An authentic family run Greek Taverna
After spending many dinners in real Greek tavernas in Greece during childhood summer holidays I was wondering how authentic an unassuming eatery at the heart of the local community on the outskirts of Edinburgh would fair. Well it certainly lived up to its claims.
After a very warm welcome we were seated at a table next to the window. Perfect. We picked the restaurant for a casual Friday night with friends due the wonderful reviews on Trip Advisor and that we were able to take Whisky (our dog, not the drink haha).
The really friendly waitress let us know that the menu is designed for sharing and things come at different times, which is fine by me, as it means I can try even more off the menu. It is very reasonably priced and we were really hungry so we decided to order dips, mezedes (starters), all of the three meat mains and a Greek salad. All served with fresh warm pitta bread.
The dips arrive first: Tzatziki – Greek Yoghurt with cucumber, garlic and Olive Oil, Houmous – Chick Peas blended with tahini, garlic, and lemon juice and Melitzanosalata – Smokey Aubergine Dip with Chilli, which is my favourite and something that i’ve failed to make at home even with the help of a Nutri Bullet. You could tell that they were all homemade. The Tzatziki was cool and creamy and I couldn’t get enough of the Aubergine dip.
The hot mezedes started to arrive at different times, but it seemed at perfectly timed intervals allowing us to clear some plates away. We ate the Cheese Saganaki – Pan Fried Kefalotyri cheese, Octopus – Grilled Octopus with Ladoxydo dressing, red onion & Parsley, Dolmades – Homemade Dolmades served with yoghurt and paprika and garlic oil and two portions of the Kalamari – Fried Squid served with Lemon – one would not have been enough for four. The run away favourite for me was the Octopus. It was cooked to perfection, soft and tender, so simple yet so satisfying, and very healthy – so absolutely no guilt factor here.
The mains followed and in true authentic Greek style, all were served with the same simple salad, tzatziki and fried potatoes. Chicken Souvlaki – 2 Skewers of char-grilled chicken, Keftedes – Minced Pork and Beef mix kebab and Lamb Chops – Marinated in Olive Oil, lemon and rosemary and grilled. The meat dishes didn’t last long on the our table as they were passed around and divided out. My favourite was the keftedes. Really easy to eat, delicious with herbs and perfect covered in tzatziki and wrapped in a pitta bread.
After all that there was still room for Balava and coffee – a massive treat and again unmistakably homemade, packed with nuts and oozing with honey.
So, was there anything I would change. Well, although I’m not drinking (because I’m pregnant), my husband and friends were astounded by the Greek wine that was served in a metal can by the litre. I love Greek wine, but I know it takes some getting used to and takes a couple of glasses to get used to the herby flavour. They drank it, but it didn’t go down so well. They followed this with a Metaxa – a classic Greek after dinner spirit. Again this was met with shock and had to be downed. Well I guess the Scots are famous for their amazing Whisky – so I’ll give them a break.
Overall a brilliant, friendly, no nonsense, value for money, authentic experience – I’ll be back!