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18 September 2017


i've yet to get to greece, though it's been on my bucket list for a really, really long time. i have always had a special place in my heart for greek food though; garlic, yoghurt, lamb, and honey are some of my favourite foods, and i can't think of a time where i've not stopped to consider a kebab on the way home after a night out, so when miss english invited me to get her to the greek - before she actually headed off to the islands herself - there was no was way i was going to say no.

suvlaki has been a staple in the soho foodies scene for a long time now, but did you know they've just opened a second restaurant in shoreditch? on iconic brick lane, no less, in the multicultural hub of east london. it was super easy to find too, with it's beautiful blue tiled facade and neon sign out the front, and the authentic decor didn't stop there. inside, the black and white marbled tables were paired with contrasting cushions, low hanging and exposed brass lighting, and cracked wall panelling that gave off a certain "age old ruins" kind of vibe. there was no question about it - we were in a greek restaurant.

in true greek style, the dishes are served small so that you can try many, and many we did try. with a bottle of white recommended by the hostess (who was charming, funny and super helpful) ordered, we perused the mighty menu. from feta to pita to hummus and back again, we were torn about which of the many menu items we were going to have to leave off of our order. in the end, we decided on a few favourites, and a few new-to-us dishes, so we could really get a taste of the whole menu. when i say "a few" i mean eight. we ordered eight dishes, just to be safe (and of course that includes fried feta, pita bread, and hummus)(and something called the "cheese nibble" because cheese)(most of the small plates are £5 or under, so they're excellent value).

the most unexpected surprise dish was the roasted aubergine (£4.80). i mean, it sounds pretty simple, right? but it was anything but. roasted to perfection and topped with feta, hazelnuts and pomegranate seeds, it was a dish of beauty. every mouthful was full of complimentary flavours, had a little crunch thanks to the hazelnuts, and sweet bursts of joy thanks to the pomes. everything we ordered we planned to share - naturally - but this dish? i started this dish while katy was eating another, and i could happily have eaten the whole thing myself; it was definitely the stand out dish for me.

another of the highlights for me were the spicy lamb chops (£11). i grew up eating great lamb, right, and i've not really been a big fan of it here in the uk (despite the fine breeding of our sheep), but we wouldn't have felt good about ourselves if we didn't try a lamb dish in a greek restaurant. the meat was marinated in chilli flakes and thyme and drizzled with fresh lemon, and joy of joys, it was incredible. i would happily have eaten just the lamb and the aubergine and left everything else, simply to not have to stop those delicious flavours from ever leaving my mouth.

the only disappointment came at the end of the night; when i think of greek dessert i think of baklava and honeyed donuts and pistachios but there was nothing like that on the menu. instead, there was a cheesecake (£5), a chocolate truffle (£4.50), and a biscuit cake option (£5.50), but none of them really stood out. naturally we ordered all three, but i could have happily had another lamb chop i think. the cheesecake was actually pretty tasty, but it just didn't seem very authentic to me.

all in all though, it is a bloody tasty addition to an already pretty tasty street, and i will absolutely be back soon for more of that aubergine and those chops. i know a good thing when i taste it, and friends, i've tasted it.

*we were guests of suvlaki's, but all words are my own.

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