How Greek Is The Real Greek’s Cuisine?

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Simply Woman recently visited the Bankside branch of The Real Greek restaurant chain, located a short walk from London Bridge or Cannon Street stations. Set by the river front, and part of a small complex of shops, it is accessible to city workers or those preferring an alternative location to traditional west end bustle. However, don’t be fooled. The large dining area with seating for 165, and the integrated long bar ensure as much atmosphere here as in any central London eaterie. Sliding doors along the restaurant’s façade provide access to the ‘patio’ area which boats further outdoor seating for a truly Mediterranean dining experience. The restaurant is close to The Globe theatre and Tate Modern galleries.

Main menu

 We found a comprehensive traditional menu with the usual selection of starters to full blown hot dishes and platters /hot and cold mezes for two or more people. Special menus are in place for children and larger parties. With the help of our waiter we chose a starter consisting of Greek flatbread, Greek olives, watermelon, mint & feta salad, melitzanosalata aubergine dip. Main course – tiger prawns with garlic & chilli, grilled octopus tossed in olive oil, grilled naked kalamari – refreshingly different from the battered rings commonly served everywhere, lamb kefte which was delicious minced lamb balls on skewers, slow roasted tasty pieces of pork belly and spices. A glass of house rose went beautifully with our dishes. We highly recommend you try the pork belly if nothing else, it is to die for! The portions were huge, but the bill not excessive. Two can easily enjoy a satisfying meal here for £40, not excessive for London.

Simply Woman enjoyed Greek yoghurt and ice cream, and could not go away without the traditional Baklava – delicious layered filo pastry with honey, crushed walnuts and pistachios. The coffee was served in three strengths, unsweetened, medium and sweet. On request the waiter kindly brought Ouzo, a traditional aperitif, which surprisingly went down well and was the right pH for the palette after the blend of food flavours we’d tried. Those watching their waistline will be pleased to note the calorie counter beside most dishes and all the deserts!

Wooden flooring, chairs and tables in a dark oak. Occasional leather pews provide variety. Unobtrusive long bar with stools, minimalist free-hanging light bulbs without shades (apart from the bar area). Contemporary Greek watercolours depicting whitewashed housing grace plain walls. The simplicity and al fresco feel is very welcoming.

Staff Service
Prompt and attentive, we found the staff waiting on our every whim. Staff nationalities appeared to be European, but not Greek. Did it matter? Not a jot! All around we saw bums on seats, and despite the weather not being great at that time, punters were all too keen to sit outside and enjoy the tranquil views across the Thames. We soaked the atmosphere till almost midnight, when the staff began cashing up. We found no waiting time on any of the tables, the way some other restaurants do.

We enjoyed our experience. Well cooked, flavoursome food, friendly service, ambient atmosphere and location. We can safely recommend this branch to our readers.

About The Real Greek
The Real Greek was founded in 1999 by celebrity chef Theodore Kyriakou, and his team. London restaurants opened as follows – Bankside (2004), Marylebone (2005), Covent Garden (2006), Westfield London (2008), Spitalfields (2008) & Westfield Stratford City (2011).

** Currently The Real Greek is offering 7 dishes and 2 drinks for two, for £20.

Visit Bankside at Units 1-2, Riverside House, 2A Southwark Bridge Road, London, SE1 9HA
Opening hours:
Monday to Saturday: 11:30 – 23:00. Sunday: 11:30 – 22:30.
See for more mouth-watering information.

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