Having visited the Suvlaki flagship in Soho previously and loved it, I was eager to try their new sister restaurant on Brick Lane. So, on a cool Thursday evening, I wandered over from Liverpool Street Station in search of this new East London hangout.
Turning right onto Brick Lane from Bethnal Green Road, you almost miss the discreet entrance to Suvlaki; disguised as what might be the front of a small Grecian townhouse, as it would be in Athens or Rhodes, down a meandering cobbled road.
As we draw back the heavy slate-coloured drapes covering the doorway, we emerged into Suvlaki’s inner sanctum: a wonderful space celebrating neutral colours, old punk-rock posters, all with modern touches to a Grecian inspired setting. I loved the giant neon cross hanging on the wall opposite our table, the industrial style lighting and bare lightbulbs, and the ‘naughty corner’ alcove where I and my date for the evening were seated. Suvlaki creates the feel of a space that is hugely sociable and that would feel equally at home for a couple on a cosy date as it would to a lively, boisterous party of fifty.
The Food and Drink
So often at Greek restaurants in London, what you get is not a pinch like the real thing - but not at Suvlaki. Here, the dishes were authentic, inspired and delicious.
Remaining true to their original Soho restaurant menu, I was chuffed to find more of their signature Suvlaki meat skewers and street-food style wraps - try their delicately smoked Mount Olympus Wild Boar Kebabs (£4.20) or opt for the succulent Pulled Pork Pitta Wrap (£4.20).
However, the real triumph here is the selection of small plates on offer. You could quite easily imagine yourself whiling away a hot afternoon on the coast of a small Greek island, savouring a glass of chilled Greek wine, devouring dish after dish of this fantastic Greek meze. The Cheese Nibbles (£4.50) were made with Mastello cheese, sweet figs and marmalade, all wrapped up in a blanket of warm pitta - I could have eaten an ocean of them. The Mediterranean Baked Feta (£4.50), best served with another generous helping of pitta (£1.50) was also a great comfort food dish that lingered on the tongue.
Other standout dishes were the Pork Kritharaki (£5) - which we both agreed could have been the star dish of the evening while the beautifully sweet and sticky Roasted Aubergine (£4.80) with crumbled feta and pomegranate seeds added a punchy taste to our palate.
The wine list is entirely Greek, and from the wine we tried, this is no bad thing. Similarly, you have a selection of Greek craft beers to choose from - including Nissos Pilsner and Marea Ale.
I would definitely recommend Suvlaki for all of the interesting and great-tasting Greek food, all set alongside a fun, laid-back atmosphere that works perfectly for this East London setting. Take your friends and have a proper Greek-style get-together (don’t forget the Ouzo) or get there early and snuggle down in the ‘Naughty Corner’ for a cosy date night.