80-82 Great Titchfield st
WHAT AND WHERE? This new Greek establishment is a stone’s throw from the BBC in the media heartlands of Fitzrovia. Expect bare, wooden furnishings, big windows for people- watching, a bustling open kitchen and a rather incongruous table football game.
WHAT’S THE DEAL? Three courses for £25 or four courses for £28. Drinks aren’t included, but a ‘spread of your choice’ is. That isn’t mezze, it’s a choice of dip served with pita, including taramosalata, hummus and my personal favourite, creamed spinach and feta with shards of crispy filo.
WHAT’S FOR LUNCH? A choice of two salads to start, Mykonian Greek and baby gem. The mains are grilled keftedes meatballs, courgette and feta spaghetti, parcel-wrapped seabass or chicken thighs barbecued up souvlaki-style. To finish, there’s a fragrant Athens Mess made with rose jam and pecans, ice cream, or an orange-agave syrup cake, served with clementine sorbet.
IS IT VEGGIE FRIENDLY? Hummus is usually a fail-safe, but, beware, this one is laced with smoked eel. There are four great veggie alternatives though, and the courgette and feta spaghetti is a big fat Greek beast of a dish.
WHAT SHOULD I PICK? Like Bjork at the Oscars, the baby gem was overdressed. The Greek salad, draped in delicate red onion tendrils, was much better. Oregano-scented seabass sitting on a bed of sliced courgette, potato and capers, was a highlight and the Athens mess, adorned with spiky meringue sticks, may look like a modern art sputnik, but is a surprisingly classy way to finish.
NEED TO BOOK? You could walk up and get a table no trouble, but probably best to book at meraki-restaurant.com or by calling 0207 305 7686.
VALUE FOR MONEY? For vegetarians it can be cheaper to order the same dishes a la carte, but generous portions ensure the set lunch is a good deal for everyone else.
COULD I DO IT IN A LUNCH HOUR? Service is attentive and swift, but they will let you lounge about. It’s worth letting them know if you’re in a hurry.
THE VERDICT... A versatile set menu in a bright, smart setting with a friendly neighbourhood restaurant feel.