When it’s summer, it’s raining, it’s Monday AND you have no holiday plans, the only thing for it is to do yourself a favour and engage in some serious comfort eating.
And if you can pretend you’ve just come back from a day at the beach, ready for a gorgeous Greek mezze, so much the better. So, in a bid to create that holiday feeling, Belle decided to check out the new summer watermelon menu at the Westfield, London branch of The Real Greek.
The chain first bounced onto British high streets over ten years ago but has managed to retain a fresher feel than some of its mainstream counterparts. As soon as you walk in, you’re enveloped in a cool, tranquil atmosphere in the big open plan restaurant decorated with large photos of Santorini and blue and white striped banquettes. The help of the friendly waiter was useful for navigating the menu. As there’s a lot of mezze, small plates and set menus, the choice can seem a bit overwhelming.
In the end, a watermelon salad with halloumi and pomegranate (£4.75) from the special menu and a lamb kefte souvlaki wrap (£6.25) with the must-have Greek salad on the side seemed like a good option. The salad was so refreshing – full of large chunks of ripe juicy melon, strips of perfectly grilled cheese, sweet nuggets of pomegranate and a much-needed sharp zing of lemon in the dressing.
The watermelon menu, which is available until the end of August, was developed by Greek Cypriot food writer and expert Tonia Buxton, using handpicked watermelons from the Peloponnese region of Greece.
The lamb was soft and perfectly pink served with yoghurt dressing, salad and a sprinkling of fresh dill and parsley. The Greek salad was traditionally served in a big hunk of feta sprinkled with proper Greek oregano from Thessaloniki and served on a bed of red onion pepper, cucumber and tomato (£4.75).
Desserts range from the traditional Greek filo custard pie and baklava to the decadent chocolate mousse cake. A good option is the cake (£5) and a potent Greek coffee served with a piece of loukomi (a Greek take on Turkish Delight) on the side (£2.75).
And after an hour relaxing over such a delicious and exotic lunch, even the pouring rain didn’t stop the feeling that summer had returned!