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|Address:||12-14 Hillgate Street, London W8 7SR|
|Tel:||020 7229 3794|
|Price: £40.00||Wine: £19.00||Champagne: £45.00|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 10am-12M (Sat-Sun 12N- )|
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My knowledge of Greek food doesn't go much further than feta and taramasalata so I wasn't desperate for a full Greek experience and in fact my dining companion (who has a Greek girlfriend), did say it was a little West London'd Greek food. However, that doesn't detract from how good it was.
The concept of the sharing menu is both excellent and a challenge for me, especially in this restaurant since they have so much aubergine and courgette in the dishes. I realise these are staples of Greek cuisine but these are two vegetables I really can't stand, so there was a lot of compromising as we decided on which dishes we would share. The waiter was happy to both recommend the right amount of food if we were hungry (we were) and also put up with my exceptionally particular wine requirements, to the point of letting me taste a couple before deciding.
In the end we chose two jars, the Oak Smoked Potato salad and the Squid Ink Fava Bean puree. I loved the way the food was presented. Really charming but they were both so fabulous, that I wish I could have had them to myself. If it hadn't been both undignified and nigh on impossible to reach, I could have licked the jars to get every last morsel out. Incredible flavours that married together so well. The Greek salad we chose (very good but standard Greek salad really) was a great accompaniment.
The hot meals were another strenuous negotiation. My friend wanted the courgette cakes but he also wanted the pork tenderloin, celery and leek pie. I wasn't keen on either so we split the difference. We still had the pork but the courgettes were cast aside in favour of the monkfish. I still found the pork a little too heavy but good and the monkfish was just wonderfully prepared. No boring, dull, tasteless fish here. Very impressive.
The dessert menu was a mixture of words I just didn't understand though the waiter did try and explain, I think the use of the word ‘fondant’ is misleading for something that is essentially a small cake. It had quite a heavy consistency and was a little too much after that meal. My friend had the loukoumades, which are like little round doughballs. They were described as profiterole type things but I think that was in shape only. Dessert was probably slightly disappointing after it had been preceded by such great food.
I liked the extra touches, like the shot of Greek liquor infused with lemon, prior to the meal. They offered my friend have his dessert for free because it had taken a while to get to the table. They also didn't rush us out of the restaurant, despite reminding me on the phone that it was a 2 hour window.
My only quibbles would be that it was a very small space so we were all practically eating on top of each other. Very tight for the number of tables. It was also ridiculously hot, so hot that we had to go and stand outside for a few minutes, as we both felt a little overheated. They did attempt to help us by opening the door to the garden, only to be full of complaints from diners who thought it was instantly really cold. Considering how nice an evening it was on Saturday, I just couldn't believe that.
Still, I can't praise the food enough. This restaurant is really worth a visit but it's so small that this is definitely one you need to reserve ahead of time.