We have been to The Real Greek for dinner once before and were disappointed with the service, food quality and portions but we were invited for lunch at their Spitalfields branch and could not decline.
We went to this ubiquitous restaurant in Spitalfields Market, underneath an arch in the centre of the market place. The small restaurant was pretty quiet so there were still some booths available. The booths were on high seats so it was rather humorous to watch the waitress, who could not have been more than 5 feet tall, struggling to reach the other end of the table – no offence to the waitress, but I am not quite sure if this place was the most suitable for her to wait.
We ordered the lunch menu, which consisted of a set meze. Okay, before I go on, we have already tried the meze dinner option and were very disappointed. Expecting a traditional, filling, Greek selection of dishes, we actually received a limited portion of few dishes that lacked flavor, texture and presentation – not at all authentic. The tiny portions were so small that there was not enough for two to share, as it was clearly advertised. Today however, the lunch menu was enough – for a lunch…
We had a choice of dishes from three different sections of the menu. First we had a choice of dips and a choice of crudités; I went for the hummus, whereas my guest went for the taramasalata with pita bread. This came out first into a tiered stand. We nibbled on the dips that were fresh but lacked any memorable flavour; emphasised even more by the fact that this is supposed to be a Greek restaurant – not likely.
While we were eating this, our main courses came out; I ordered the beef patties with rice and salad whereas my guest ordered the halloumi with chips (not my idea of a great combo but each to their own.) The burgers were clearly made with fresh mince and were a little dry and tough. The grease of the burgers seeped into the white rice that was slightly overcooked and could not cope with the extra moisture. The halloumi was golden and crisp and was probably a better choice in hindsight, the chips were crispy but probably had not an ounce of potatoes left in it.
For dessert we both ordered the sorbet, which came out quickly and was served by the tiny waitress. Although we had to physically pass the finished dishes (as she was so small) to her, she served our food with a smile. I have to admit that the service was very swift and efficient (although not surprising as there was only two other men in the place). The sorbet was ok; not zingy enough for us – we want fresh fruit, sourness and a little texture but this had none of it.
The Real Greek is a typical chain that has decided to have a ‘traditional cuisine’. To be honest I am more Greek than the food (and not a Mediterranean drop in my blood, I’m afraid.) The food lacks thought and authenticity but is still slightly satisfying and the service was fast and friendly. As a result The Real Greek receives:
Food Atmosphere Service