PROFILE BY BEST RESTAURANTS
A morning cup of coffee is a sacred thing. Don't mess with a caffeine-dependant person before they've had their morning shot; you might walk away missing an arm. This is one of the reasons why a sparkling new kafeneion (Greek coffeehouse) is a welcome site. The other reason is, of course, that such a place promises tasty, specialised blends to an increasingly coffee-savvy Sydney public. Ithaka – named not only after the Greek municipality, but also after the mythical island home of Homer's Odysseus – is an ode to Greek coffee culture and the idea that every coffee drinker is on their own personal odyssey.
The focus at Ithaka is on beverages, so aside from standard cappuccinos, lattes, flat whites, short blacks and so forth, there is a range of speciality coffees and teas. For a super strong caffeine hit grab a ristretto or doppio. When the weather gets warmer, cool down with an authentic Greek coffee frappe, an espresso freddo or a cappuccino freddo. If you're more tea-inclined, you may want to try "Cleopatra's champagne", which blends the likes of chamomile, rose petals and lavender buds, or the tsai tou vounou, a strong Greek mountain tea. Ithaka also offers a range of Greek bites such as homemade kourambiedes (almond shortbread), melomakarona (honey-orange biscuits) and baklava, as well as savoury pasties and pies featuring spinach, nuts and cheeses.