I wrote this on 18/7/2009: A fantastic Greek restaurant!
I'd say the best time to go would be at lunch as they have a great value lumch menu which consists of dips (homous, tzatziki, large beans, tuna salad, potato salad) with pitta bread, then your choice of main, tea/coffee and a choice of Greek desert.
I always have the chicken kebab which is great, it has a chargrilled kind of taste and comes with salad which is unusual as a lot of places would've had chips but it's definitely filling enough without them!
The deserts are nice too as it's a chance to try something new, they're so sweet though!
We've also been for dinner on Valentine's day which was great, they had a special deal on where you spent £20 and got a HUGE selection of food (fish, dips etc) and a glass of champagne! The owner is very friendly and is helpful if you want to ask about anything.
EDIT: Unfortunately it seems to have closed down, as each time I've walked past recently there's still a sign in the door which says it'll open after their refurbishment at the end of June. A real shame as it was such a nice place to go!
This restaurant had only been open for about six weeks when we visited.
The food is a strange mix of the kind of tastes which instantly transport you to Greece, with a few dishes that carry way to much lemon. The tzatziki and gigantes were fabulous, for example, as was the halloumi. And the sea bass was awesome. However the stifado was not pleasant; the beef was beautifully cooked, but instead of the familiar rich taste of onion, it was far too lemony. And it wasn't just me - others at the table found the same with some other dishes too.
I'm not sure whether the chef is over-compensating for western taste buds, but if they were to back off from the lemon, I'm sure it would all be good.
My other criticism would be that there was simply far too much food, and so a lot of it got wasted. Our party all have hearty appetites, but there was no way we could finish much more than half of what was on the plates.
The restaurant itself is lovely inside, and would be ideal for both couples or for quite large groups. And the staff are extremely polite and attentive.
Hopefully we just caught things on a bad day, or they're just getting into the swing of things, as I'd dearly love to have a reliable Greek restaurant in Edinburgh. I'll go back and try a second time, but if it's the same then, it'll be my last visit.
We stumbled into this restaurant to in need of a dry room & a good meal.
I wouldn't proclaim to know much about Greek food in general but the meal was delicious. Given the aforementioned lack of knowledge we opted for the meat meze to get a 'taste' of Greek cuisine.
We received a large variety of starter dips (potato salad, houmous, etc) & a basket of pitta breads which in honesty was enough to fill us both up; it could have easily fed 4 people.
Fortunately we were able to take our time & enjoy the pleasant atmosphere. The main course consisted of a simple salad with dressing in accompaniment to a large plate of pork & chicken. As a previous review states the portions are very large & we struggled to make in roads into the main course as nice as it was.
Feeling suitably stuffed we made moves to arrange the bill and finish the wine (a moderately priced red) only to be urged to stay awhile by the friendly staff on the understanding that they had 'something in store for us'.
What happened next will ensure that this restaurant will always be remembered. The lights dimmed, music started & in full regalia we were entertained by a traditional belly dancer!
All in all we had a very pleasant evening in the company of pleasant staff, fine food, good wine & energetic entertainment.
I will definately be returning the next time I visit Edinburgh.
I was so happy to find a Greek restaurant in Edinburgh. When we went in, we were the only people in the restaurant. The ambiance and waiter were both nice. Everything seemed very clean.
I ordered the Kleftiko, my husband ordered the Dolmades. When the main courses arrived, they were lukewarm. My food was swimming in a plate of liquid fat from the meat, including my cucumber and tomato salad. Three very tiny roast potatoes accompanied. Everything on the plate (besides the cucumbers) was lukewarm. Yuck!
My husbands was similar in temperature and was also in a plate full of some type of meat juice.
I won't lie, I'm not an expert on Greek food, nor have I lived in Greece. I have been to several Greek restaurants and have always enjoyed this type of food before. But this just wasn't good, and I can't say I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a night out.
I like the Athena. Friendly service, and it was quite quiet the night we went. Food very good, I particularly enjoyed the kleftiko (lamb shanks). The stuffed vine leaves were also very tasty. Prices quite reasonable too.
Being of greek descent i know a thing or two about good greek food and this is a great restaurant. When i go on holiday to greece i judge the taverna's on two menu items: the tzatziki and the dolmades (stuffed vined leaves).I'm happy to report both were excellent!
We had a lovely meze starter which came out at 5 min intervals so we were never short of surprises! Plenty to go around as mentioned above.
We then had seabass which really was done to perfection, not dried out like i've had elsewhere before. We then had lamb kebabs on the skewer which were full of flavour and the meat was not tough.
We had asked to taste two other items on the menu, the lamb kleftiko and vegetable mousssaka. We expected to just get a small taster size but we got two full main course size portions! Both were just as you would get on the greek Islands-really beautiful food.
Yes there was lots of lemon used but not overpowering and lemon is a key ingredient of greek cusine. There was a lot of food but we just asked for take out boxes and this was not a problem and we had dinner sorted for the next two nights!
In summary i would highly recommend this restaurant for an authentic taste of greece
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