Hasika (in Greek “Χάσικα”) is a Cretan gourmet restaurant that raises the culinary standards of the city of Rethymno. It offers small meze-style dishes that are easily shared, based on local ingredients. The place has a warm and cozy ambience and combines traditional with modern elements in its decor. The menu comprises smaller dishes that can act as starters, rich salads and more substantial meat and seafood dishes that can be ordered as mains. Meat dishes are mainly based on pork or beef. The smoked pork with chickpeas and the beef liver we tried were exceptional. Highlight of the seafood dishes are squid and octopus, prepared in creative ways. The ingredients are locally sourced from all over the island. The chef combines his ingredients in creative ways resulting in well-balanced tastes without letting you forget that you are having Cretan food! The outcome is gourmet Cretan cuisine of very high standard.
In the heart of the old town of Rethymno, near the cathedral. It is easily and quickly accessible on foot from anywhere in Rethymno. As it really centrally located, it receives a location score of 3 out of 3 (🗺️🗺️🗺️). However, do not expect to park your car nearby, so it gets only 1 out of 3 in parking score (🅿️)
Ambience, comfort, decor
Hasika restaurant is located in a typical old house of the old town of the picturesque Rethymno and features an open kitchen. It has a small indoor seating area accommodating around 25 guests. The place has a warm and cozy ambience and combines traditional with modern elements in its decor. The pickled products, cured meats and dips are displayed in a grocery style window, visible from the exterior. This gives the restaurant a casual and yet trendy touch. The elegant but yet small seating area justifies an ambience/comfort score of 2 out of 3 (💺💺). As the seating area is small, it would not be very comfortable for small children, justifying a kids score of 1 out of 3 (👦). Note that there are also few tables outdoors on the street, however this outdoor serving area is nothing special and not particularly suitable for summer months. Therefore, it receives an outdoor score of 1 out of 3 (⛱️).
Food, quality, quantity
The portions at Hasika are small for the Cretan standards, justifying a food quantity score of 1 out of 3 (🥣). The quality is exceptional and the restaurant receives a well-deserved 3 out of 3 quality score (✅✅✅). The restaurant can easily cater for pescatarians, justifying a 2 out of 3 vegetarian score (🌱🌱). Note also that there is not house wine served (in a carafe), as in most Cretan restaurants, so one has to resort to more expensive bottled wines. Therefore, we provide no housewine score for Hasika. Note, however, that there is an exceptional selection of bottled Cretan wines in fairly good prices.
The menu comprises smaller meze dishes that can act as starters, rich salads and more substantial meat and seafood dishes that can be ordered as mains. The starter meze selection greatly features Cretan pickled products (“toursi”), such as artichokes (“agkinares”), capers (“kapari”), edible bulbs (“volvi”). Furthermore, local cheeses, such as “Graviera” or “Tirozouli” can also be ordered as starters. Smaller starters also comprise smoked and salty fish dishes (“psaria pasta”). Salads are creatively refreshing, incorporating some of what Cretan soil can offer.
The mains are divided into meat based or seafood based ones. Meat dishes include dishes mainly based on pork or beef. We tried the smoked pork with chickpeas and the beef liver, both of which were exceptional. Highlight of the seafood dishes are squid and octopus, prepared in creative ways.
One downside was the not so fresh bread that was offered.
Fast, friendly and attentive service, receiving a 3 out of 3 score (💁💁💁).
As dessert, we were offered a northern Greek style “bougatsa” (type of custard pie) that was one of the best we have ever had. Note however that dessert was really small. The usual raki that accompanied the dessert was of very high quality.
Reservation is almost necessary, as there are not many tables.
Price and overall score
The price for a full meal is between € 25,00 and € 30,00 per person (price level: €€(€)) including drinks (bottled wine). It is significantly more expensive than average for Rethymno but fairly reasonable for the offered standard; it is a truly gourmet restaurant. Hasika is a highly recommended restaurant for trying creative Cretan cuisine made of locally sourced ingredients. We give the restaurant an overall score of 2 out of 3 (⭐⭐) as the offered value for money is affected by the relatively high price.
Review last edited: 15/03/2019
© Review and photos by Agisilaos Papadogiannis