The Greek on Halifax: In the Adelaide City region of South Australia
Its chimney remains a prominent landmark in the southeast of the city and a reminder of a time when you'd needed to have your wits about you when entering Halifax Street. A convoy of Adelaide City Council trucks paid regular visits to this part of town feeding an insatiable monster, which played a key role in the early life of our fair city.
“This magnificent thirty five metre chimney was built in 1909 and was part of what was known as the Heenan Patent Refuse Destructor. It was used to incinerate the city rubbish and the rubbish carts came from miles around.”
It's hard to imagine now, but The Destructor was operating until the early 1950s. For more than forty years the bulk of Adelaide's rubbish was brought here until a special committee - set up to investigate alternatives for rubbish disposal - opted for the Wingfield dump in 1952. The Destructor may not have been popular with city residents but it was certainly effective.
“The Destructor worked twenty four hours a day and the furnaces produced so much heat that the resultant steam powered an electric generator. In its heyday the generator supplied this whole site. It even supplied excess electricity back to the Adelaide Electric Company which it used to light the nearby streets.”
Now the Destructor is a key feature of an inner city development, complete with apartments and a very popular restaurant known as The Greek on Halifax. The furnaces may have gone but out in the kitchen there's still plenty of heat as father and son team, Tony and Peter Xenos keep up with the orders. A photo of young Peter on a village donkey features prominently in the restaurant along with others, which record days past back in the old country and the new.
Tony Xenos came to Australia in 1956 from the island of Lesbos. He and his family brought with them recipes for some fantastic Greek desserts along with all the other tips, which make simple Greek cuisine so popular today. For fellow business partner Mary Galantomos, The Greek On Halifax, draws on family recipes which she and nephew Peter remember from their childhood days - hopefully recreating a little bit of Greek village life in the heart of Adelaide.
“For a lot of the people that have been overseas it rekindles memories of being overseas and how they enjoyed their food.”
The Greek on Halifax team are always keen to capitalise on the freshness of the food available in South Australia like the fresh prawns chef Alan Hickey uses to cook up a classic dish from the Greek islands, "Saganaki Prawns".
“Add our herb olive to the pan. Quickly add the prawns. Now we're going to add our dry white wine to the prawns. Keeping the pan hot with a little flame we add our basil and tomato sauce.”
This is simplicity itself. Once the prawns are cooked in the sauce Alan adds a few dollops of feta cheese. When melted it's transferred to the skillet for serving.
“We serve it with a little rice on the side and some nice strong salad greens such as rocket or mozuma. That brings out the flavour of the dish. And that's it.”
Saganaki Prawns - just one of the dishes on the menu at The Greek on Halifax. It's open daily for lunch and dinner.
To arrange and confirm your booking please phone (08) 8223 3336
The Greek On Halifax
75-79 Halifax St
Adelaide, South Australia, 5000
Open 7 days a week except public holidays
Phone: (08) 8223 3336
Fax: (08) 8223 2823
You can also visit their web site www.thegreek.com.au