As soon a table is vacated its deep cleansed and finally, none of the tables are laid but cutlery and individual packaged condiments and sauces are brought to the table. All in all, we enjoyed a pleasant dining experience in a safe as possible environment.

Our reservation for my 54th on Christmas Eve is confirmed all remains is; will it be the turkey or the pork?

You’ll find The Whitford at 9 – 13 Stepney Road, Burry Port. Email enquiries@whitfords.wales or telephone 01554 832211 or visit their facebook page or instagram.

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