The Real Greek has officially opened in Cabot Circus; a chain restaurant that is known for serving exciting, authentic and flavourful Greek mezze dishes alongside some delicious – and very easily drinkable – wines.
We went along to see if this restaurant could compete with the other well-established Greek and Eastern Mediterranean eateries available in Bristol. The restaurant itself is light, spacious and covered in the Greek national colours of blue and white – everything you would want and expect from a Greek restaurant.
Now let’s talk about the food! Even though we were advised by our lovely waiter to go for three plates per person… we ended up getting four dishes each.
We went for the tiropitakia (filo pastry parcels with a leek, spinach and feta filling), halloumi fries, grilled tiger prawns, grilled aubergine with garlic and tomato sauce, lamb cutlets, grilled octopus, pork belly and the gigandes plaki (beans, slow-cooked in a tomato sauce). All our dishes were served together on a stand which really added some excitement to the meal – it also made our eight portions look extremely daunting, but we still plowed on through every plate. Because we are troopers like that.
Highlights? Definitely the octopus; it was smothered in a herb oil, making it incredibly tender and juicy. The lamb cutlets were succulent, nicely charred and tasted amazing with the lentils and minted yoghurt. The halloumi fries were wonderfully crisp and the yoghurt, honey and mint dip was the perfect accompaniment.
The only let downs for me were the aubergine, as it wasn’t soft enough for my liking (personal preference coming into play here), and the food overall wasn’t as piping hot as it should have been. That could have been because we were making our own houmous with the wonderful Tonia Buxton when our dishes were served, so that may have been partly our fault.
The best dish for me was the pudding. Their Greek filo pastry pie was absolutely incredible; smooth, creamy, light and crispy all at once. I would go back just for that to be completely honest.
Overall, I thought it was pretty decent; the portion sizes overall matched the prices (approx £4.50 – £7.50), and the service was great. The food doesn’t quite match the offerings you get with the infamous Indies or The Athenian, but if you’re looking to enjoy some flavourful mezze dishes for a late lunch or mellow evening meal with a few friends then I would give this place a go. Make sure you have enough room for pudding!