It’s not often that I get the chance to spend time with my family in one go, so when we do go out (especially when they’ve travelled from Newcastle to London) it is really important that we have a good time. After my disastrous experience at Taheki only the night before, I was relieved to hear that my dad’s birthday celebrations would be taking place at a Greek restaurant rather than an Indian one.
I’ve been to the Real Greek on Long Acre before, although I am aware that this is just one of a London-based chain. There’s one around the corner from me in Hoxton, although I haven’t yet ventured through their doors quite yet. The Long Acre restaurant looks un-remarkable from the outside with blue window ledges and signs advertising their cheap lunch sharing platter offer of £6.95 a head.
However, upon stepping inside, you are instantly hit by the atmosphere of this small restaurant which is usually crammed full of people from 5:30 onwards. The place is buzzing and the waiting staff are always on hand to offer assistance and advice in a friendly and non-patronising manner. Towards the end of our meal, the lovely manager came out with a cake for my dad (something which had been pre-arranged by my sister) and upon finding out he was turning 57 he was very vocal in wishing him many happy returns.
Yet the thing that makes The Real Greek so special is the food itself, which is so spectacularly tasty that it’s almost difficult to describe. The menu itself is a mezze where you choose 2 or 3 mini-dishes to make up your meal or to share around the table. For a group of people who are particularly well – acquainted this is the perfect way to eat and socialise at the same time. From the Butter bean stew and the sumptuous feta and spinach parcels to the speciality belly pork flavoured with paprika, each mouthful of every dish didn’t fail to disappoint. The hummus in particular, tasted like a little piece of paradise in the heart of the city – if you try only one thing from the menu then make sure it’s the hummus.
The menu also has calorie values down the side which was beneficial to the two members of the party who were on diets! It also has a fantastic range of food suitable for both picky eaters and vegetarians and does all of this without fleecing you through the nose with service charge.
Of course, as with all good things, The Real Greek has a drawback and this was the chairs. It wasn’t that they were uncomfortable, just that they were so high that mounting them presented some difficulties. Particularly to people such as myself who are both vertically challenged always wearing heels to compensate. Once up there though, they are surprisingly comfortable.
Thus far, The Real Greek has to be one of my favourite restaurants in London. It is not exactly suitable for EVERY occasion, and I would avoid it for a first date or a business meeting, but for a night out with good food and friendly service I will most definitely be going back there again