20 July 2011

Central London - Covent Garden - The Real Greek


On a sunny (yea, I'm surprised as well) weekend afternoon in London, some friends and I met up in Covent Garden for a much overdue lunch.  I don't typically go out of my way for Greek food as it doesn't fit my Chinese or Italian obsession, but we landed at The Real Greek.

As expected in Central, it was quite busy from the moment you walked through the door. Not that there was an overflowing amount of restaurant-goers jumping at the chance to go to The Real Greek - but because the two or three servers couldn't keep up with their tables.  It's not exceptionally large inside, and the seating arrangement feels more like a big family dinner where you share your tables with distant cousins and crazy uncles.

It took us about 5 minutes to read through the menu and decide what we wanted for lunch.  It took the staff about 25 minutes to finally take our order.  The portions were served in a tapas style, with smaller plates that could potentially be for sharing - lending more to that feeling of a large family dinner. As they are cramped for space, the servings are brought out as plates on a tall rack rather than several plates that will further clutter the table.

Dishes ranged from about £4 - £7 each, so if you have a big appetite and a small budget make sure you go with a larger group so you can share each other's portions. I ordered a red pepper and feta dip with pita, some olives and a pork skewer. I may not be the best judge of Greek cuisine, but the best thing I had that afternoon was the £14 carafe of rose we ordered.   The olives were far too salty, the skewer (yes £5 for one small skewer) had lost all of the juicy qualities that meat should have, and you could barely taste the feta in the dip.  At home I frequented a place called The Happy Greek only for their delicious red pepper and feta dip: Kopanisti. The Real Greek's version did not deliver on my expectations.

I'm not one to dine in Central, and it did feel a bit more like a chain restaurant which is another disadvantage for most of my dining experiences.  I more than likely wouldn't come here again for a meal, definitely not for an intimate meal as there isn't much privacy.  I feel I keep finding places that don't impress me, so I'm not trying to be a Debbie Downer.  However, I do feel that Greek food should burst with vibrant flavours that is as colourful as their dishes - and £15 later, that just didn't happen for me at The Real Greek.

The Real Greek can be found at:

60-62 Long Acre
London
WC2E 9JE
Nearest Tube: Covent Garden

www.therealgreek.com/coventgarden.html

Real Greek Souvlaki & Bar on Urbanspoon
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