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Greek restaurant London

London, Restaurants

Dinner at Suvlaki, Soho

Last year, I visited Greece for the first time and was wowed by the fresh, comforting local food.  I’ve been craving proper Greek grilled meat since and was thrilled to discover Suvlaki – a fabulous modern Athenian grill in Soho.

This bijou restaurant and take-away grill may be petite (with just 34 tightly-squeezed covers), but it really packs a punch, from its exquisite food to its vibrant graffitied exterior and buzzing atmosphere.

Suvlaki Soho

This spot on Bateman Street has long been a Greek restaurant, but Suvlaki recently relaunched with a fresh new look courtesy of Greek designer Afroditi Krassa.  It feels urban and sleek with ink-hued walls, pendant lamps, satirical graffiti on the walls and even a backdrop of classical-style stone columns – far from a typical Greek taverna.

There’s also a new menu for spring by chef Alfred Prassad with a bigger variety of dishes and a focus on simplicity and great produce.

Suvlaki Soho

We visited Suvlaki earlyish on a mid-week evening and it started to fill very quickly.  We ordered bottles of Loux Greek lemonade and started with a Cheese nibble – grilled mastelo cheese with fig marmalade on pita. The cheese was springy and nicely browned with sweet stickiness from the fig marmalade, wrapped in slices of soft, fluffy pita, which comes all the way from Chasiotis bakery on the outskirts of Athens.

Suvlaki Soho grilled mastelo cheese

Another tasty snack was the very moreish Fava dip, made with smooth fava beans, salty capers and extra-virgin olive oil, served with more of that delightful pita.

For the main course, I couldn’t resist the trio of Suvlaki skewers (there is a choice of five), cooked over charcoal on the robata-style grill.  The pork skewer was ever so tender and finished with a subtle honey glaze while the chicken thigh marinated in Florina peppers and tarragon was juicy with crispy edges and a slight aromatic flavour.

Suvlaki Soho skewers

The lamb mince was very different to the other two, almost like a Greek burger seasoned with bold Athenian spices.  It was so tasty and satisfying and it kept the dish varied and interesting.  Of course, it came with even more pitta – lightly brushed with traditional mastiha liqueur – as well as a piquant tomato sauce, cool tzatziki and a wedge of lemon to season.

Steven enjoyed the trio of Suvlaki wraps, including the same choice of grilled meats or mastelo cheese with vegetables, plus the addition of plum tomatoes, parsley-glazed red onion, lettuce and tzatziki.  They each came individually wrapped and were just as delicious as the skewers.

Suvlaki Soho wraps

While Suvlaki is all about the mouth-watering locally sourced grilled meat, it also focuses on meze sharing plates.  We loved the Lentil salad – a fresh and zingy dish made with florina pepper, spring onion, crumbled feta and balsamic vinegar.

Suvlaki Soho lentils with florina pepper

The Fresh chips sprinkled with oregano are also a must – they’re golden, crispy and served piping hot, just as they should be.  Suvlaki recommends ordering two side dishes each, but we were rather full by this point and couldn’t manage any more plates.  If you arrive with a rumbling tummy, go for the full works with the Suvlaki exuberance for two to share – it offers a generous taste of Suvlaki’s offering.

Suvlaki Soho fresh chips

Desserts are typically Greek but with a twist and you can try the famous fig spoon sweet (dried fruit drenched in sweet syrup) with rustic buffalo milk mastiha ice cream.  I really liked the dense, rich Chocolate biscuit cake (usually served with home-made Greek coffee ice cream, but I ask for it without), but the two slices were difficult to finish – one to share is more than enough.

Steven’s Samos to Soho cheesecake was a light and refreshing mix of Greek wild honey, candied ginger, mastiha and citrus meringue.  Both desserts were pleasing and finished the meal off perfectly, but you may be tempted instead by the many savoury snacks.

