Real Greek - A Real Suprise

The weather may be grim but you can find a taste of the southern Mediterranean on Putney High Street

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Gone are the days when the only type of Greek food on offer was moussaka. We have also moved on from the days when film character and Liverpudlian housewife Shirley Valentine cooked chips ‘n' egg for British tourists in Greece who wanted to eat something a little more familiar.

The Real Greek, on the corner of Putney High Street and Putney Bridge Road, is one of the company's eight branches across London and offers what it calls ‘Greek street food'.

So in an attempt to bring summer sunshine to soggy south west london we decided to have lunch..... On the menu, the list of both hot and cold ‘mezedes' was extensive and included old favourites like tzatziki and hummous as well as the more unusual grilled octopus, Melitzanosalata (smoked aubergine with garlic, herbs, shallots, spring onions and lemon juice) and Loukaniko and Gigandes (spicy sausage with giant beans). On top of this, there was a selection of grilled kebabs, known as ‘souvlaki', as well as dishes to share: meat, fish and vegetarian.  

There is a lunch menu at £5.49 from which you can choose 3 items my choice;Dolmades (vine leaf parcels of rice, herbs, nuts and raisins) , Santorinian Fava and Spiced Hummus, in addittion I asked for Greek flatbread (£2) - all very generous portions - although I realise that my choices were not very colourful! The items came presented on what looked like a four-tiered cake stand: Greek flatbread on the top, then on the lower levels came the hummus, dolmades and the fava bean paste. For those not au fait with the menu ‘Santorinian fava' is yellow lentils pureed with olive oil and herbs, it was smooth and buttery and went well with the warm bread.

My colleague is a gluten intolerant so my choices were not at all popular and so she chose six mini skewers (£6.95) - you have a choice of chicken, pork and lamb and they come accompanied with your choice from four dips; parsley aioli, smoked chilli relish, sun dried tomato & roast pepper relish or preserved lemon mayonnaise - Emma chose the latter and gave the dish the thumps up.

We shared a greek salad (£3.95) and a well chilled 500ml bottle of Operetta Garganega a pinot grigio (£11.85), well it was a Friday - the service was prompt and friendly - with a kids menu available I shall return with the family over a weekend to see if their taste buds are tempted (for the less cautious there is a burger on that menu which can always be a last resort if they are not prepared to brave the unknown!)

Sandi Bloomfield



July 30, 2009