Growing up in North London has meant I’m pretty familiar with Grecian cuisine (and I’ve been known to eat whole tubs of Taramsalata in one sitting, oops). The Real Greek are launching a cookbook in mid-July, and I was invited along to their Shepherds Bush branch to taste some dishes. It’s got a prime location on the Southern Terrace of Westfields shopping centre – and on a nice sunny day it’s so easy to forget that you’re still in England.
Tonia Buxton is one of the brains behind the book. She’s incredibility personable and she’s so passionate about Greek culture and cuisine – it was a real pleasure to meet her. She went all out and put on a complete feast for us, and my god, it was delicious.
One of the things that I love about Grecian cuisine is that you’re almost always guaranteed as atmosphere. It’s centred around the family, everything is shared, and dinner is never rushed.
We started off with a range of cold and hot Mezes. One of the dishes that really stood out for me was the Tiropitakia. It’s a filo pastry parcel stuffed with a creamy leek, spinach and feta filling and it was simply divine.
Make sure you get the Grilled Octopus, it’s such a simple dish but it’s done so well wasn’t chewy at all. When it comes to sides, a Greek Salad is obligatory to help balance all the flavours.
If you’re still hungry after all that food, you absolutely have to try the Bougatsa – a filo custard pie. It’s the perfect end to a fantastic meal.
One of the things I love about the menu is that the calories are noted next to every dish, which is great for someone like me who meticulously tracks everything they eat.
I’ll definitely be spending some sunny summer evenings cooking my way through this book and I can’t wait to share some of these dishes with you. The book comes out on the 14th July and you can pre-order it here.
The Real Greek, Southern Terrace, Westfield Shopping Centre
London, W12 7GB