A rain-free evening last night saw me sailing across Southwark
Bridge on my trusty steed (bike not horse) in my quest to find The
Real Greek - not the fake Greek which may be found in Greece - The
Real Greek which is found on the Southbank next to Ofcom. As I
greeted my dining companion LGW who had been waiting patiently for
me for a couple (about twenty) minutes she said the kindly waiter
had called her "Sir" approximately 4 times since she arrived but
being the queer andro type, she kind of loved it and was already
pleased with the attentive service, as she supped on a glass of red
We quickly settled into our bankside river seats which were pretty
cosy and took some maneuvering to get in and out of but I suppose
real-estate is costly in this area and the view once I was
crowbarred into said seat was beautiful especially as the sun began
to set over the Thames and iconic buildings like St Paul's became
alive in the dark. The menu at The Real Greek (TRG) is vast and to
give you an idea of how it works, it's similar to that at a tapas
restaurant with a small list of starters and then a list of hot and
cold meze which you can mix and match to your liking with the cold
meze coming out ahead of the hot ones.
We decided to opt for some black olives to nibble on whilst we
chose our meze and chatted about girls who are into fingering ears.
Hmm. LGW was initially hesitant at my choice of black olives,
claiming that they often, in her opinion, have a more muted flavour
than that of their green counterparts but that when these arrrived
they were in fact sublime and very flavoursome! Our appetite was
now truly whetted for what else TRG had to offer.
In terms of cold meze we were tempted by the classic humus and
flatbread option but then, in a last ditch attempt to be daring
ordered the thing we couldn't say 'Melitzanosalato' which is a dip
made mainly of smoked aubergine, with garlic, shallots and lemon.
Further to this we ordered crudites with 'Htipiti', also mainly
ordered for 'saying outloud comedy' reasons but were disappointed
to find out they had run out of it (but pleased we could hear
someone say it out loud again, teehee). We had taramasalata instead
and to top that off, some Dolmades, which are sweet-ish little rice
packages wrapped in vine leaves. I left most of the crudites to LGW
and concentrated my efforts on the carbs, flatbreads. The
Melitzanosalata (thank God for cut and paste) was quite an unusual
tasting "dip", with a fresh but also smokey taste. I think 'dip' is
possibly a poor description of this dish though as it was quite
hard to get a purchase on it with my flatbread unlike the creamy,
smooth taramasalata, which I would definitely describe as an out
and out 'dip'.
The hot meze quickly arrived and towered over us on handy little
tiered stands, maybe if things 'tower' over you, you have
over-ordered? A thought for next time. We had in front of us,
grilled halloumi, tiger prawns, with garlic and chilli, grilled
Kalamari with a honey and paprika marinade and lamb skewers with a
lemony mayo. I also had a classic Greek salad to go with as, this
is the REAL GREEK is it not? Everything that was in front of us was
delicious and tasted fresh and full of flavour. Particularly the
kalamari which tasted like it had come straight off of a barbeque.
We took our time, as I got the impression this is the way this food
is eaten best, at a slow relaxing pace, shared with friends, or
lovers. The restaurant was full even on a Monday night and I could
tell the outside seats were much sought after and would be even
better when summer has proper landed.
As dusk drew in and the light started to fade it would have been
just perfect to have had a little tea light put on our table to add
a bit more of a magical atmosphere or intimacy for a couple but it
wasn't a deal-breaker. We finished off the meal with a caramel and
pecan cheesecake, a piece of baklava and a REAL Greek coffee which
would could be ordered as sweet, medium or bitter. Not brave enough
to try the bitter option, LGW went for medium which came delivered
in a strange and what I can only assume was an authentic Greek
coffee pouring device which kept the coffee granules at the bottom.
The sweet desserts with the strong coffee were a perfect mix and
were zinging around my mouth all the way home. The meal in total
came to approximately £30 per head which whilst not super cheap is
not bad for 3 courses + a glass of wine, served with a great view
and exceptionally warm and efficient service.