Suvlaki chocolate biscuit cake

Suvlaki is a top quality neighbourhood spot with sensational food, modest pricing and above all, plenty of charisma.  I know that I’ll be heading back this summer for a pita burger or to attempt the Suvlaki exuberance – the aromas of smoky grilled meat lingering through Soho are too hard to resist!

For more information and take-away ordering, visit:

Chérie City was a guest of Suvlaki

Food images by Chérie City and interiors by Suvlaki 

London, Restaurants

As Greek As It Gets – Earls Court, London

As Greek As It Gets is the place to go if you’re craving comforting traditional Greek dishes in a modern, stylish setting.

Located in well-heeled Earls Court, As Greek As It Gets is low-key, relaxed and friendly – no boisterous plate smashing or dancing here.  The two-floor restaurant has a sleek, contemporary design with homely, quirky touches such as a huge map of Greece and family photographs adorning the walls.  Many of the ingredients are sourced directly from Greece, so the name of the restaurant is certainly appropriately.

We were warmly welcomed by owner Dimitri Karonis, who guided us through the menu and suggested that we order dishes that we hadn’t tried before.  While navigating the menu, we were brought some fluffy, garlic-infused bread and plump marinated green olives to graze on.

It’s an absolute must to start the meal with Houmous (£3.95) and pitta bread.  The home-made houmous is cool and fresh, with a thick texture that is just in between chunky and smooth.  The Klassiki (£1) white pitta bread topped with oregano was the best I’ve ever tasted – so light and springy.

To start, we tried the Garidaki (£5.50) – crispy baby prawns with rosemary dip.  They were sadly a little disappointing as they weren’t crispy at all, the flavours were rather bland and they were served tepid.

Much more satisfying was the Tigania Xoirini (£6.20) – pork strips in retsina wine and cream.  The pork was tender and slow-cooked with red peppers in a thick, creamy, wine-infused sauce.  It was so delicious that we couldn’t help mopping up every last bit of the sauce.

To follow, Steven tried the Psaronefri (£13.95) – pork fillet with blue cheese sauce.  The pork was succulent and juicy, coated with a creamy, intensely-flavoured blue cheese sauce.  It was accompanied by a thick slice of char-grilled aubergine with a fresh tomato and feta salsa, served cold.  It’s worth ordering a side dish or some extra bread, as the pork is tasty but may not be substantial enough on its own.

I was tempted by the Yiaourtlou (£12.95) – beef meatballs, yoghurt, pitta and tomato sauce.  The four large charcoal-grilled meatballs were nicely browned and smoky on the outside and cooked medium on the inside, making them less dry than regular meatballs.  They were served on small chunks of pitta bread and topped with Greek yoghurt and a fresh, sweet roasted tomato sauce.  It was a delicious combination and very filling – real Greek comfort food.

For dessert, Dimitri brought us a selection of sweets to try.  We sampled an exceptionally good Yiaourti me meli kai karidia (£5.50) – yogurt, honey and walnuts and another topped with berries.  I was intrigued by the Galaktoboureko (£5.50) – home made milk pie, and absolutely adored it.  A creamy set custard is packed between thin sheets of filo pastry and soaked in fragrant honey – just heavenly.

As we visited just before Christmas, we also had the chance to try some Kourambiedes – Greek Christmas biscuits.  The light, buttery biscuits were made with ground almonds and were covered in icing sugar – a perfect way to finish the meal.  We accompanied the biscuit with pots of Earl Grey tea, but for something a little strong, try the strong Greek coffee.

As Greek As It Gets offers Greek food at its very best, with great cooking and top quality ingredients.  It has real personality as a neighbourhood restaurant but could also work very well as a boutique chain of restaurants, as long as the authenticity and attention to detail wouldn’t be compromised.  So, go beyond the souvlaki and mousaka and discover some new favourites at As Greek As It Gets.

For more information and booking, visit:

Chérie City was a guest of As Greek As It Gets

Photos by Chérie City and As Greek As It Gets

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