My must tries were the bacon croquettes, courgette crisps and lamb chops, I would visit again for these – especially the bacon croquettes. Service was speedy but I would have preferred food to come out a maximum of 3 at a time – some of the food got cold why we were sampling others.
A small Greek restaurant tucked away in Notting Hill.
Stepping through the classically Greek coloured facade of cobalt blue and white, we were faced with a few counter style tables and a large open kitchen taking up the majority of the front part of the restaurant. Our table was booked for 1.30pm and the lunch service was in full swing. Hope it will be as good as some of the places we went in Mykonos (click here to read about it).
The back room, which is where the main dining room was located, was simple and compact with white walls, a beamed ceiling and tiled floor.
The menu was clean, printed out simply on a sheet of A4 paper, unfussy and easy to navigate, which I like and was in keeping with the style of the interior. Food was split under six headings depending on the food group or course – Hors d’oeuvres, Raw, Garden, Fish Market, Butcher and Desserts. There is a good selection as this restaurant serves food tapas style and everything comes in small portions for sharing with the whole table.
First up and for me the highlight of the meal were the Metsovone croquettes, bacon jam, £8. The lack of a side of ‘bacon jam’ threw me at first but I needn’t have been concerned. What we got was a bowl of five balls perfectly breaded and deep fried into bacon and cheesy perfection. Like you remember your best bacon and cheese experience to be – only better. Crispy on the outside and satisfyingly soft and melty inside with a perfect bacon savouriness with every bite- yum yum. Metsovone is a semi-hard smoked cheese produced in the northwestern Greece region of Metsovo.
Courgette crisps katiki domokou with truffle (v) £5, best eaten while hot, thinly sliced disks, fried till lightly crisp were generously truffled and salted. Perfect to whet the appetite and went well with the bottle of Monemvasia red wine £52, apparently a favourite of our server.
From the garden we ordered 3 items. I chose stuffed red pepper with goats cheese and crushed chilli, £7, which came as a large single whole stuffed pepper in a pool of green olive oil. The skinned pepper itself was sweet and had been stuffed with the combined goat cheese and crushed pepper, a bit over salted for me but the slight kick from the chilli was nice. The homemade grilled bread with olive oil and oregano, £2.50, would have been a good paring for this.
Smoked aubergine tahini and honey, £10, looked promising, but was my least favourite dish of the day. The half an aubergine topped with tahini and grilled was somewhat bland. Not much else to say about that.
The scent of truffle from the baked potato, burnt staka butter and black truffle shavings, £12, wafted over to us from halfway across the room and was a hearty portion of semi smashed spuds, skins n all, the most filling of all the dishes we ordered.
From the fish market we made a pick of two things. First was the whole grilled calamari, £14, sadly over charred in places – the tentacles were inedible and the overpowering burnt flavour masked any natural sweetness in the squid, a wasted bit of seafood. The lemon dressing was too sour for my companions but I didn’t mind it.
The other fish dish that caught our fancy was the wild Argentinian prawns, roasted garlic and prawns, £14. These were nice and sweet, nicely grilled and was covered generously with finely chopped chives and red peppers. Our waiter had originally forgotten to add them to our order but we didn’t have to wait too long to get them. I think the prawns must normally come in threes as when we inspected our bill we were charged extra for a fourth prawn that we hadn’t requested.
From the butcher Grilled Lamb Chops, £16 (a pair), were presented on a bed of fresh rosemary sprigs, grilled to perfection, tender, pink and juicy, not too fatty and full of lamb flavour. The quality of the meat spoke for itself, lovely.
Grandmas meatballs, tatziki, £11, these came towards the end of the meal when we were getting full and they went a little cold before we got round to eating them, even so, they were nicely received, very flavoursome and the tatziki paring was good for cutting through the heaviness of the lamb mince.
Already full, but in the name of writing a through review, we managed to squeezed in the only two desserts on the menu. Armenovil, caramelised nuts and hot chocolate ganache, £6, apparently a Thessaloniki speciality. This was a hazelnut version. The crushed meringue and frozen cream dessert was nice enough though I was struggling to find any obvious meringue in it, the caramelised hazelnuts smothered in dark chocolate ganache were stuck so hard together that the only way to get a chunk was to dig hard with your spoon, enough to make a loud clang onto your plate as it exited the other side of your prize. Loud work but I cant imagine anyone who would order this desert who could be so easily put off hazelnuts and chocolate combination, it didn’t put me off, but we did get a sideways glance from a neighbouring table.
Poached pear, frozen Greek yoghurt and cinnamon crumble, £6, was a hit with my companions, I hardly got a bite before it was polished off. The pear was well poached, glossy and red, not too soft and nicely spiced. After the strong flavour of the pear, I didn’t get any cinnamon from the crumble but I’m a big fan of crumble and fro yo too (either individually or together), so it goes without saying I enjoyed it anyway.
Have you been here before? Let me know what you think.