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The Ergon chain is famous throughout Greece for its branded products and capacious deli-restaurants, all headed up by national hero Dimitris Skarmoutsos. Now the celeb chef is bidding to replicate
its popularity with a London offshoot near Oxford Street. The split-level space is a Mecca for anyone after Hellenic produce, with shelves of provisions arrayed in the basement deli and a kitchen
that takes these exceptional ingredients to a higher level. Top shouts in the industrial-chic dining room have included sublime, thinly sliced squid in a dark, rich squid-ink tzatziki, and wedges
of oat-rolled, deep-fried Gruyère with a green salad involving pomegranate seeds and orange – although homemade gyros (a mound of slow-cooked pork atop pitta bread) shows that the kitchen can cook
taverna food too. Everything is delivered with Hermes-like speed by T-shirted waiters who also know how to mix a mean cocktail.
I have been living in London for 12 years so far and have been looking for a Greek restaurant with food that actually feels Greek. Sure, there is ‘pretend’ Greek, in the same way, I imagine, that there is ‘pretend’ Italian and ‘pretend’ Chinese – i.e. the British market’s interpretation of those national cuisines. Not always a bad thing but being Greek the situation with Greek restaurants irks me.The most infuriating thing on the menu of ‘pretend’ Greek restaurants is houmous. I was born and raised in Greece and the first time I had houmous was in London. Take it from me, houmous is not a Greek thing. I...
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There’s something brilliant about the idea of Greek food, of sun-drenched Kalamata olives baking under a Mediterranean sky to be picked by lithe, golden-skinned Athenians. This utopian ideal that dictates the way we see Greek food doesn’t always translate on the journey over to London. Although there are enough Greek restaurants of dubious origins here, at Ergon there is plenty to be romanced by.Ergon is a restaurant/deli chain which sells produce from all around Greece, and cultivates a homely, Athenian café-culture. Its first branch in London is a clear hit with homesick Greeks who are lounged about languorously,...
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