They've shot themselves in the foot really by calling themselves 'the real greek' haven't they. Because if you've ever been near Greece then you'll know that this isn't in any way authentic, but if you can get past the chain-restaurant chic then there's some good Greek grub to be head here.
As you'd expect there's meat galore, the lamb we had was spot on, but if you're a greek restaurant that can't do lamb then you might as well go home. Food comes 'mezze' style i.e. bit by bit at the whim of serving staff, and the portions aren't huge.
Great for big parties where you dont mind a wait (and your boss is picking up the bill).
It's hard to find great tasting authentic Greek food in Central London as the large Greek community here mostly live in North London and that's where all of the best Greek restaurants are. This is a chain restaurant that offers very commercialised variations of popular Greek dishes.
I've been here a few times, never at my suggestion, and whilst I can say the food isn't bad, it's not authentic Greek food. It's like going to Taco Bell with a Mexican; they may eat it, but they'll keep telling you it's not real Mexican food.
The Real Greek may be exactly that but the food isn't. Overall, it doesn't taste bad, I would just recommend taking a short journey into North London for a more authentic experience.
I pass by this place every day on my way to work and thought I'd give it a try. I'm not sure exactly what it was that made my experience unsatisfactory, but the only thing I enjoyed was the location - it's only a few minutes from work. The food was plain, service was slow and staff was inexperienced, and seating was uncomfortable (tight squeeze). You couldn't walk to your table unless you asked the surrounding people from other tables to scoot in.
I know it's Greek food, but how can you not have tomato sauce with chips? Instead, they offered to charge me more money for dipping sauce? Incredible.
There is one thing that London is not short of, it's authentic Greek restaurants. These are often owned and run by real Greeks.
Greek food is a variety of sea-food, along with meats such as lamb, pork or chicken. They also do a good range of vegetarian dishes.
The one recurring theme on visiting a Greek restaurant is that you are going to eat lots and lots of food. In fact, your probably going to go home seriously stuffed, and probably a little drunk.
Which brings me to this cute little oddity THE REAL GREEK.
Quite an ostentatious name for a chain of restaurants that don't seem to have any Greek staff. Still it's all about the food.
The one in Covent Garden is small, cramped and you have to sit on bar stools.
There were a lot of flies about in the seating area, which made me wonder whether they were also present in the kitchens and food storage areas.
The food was okay, we had octopus, squid, grilled halloumi, pork souvlaki and a greek salad. On top of that we had dessert. All in all, this meal came to £60.
But the real disappointment was that the portions were so small. The seafood portions were tiny, with most of the plate taken up by various pieces of salad and very little fish.
There was just one stick of pork souvlaki. Yes, that's right, one stick, for £4.95
You can go to pretty much any Greek restaurant in London and order a pork souvlaki, which will come with bread, salad and three skewers of pork for this price. Not so in the Real Greek where you get just one skewer, most of which is veg and a few pieces of pork.
I ordered a lemon cake with ice cream, not exactly a Greek dish but very tasty. My friend ordered a lemon sorbet, which was just a scoop of ice cream in a small glass tumbler. You would get more ice-cream from a van in the street for 99p.
But all of these complaints pale to insignificance when you consider the real failing of this chain of restaurants. The real shame is the big disappointment of having eaten at a Greek restaurant, paying £60 for the privilege and leaving whilst still hungry. That has never happened to me before.
Be warned, there is nothing "real" about this Greek.
The worst Greek food i have ever had.
Greek food is all about mezze and sharing, but the tables here aren't even big enough for the plates and glasses, let alone plates of food. You also have to sit on stools which doesn't really make for a relaxed dining atmosphere.
The white bait was ok, the prawns just plain awful. The souvlaki came wrapped in paper making me feel like i was in a kebab shop.
Some dishes came with 4 'bits', while some came with 2 leading to awkward polite moments of "you have it", "no, it's ok, you have it", "ok then lets cut it in two". While some plates had 6 bits - it just didn't make sense.
The toilets here are pretty smelly too.
There's plenty of other restaurants in the area that are much better, and there's plenty of other amazing Greek restaurants in London (some even run by Greek people), so this place isn't really worth a look in.
The Real Greek is a growing chain boasting a delicious selection of mezedes, freshly char-grilled souvlaki, salads and sharers. Real Greek, Real Food!
