I don’t normally venture South of the river for my dining needs, but if it’s somewhere truly special then I am willing to make the journey and this is the case with My Big Fat Greek.
Firstly the name is an absolute hoot and you simply can’t miss it as it is next to the Strata tower. It also has a large Greek flag with blue fairy lights hanging outside. Before we even go in, we feel enormously welcomed by the establishment. As we enter, a terribly friendly waitress greets us with some genuine warmth and enthusiasm and shows us to our table.
Looking around at the occupants, I can tell that these people have been coming here for years and that they treat the restaurant as an extension of their home (the restaurant is actually newly opened so it’s obviously made a big impression fast – Ed). A huge table in the middle of the restaurant is taken up by a twenty-plus family who are celebrating a 21st birthday and the owner comes over and says hello. This friendly personality is what is missing from today’s eateries and it makes me fall for the place even more.
As I am unfamiliar with a lot of Greek food, the manager suggests that we go for the meze – £17.95 per person for which you receive a mountain of food. For the cold starters the usuals like houmous, tzatziki, tabbouleh and taramasalata are present, but it’s the tirokafteri that catches my eye and indeed my taste buds. Made from feta cheese, it is pale orange in colour and has a wicked kick to it. So much so, that I cannot stop dipping my pitta bread into it: I can see why this is their signature dish. The tuna fish salad is moist and utterly divine as are the dolmades, vine leaves with a succulent lamb centre and an indulgent tomato sauce. I scoff uncontrollably as it is just so fresh and so delectably good, but this is a slight mistake as there are two more courses on the way.
Next the fish dishes and the kalamari rings are the stand out favourite. They are very well cooked and the batter is so crisp and deliciously light. Finally the hot meat dishes, thesouvlaki, cooked on the charcoal grill making the meat beautifully tender and amazingly tasty. It’s just a shame we are full to the brim with all this goodness and can’t eat it all.
We’re told that the meze is normally consumed over a few hours with lots of people. It’s typically a family affair and you just continue to eat throughout the evening. Unfortunately we managed to destroy the offerings in just under two hours; no wonder we can’t move from our seats.
My Big Fat Greek is a true gem of a restaurant and its familiar charm and outstanding food will make you want to venture here to experience it all.