I’m intrigued by an invite to review a brilliantly bold, and oddly named restaurant, As Greek As It Gets. I’ve never been to Greece, so wouldn’t able to vouch with authority on the authenticity, but I’ve eaten my fair share of Greek food so wonder if it can live up to its claim. It’s mid-week and I go with my lovely friend, Salome, West London sides – Earl’s Court, to see if it does.
The restaurant has two dining areas set across two floors. We’re given a window seat next to a wall adorned with a huge map of Greece, which is about ‘as Greek as it gets’ décor wise, elsewhere it’s comfortably modern looking. Athens born manager, Dimitri, is our host and is professionally on-hand while we dither about what to order.
The menu reads with a mix of traditional Greek staple dishes alongside a few contemporary ones. Salome has a couple of food intolerances but this doesn’t pose a problem as there’s a good selection to choose from, so we decide to order separate dishes. I’m torn between the moussaka, which I’m sucker for, and the sea bass in filo pastry. Dimitri with no hesitation at all, recommends the sea bass. OK, decision made. I also order, spicy sausages from the Pilio Mountain and calamari stuffed with feta cheese. Salome opts for feta stuffed Romano peppers, Gigandes (giant beans), halloumi cheese and we both share a tzatziki dip.
Rather than the dishes coming out all in one go, they are randomly served to us as soon as they are cooked. I’m excited to see the calamari arrive, it’s a pretty looking dish, but sadly that’s about it. It’s a very odd combination of textures and flavours, which are very subtle apart the liberal overuse of dill. It’s also ever so slightly overcooked with a rather uninspiring side salad, or quite possibly garnish. Either way, it just isn’t needed and happens to reappear on a number of the other dishes.
All is not lost though – the sea bass is beautifully cooked with a wonderful lemon mustard sauce and the filo pastry light and crisp. The sausages have rich, deep flavours, though admittedly a tad too oily. Salome appears to like her choices – the Romano peppers do look very good.
Desserts are also very good and for me the highlight of the meal, beautifully made Baklava and then perfectly balanced – yogurt, honey and walnut, alongside another yogurt, this time with macerated cherries. All this is followed nicely with a few shots of the classic Greek drink, Ouzo.
During the evening we happen to strike up a conversation with two guys (uncle and his nephew) at the table next to us. They’re working on a local building contract fitting out a swanky house with high tech music equipment. I nosily ask how much it costs to get such works done and one of them casually says about £80,000, then asks if I’m interested in a quote for my place. I decline, as if I had that kind money floating around – I might happen to be in the Royal Borough Kensington and Chelsea at that moment in time, but seriously, I wish! They’re interesting though and we go on to have a series of random fun conversations.
And random is how I can best sum up the restaurant. Is it As Greek As It Gets? Well, it’s not far off and a perfectly decent place to dine in a relaxing environment with family or friends (with the possibility of meeting new ones). It also caters for private and corporate events. The prices aren’t bad either – meze/starters are between £4-£8 and mains at £10-£15. A meze platter for two for is £30.
Food I Fancy dined as guests.
As Greek As It Gets
233 Earl’s Court Road,
London SW5 9AH
Tel: 020 7244 7777