Should you be in Soho and fancy something other than the now ubiquitous bouji burger joints that seem to pepper the area at every corner, you could do much worse than head to Bateman Street’s Grecian paradise, Suvlaki. Housed in an intimate – read: remarkably small – space, the miniature proportions of the venue seem to suit its easy-going and unpretentious atmosphere; it’s very much somewhere to head with friends, huddle together on a bench, and pile those miniature tables high with an assortment of side plates and sharing goodies. You’ll probably make a mess, but who cares, right?
The main event, as you may have gleaned from the restaurant’s name, are the suvlkai themselves: succulent skewers of pork, lamb, or chicken (a particularly flavoursome highlight steeped in Florina peppers and tarragon, which may surprise those who dismiss chicken as bland and unimaginative) that come beautifully cooked and tastefully seasoned. Stuff them in a flatbread with a healthy dollop of tzatziki and you can’t really go wrong. It’s simple fare here – don’t expect any needless wheel reinvention – but Suvlaki’s commitment to serving top quality Greek produce is admirable.
Case in point: that selection of famous side dishes. The tapas style menu includes a gorgeously rich, grilled Mastelo cheese served with a perfectly balanced, sweet fig marmalade: moreish doesn’t quite capture how fiendishly additive this simple dish really is. Then there’s a full bodied pork and leek sausage (not as Cumbrian as it sounds) which pairs perfectly with one of Suvlaki’s delicately composed salads – full of the sort of extras that elevate this elemental fare above the humdrum DIY salads you make at home. Oh, and in case you’re still questioning Suvlaki’s Greek credentials, rest assured both the wines and beers come straight from the motherland. Pop and olive in your mouth and sit back with a Nissos Pilsner (micro brewed, naturally) because summer is here: and it tastes like Suvlaki.