Hungry Donkey is an all-in-one modern Greek restaurant. Intrigued by what 'modern' Greek actually meant, I headed over to see whether this breakfast through to dinner and take-out restaurant could also create the desired ambience of a night-out eatery.
Don’t expect a traditional Greek taverna at Hungry Donkey. The tongue-in-cheek Donkey logo is the first clue that things are a tad more modern here. Industrial lighting, long tables and plenty of bright blues and yellows combine to create a trendy canteen feel. The airy vibe definitely feeds nicely into the multi-purpose restaurant, but with night falling outside the floor to ceiling windows and candles flickering away on the tables, there is definitely the desired intimate feel for dinner.
While the décor may be very modern, the food isn’t. In a good way. From the limited knowledge I have, the menu seemed traditionally Greek. A passion for the cuisine shone through as I chatted to both the waitress and owner; who comfortably and enthusiastically talked me through the menu with their recommendations.
We went for traditional (yes this word will come up a lot) Saganaki cheese, Spanokopita (spinach pie) and of course, pitta with tzatziki and aubergine dip. Fresh, tasty and very filling, the aubergine dip was out of this world! For mains, guests can choose between skewers and wraps. We both went for wraps - one chicken and one Greek sausage - and for between £5.75 and £6.50 the wraps were ample. The Greek sausage had a distinctive and authentic taste and is well worth a go; When in Athens.
Two courses in and we were truly stuffed, and for around £15 a head Hungry Donkey offers excellent value for money. It is great to see a truly authentic Greek menu, cooked fresh and served with enthusiasm.
Another nod to the authentic is the wine list. You won’t find a Savvy Blanc on the menu at Hungry Donkey. No no no. There's a Greek wine only policy here, and for someone who had never tried it before we stepped into the unknown with a bottle of organic Domaine Spiropolous (£29). As with the rest of my Greek revelations throughout the evening, it was a surprising delight. I may not be ditching the Sancerre anytime soon but it was great to keep it all Greek for one night.
The ambience is another nod to the 'modern', with pop music on in the background and of course the buzz of other diners all eating in quite close proximity. I’m not quite sure Rhianna complimented my Spanokopita too well, but it certainly wasn’t loud enough to be jarring.
I would suggest that 'modern' Greek restaurant is a bit misleading as, while the décor and ambience may well be modern, the food is most definitely authentic and traditional; classic dishes spread across the table as one would expect from a Greek restaurant. This was a positive in my mind as I crave authenticity when trying another country's cuisine. If you fancy something a little different and love leaving a restaurant stuffed, Hungry Donkey won’t disappoint: and there wasn't a smashed plate in sight.