First Greek restaurant in Sabah and Malaysia

KOTA KINABALU (Apr 16): The first Greek restaurant in Sabah and Malaysia was officially opened at Wisma Sabah, Kota Kinabalu on Tuesday.

Chill Taverna is owned by Greek businessman John Embiricos and his wife Marinah Harris, the youngest daughter of former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh.
In her address at the opening ceremony, Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Christina Liew who is also Api-Api assemblywoman, congratulated Embiricos and Marinah on their initiative, and welcomed the Greek Consul’s family to Sabah.

She said the opening of Chill Taverna marked the beginning of cultural exchange between Greece and Sabah where Malaysians here get to know Greek cuisine, described as a refreshing change.
“To promote friendship, we can hold activities like showcasing our cultural dances from the two destinations in the near future,” Liew enthused.

Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister cum chairman of Sabah Tourism Board (STB) Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Consul of Greece in Malaysia StyLianos Plainiotis were also present at the opening ceremony.

Guests were served Greek platter, pastries, yoghurt, salad, spinach pie, cheese pie and cookies, particularly two signature dishes (Moussaka – minced beef cooked in tomatoes and Greek spices, and Kleftiko Lamb – slow oven baked with potatoes, lemon, tomatoes and herbs).

Also present were the Consul-General of Japan for East Malaysia, Yamashita Yoshito, former Kota Kinabalu City Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai, and STB Chief Executive Officer Julinus Jeffery Jimit.
Yeo recalled that Marinah initiated the “No More Plastic in our Waters” or “NOW” project in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment and Kota Kinabalu City Hall when he was the mayor.