I recently required a casual, not too £££ Soho lunch destination for a quick work meeting. Oh and it needed to be toddler friendly - not as simple as you'd think. I suggested three places to my date for the day: Balls & Co, Smack Lobster, and Suvlaki. I'd not been to any of them, so there was an element of guess work at play and I must admit when I was trying to hoik a 17kg child and buggy combo up the steps of Suvlaki alone, I had my doubts.
I wish I could remember what Suvlaki was previously, as its new this year, but I cannot. Something forgettable in any case. No chance of that now - the unmistakable Athenian blue stands out on scruffy Bateman Street in a very good way. It's very cute, and the cuteness continues inside: there are maybe 8 mini tables and a kitchen that doubles as a takeaway counter, so its cosy to say the least. Happily, there was a warm welcome from the waiter (singular!) that meant we were quickly put at ease and settled into a booth to peruse the menu.
Grilled meat and pita is very much my bag (here I am going on about Gyros), so I was in Greek meat heaven at Suvlaki and could easily eaten the whole menu. Whenever I'm in Greece I always like the pork souvlaki the best, so I went with that. My companion had the lamb, which was a close second for me, plus the wild boar sausage took some beating. If you were of a hungrier disposition, you could have three mini suvlaki wraps or skewers for £12, but time was not on our side and I didn't want to disgrace myself, so stuck with the one wrap at a hugely bargainous £6.70. Jay Rayner's been here and loved it but moaned about the price - he did the £12er, though I still think he's a little unfair as their meat is well sourced from Smithfield and they get their bread from Greece - you can tell.
We had lovely hot crispy and fluffy homemade chips alongside and they'd been sprinkled with oregano which was an authentic addition. I put some in my wrap, obviously. Perhaps I'd killed my taste buds after a weekend of excess, but I had to put a fair amount of chilli and salt in my wrap to let the (v v good) meat properly sing. And then it really did.
I need to come back because I simply have to eat the baked feta, the Cretan salad and every other wrap going. A bit of virtual Greek sunshine is the only way to get through the impending winter with a bit of Greek sunshine. Just hold the ouzo.