Monday 5 August 2019
A TASTE OF SUMMER @ SUVLAKI
It’s not easy to find a decent dining spot on Brick Lane, especially if Indian isn’t your think (my last bout of food poisoning was after a visit to an Indian restaurant that shall remain unnamed so I am somewhat put off this cuisine for life) but there are a few notable exceptions.
I have raved about French small plate restaurant Blanchette East on the blog before, being a big fan of their very Parisian style atmosphere and modern take on French classics, but was more than delighted to discover another great dinner option on Brick Lane in the shape of Suvlaki. Even more so because Suvlaki really got me in the mood for the summer holidays with their Greek small plate offering, bursting with sunshine flavours, and unique take on the traditional souvlaki (meat or veg chargrilled on a skewer and sometimes served in a pitta bread wrap).
The interiors really do make you feel as if you were in a proper Greek taverna and the menu is great if you love to share, which I do, as you get to try as many different flavours as possible. Not all small plates were perfect, the Greek salad was a real disappointment and rather odd with a prominence of green peppers, but the basics were done to perfection. The pita bread was gorgeous and we adored the aubergine and rose aioli dips. A small plate of baked feta, sprinkled with plenty of oregano, was out of this world delicious, and I adored the baked aubergine with plenty of pomegranates and crumbled cheese on top, aubergine is not always easy to get right but here it was done to perfection.
Skip the deep-fried croquettes and fritters (am I the only one that always finds croquettes a little disappointing no matter where you have them?!), and instead try your way across the suvlaki section of the menu. You can have the meat, fish or veg of your choice, either served on a skewer or in a mini wrap, and with each priced around £5-7 I suggest a couple per person at least. My meat eating dining companion's aged Scottish lamb skewer was generously portioned and came on a bed of chilli beet, broccoli cous cous and herb sauce, while I went for the pitta mini wrap option and was not left disappointed. My spicy king prawns were perfectly cooked and worked a dream in the hot mini wrap, served with rose aioli (I am hooked), cherry tomato confit and baby watercress, and I also really enjoyed the veggie mini wrap option of mastelo, a goats cheese very similar to halloumi, grilled veg and you guessed more rose aioli!
Our dinner at Suvlaki was not perfect, service felt a bit off at times as one waiter was looking after the whole dining room, but I adored the fresh flavours and modern take on Greek cooking that Suvlaki has committed itself to. It’s the perfect place for a light yet satisfying summer dinner, sharing plates with your nearest and dearest, made for catching up and plotting future holidays - Suvlaki being a very welcome discovery in my hood that got me intrigued to explore the Greek cuisine in more depth.