Recently I was lucky enough to be invited to attend a special dinner at The Greek Larder to showcase artisanal Greek foods from Odysea. There is a relative lack of decent Greek restaurants in central London (even Lemonia isn't all that anymore) and I'd heard really good things about The Greek Larder, so I jumped at the chance. It's in the new bit of Kings Cross where you're now spoilt for choice for dining destinations, but The Greek Larder is definitely worth a punt.
We were greeted with a surprising cocktail of apple, mint, cucumber and ouzo - which you can read more about here - before being treated to a mezze type starter of flat bread, roast peaches and saganaki cheese with some unusual little gnocchi. Saganaki is one of the most brilliant Greek exports - it just means 'fried' but tends to refer to a skillet of cheese which has been fried in brandy. It's hard to find the Kefalotyri cheese you need, so I was happy to hear Odysea import it. Definitely a dish I'll be trying to recreate at home:
There was roast lamb and roast fish to follow with some braised flavoursome veg and a rich tomato sauce:
Finally, there was a choice of chocolate sorbet with olive oil, thyme honey and black pepper OR baklava and mountain tea ice cream. Frankly, an impossible choice and luckily one I didn't have to make as my pal and I swiftly brokered a sharing deal. Baklava is one of life's great pleasures and this one didn't disappoint; richly soaked layers of finer than fine pastry topped with nuts is always super (see title shot to dribble over).
The chocolate sorbet was in a league of its own. Much has been written about the chocolate olive oil pudding at the new Pizarro in Broadgate Circle, so I think a lot of people had warmed up to the concept and the combination upon eating was astoundingly good. There was a deep and dark chocolate hit (always so much more satisfying as a sorbet than ice cream) with a lingering warmth from the pepper, and just a hint of a silky finish from the olive oil. Truly lovely.
I've since used Odysea's Thyme Honey in quite a few dishes at home - this gyros has been my favourite so far - and the quality of their Balsamic Vinegar is exceptional too. If you're into Greek food, then I definitely urge you to seek them out and to pay The Greek Larder a visit too (they use and sell some products there).
Thank you to Odysea and The Greek Larder for very generous hospitality.