Just a stone’s throw away from Kings Cross station and overlooking Regents Canal, it’s easy to get caught up in the scenery by the location of The Greek Larder, but duty calls and I drag myself away from the view.
As you approach the building where the restaurant is located, the lovely aroma begins to waft through the doors and I’m reminded by my tummy that it’s lunch time.
The busy, but well-ordered décor of the restaurant is pleasing, with the open plan layout allowing diners to see the busy staff in the kitchen preparing the food, a plus for me as I like to see my food being prepared. This adds another dimension to the dining experience.
There was a steady buzz of conversation from the lunch time crowd. I tried to strain my ears to hear any exclusives from a couple of journalists who sat at an adjacent table, who were talking shop, no doubt employees from The Guardian/The Observer, which was located across the road, but no joy!
The friendly restaurant manager introduced himself and set down a small dish of olives and freshly baked bread in front of me to nibble on while I perused the menu.
In the interest of the review, I opted to try a couple of starters. First up was Kefalotiri Saganaki (a pan-fried cheese). This dish had a lovely, crusty exterior that gave way to the tasty, firm texture of the cheese. The honey glaze and olive paste lent another interesting dimension to the dish, very pleasant. This is a rather filling starter so choose this if you are quite hungry.
Next came the Octopus and Chickpea Stifado. There were a lot of interesting tastes and textures going on with this dish. A seafood dish, it’s not overpoweringly fishy as the Stifado, which I learned is a Greek stew, included small baby onions and chickpeas, and was rich in flavour.
At this point I was a little worried that I had bitten off more than I could chew (pardon the pun), so I started to pace myself. I hadn’t even started on the mains. The Tigania (home-made lamb sausage) was set before me. In my book, you can’t go far wrong with lamb sausage. With the chicken, veal, shallots and mushrooms, this starter is more like a main. It is very filling and great for real carnivores. The spices were evocative of Moroccan flavours, helped by the tagine that it was served in. All of the meat was perfectly cooked, tender, yet firm. Absolutely delicious.
I must give a special mention to the chips! Freshly cooked, they were fried to perfection, crusty on the outside and soft and fluffy on the inside. A must try.
I decided to sample a Souvlaki (wrap) and chose the Marinated Monkfish Tail Souvlaki, which includes tomato and Santorini caper leaves and fava. As I am not really a fish eater, this was my least favourite dish, (and possibly because I was stuffed at this point), having said that it was pleasant enough. It had an omelette-type of consistency which went well with the light tortilla wrap that it was served in. This would make a great option for food on the go.
Not a moment too soon, came the main I ordered, which was Seared Spring Lamb, slow oven braised okra and Tinos graviera. One of the more interesting flavour combinations I’ve had in a while, I’ve never had okra (aka lady fingers) with meat. The lamb was cooked well-done, exactly how I like it, which when paired with the soft okra was lovely.
Needless, to say there was no space for dessert. The drinks menu also looked tempting, but I decided not to sample any alcohol, even the delicious sounding cocktails.
Visit: The Greek Larder website.