I really don’t know where to start with this review.
After years of living and working in Greece, as well as numerous holidays there, Greek food is definitely one of my loves. However, like most cuisines that I adore, it needs to be authentic.
Many years back, we visited The Real Greek in Covent Garden and although featuring a menu hosting many Cypriot themed dishes, the food was decent and the feeling of the restaurant was warm and homely.
So when The Real Greek finally announced their presence in Manchester, I was excited to see what they had bought to the city.
Planning to visit a few weeks back, I communicated my intentions to India, who’s many years living in Kefalonia, demand a high level of likeness to the fantastic Greek food on our beloved Island. Unfortunately one look at the menu and she immediately decided she didn’t want to go.
With myself still determined to at least give it a go, I ventured along to the Corn Exchange having spent a fantastic day at the return of NRB to the city.
I entered the restaurant and I’m shown to a seat with a fairly nonchalant manner and handed a menu. A few moments later a second member of staff asks if I’m ready to order. Although feeling somewhat rushed, I glance down and order the closest I can find to familiar dishes.
Spicy Feta Dip (£5.25), named Htipiti, is a dish that I know more as Tirokafteri and is one that I adore, especially the one served at our favourite Gyros restaurant in kefalonia named La Dokolla, so that’s a must, which I order alongside a portion of Pita (£3.40)
Next I look for the closest this they have to a Gyros and opt for a Pork Belly Souvlaki Wrap.
My starter of Dip and Pita is served on a kind of 3 tier cake stand, more suited to an afternoon tea.
The pita is of good quality and clearly the kind only found from an authentic Greek importer, unfortunately the dip is far from what I expect.
The texture is somewhat oily and lacked the punch of flavour i would usually expect from this dish.
Next came the Souvlaki Wrap (£6.75), which whilst not the worst wrap I’ve eaten, definitely did not transport me to Greece with its flavours. Again it was somewhat bland, lacking sauce and pork belly that was a little on the dry side.
Whilst eating I overheard the couple sat next to me making comments about there food too. It turned out he was Greek and like me was a little shocked at how unlike real Greek, The Real Greek was!
My visit left me very underwhelmed and although I only had two small dishes, it really didn’t leave me with a want of going back anytime soon. In fact the only thing it did inspire, was a trip to the local Gyros takeaway and the making of my own homemade Tirokafteri.
As you can see from the pictures, both were very different from those served up at The Real Greek, which I’m sorry to say, is anything but real Greek!!