Amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dimitris and Katja, known as the ‘power couple’, came together to create a sanctuary for food enthusiasts and soulful gatherings in Malta – Yiamas Greek Tavernaki. The inception of their first restaurant in September 2021 marked the birth of their shared vision, a venture inspired by the rich tapestry of Greek culture and the joy of bringing people together through food. After the successes of their first venture, the couple expanded with a second restaurant, Mykonos by Yiamas, which opened its doors in quaint Cospicua, in 2022.
“Dimitris is a true Greek, everything is “sigá–sigá’’ (a Greek expression very often used to mean ‘‘slowly slowly’’, a way to signal to someone that there is ‘‘no rush – it will be done”). Katja, on the other hand, is a multi-tasker who doesn’t know how to sit still!”
Dimitris, a 52-year-old Greek native from Thessaloniki, and Katja, a 39-year-old Berlin-born woman of Italian and Maltese descent, might seem like an unlikely pair, but as the saying goes, opposites do attract! Dimitris, with his extensive experience in tourism and a laid-back Greek demeanor, balances Katja’s energetic and organised nature. Their love story, akin to an epic Greek tale, led Dimitris to become, in his words, a “love immigrant,” leaving his beloved homeland to start a new chapter in Malta with Katja.
Their shared love for good food transcends mere gastronomy. For them, food is the thread that weaves friendships, seals business deals, and celebrates life’s milestones. Having explored, through their common profession in tourism, countless restaurants worldwide, they decided to create a place that embodied their love for authentic cuisine, Greek flavour and genuine hospitality.
Influenced by Mediterranean food culture and their collective Greek and Maltese heritage, they share the belief that food is not just sustenance but a way of life. The significance of sharing meals, the honour in inviting someone to your table, and the joy of savouring simple, fresh ingredients shapes their culinary philosophy.
(Yiamas means ‘’To our health’’ often used when cheering to a drink, Taverna = typical Greek restaurant, aki = signifies small, hence Tavernaki, a little Greek Taverna)
Yiamas Greek Tavernaki was conceived as more than just a restaurant; it was an embodiment of their shared ethos. Their aim was clear: to offer an authentic Greek experience, transporting diners to the sun-kissed shores of Greece with every bite. The couple import speciality ingredients directly from Greece and brought in staff who shared their passion and warmth. When patrons step into their restaurant, they’re treated not just as customers; but welcomed as friends. Greeted with a shot of ouzo and genuine smiles, guests leave with cherished memories of true Greek hospitality.
Each dish served at Yiamas Greek Tavernaki and Mykonos by Yiamas pays homage to the richness and diversity of Greek cuisine, a celebration of flavours, and a testament to their love for food and people.
Greek cuisine, often referred to as the ‘Mediterranean Triad’ – revolves around three key ingredients; wheat, olive oil, and wine. Its artful simplicity, celebrates the natural flavours of seasonal and local ingredients like tomatoes, oregano, olive oil, and fresh meats and fish.
At Yiamas Greek Tavernaki and Mykonos by Yiamas, every meal is a journey, an experience carefully curated with love and authenticity, echoing the essence of Greek culture – a warm embrace, a hearty “Yiamas”, and a taste of Greece’s soul.