I visited the Covent Garden branch. It is small and all of the tables are close together which is great for ambiance but not so good if you prefer abit more privacy especially like when you sat next to a person on their own who is not wearing headphones :)
The food is certainly tasty but you have to order everything separately ie the souvlaki 5.25 comes in a flat bread wrap, tzatziki and relish but no salad. No problem, I ordered a Greek salad to accompany and it made a great healthy meal.
You can also order from a large selection of small hot and cold mezedes making it nice to mix and match with friends.
I went here a few weeks back with friends, and had a very enjoyable experience.
Although you do have to order each food separetly the prices are pretty reasonable so it doesn't cost much. I had the Kalamari which was £5.75 with a greek salad which wasnt much more... The design of the place is very pretty with sweet little wooden tables that slot into each other like ying yangs.. and the food is served on little tea stands!
However if you have lots of shopping with you, the tables are very small so if could be quiet cramped.
My visit here last night threw up a real dilemma in terms of whether or not I'd reccommend this place....
On the one hand the service from our waitress was some of the best I'd received in a long time, especially from a chain AND a West End location at that, the location is perfect for pre-theatre munching, the food service was prompt, they get top marks for having a menu listing coeliac-friendly foods, the decor was nice and (I was seriously considering how I could fit a light feature like their's in my lounge), but.....
....and it's a large, BUT, on the other hand the portion sizes for the meze dishes were too small (2 meat skewers per plate please and what's with the TWO pieces of halloumi for £4.50?) and the meat was over cooked (if you want tender lamb, stick to Gallipoli). There were highlights on the menu - the lamb stifado hot pot and the chocolate mousse cake get thumbs up.But unfortunately, with the overall value scoring so low I'm afraid it has a real detrimental effect on the whole place.
In short, if you can visit with a discount voucher and aren't bothered about the meat dishes you're in for a nice meal.
A popular restaurant, part of a chain of interesting "Real Greek" restaurants in London therealgreek.com . This one is in the former location of an old fashioned bar, lots of dark wood and high tables.
The menu tends to specialise in a Tapas style, with many people going for many small dishes and sharing: hot and cold meze include tzatziki, hummus, tabouleh, taramosalata. One popular group of dishes are Souvlaki, a char-grilled kebab of chicken, pork or lamb, wrapped in flatbread and served with tzatziki and tomato relish wrapped in a pitta bread; one of my favourites is loukaniko, a tasty lightly-spiced beef sausage. If you aren't into meat then you can choose from olives, nuts, feta cheese, calamari, octopus, prawns, sardines and tiropitakia: filo parcels of spinach, leeks and feta.
If you go with friends they have some nice sharer dishes which are a really great way to pass an hour or two. For kids there is a separate menu.
The drinks menu includes beer, champagne, 20+ wines, cocktails and soft drinks.
Smaller dishes typically cost £2-6, sharing dishes cost around £19.
Very close to Covent Garden, you're on your own when it comes to parking, but it is just a few minutes from Covent Garden tube station.
The name doesn't quite fit the place.
Because it's anything BUT real greek.
The food is different, the decor is completely off (and i don't expect cute cycladic island white walls, just typical greek taverna style decor) and well
I'm sorry, but I'm greek and in short: I'd never go back. Ever.
The spices they use are exotic, i'm sure, but have nothing at all to do with greek cuisine. It'd be like eating baby back ribs with mango chutney!! Blah.
The chairs aren't very comfortable either, nor is the place spacious.
I suppose it's better than McDonald's, but that's about it
It's an OK place to dine with friends. Quite expensive and small portions. The place is small, they have stools and the dishes are served on tea stands hahe!!. Very interesting.
We ordered cold meze like Tzatzik (cucumber, garlic and mint), Htipiti (red pepper, onions and feta cheese), Lamb Kefte, Halloumi and Vegetable Souvlaki (very small portion), Santorinian Fishcakes (again small). They were all tasty but the portions very disappointing. Better have a appetizer before going in there or eat after you had a meal.
We had a dessert called Loukoumia (sounds very weird and taste too), please don't ever try it...not good at all....
Overall food is good but very expensive for that portion.
What a big dissapointment. Once and never again.
I am not Greek but I do understand about Mediterranean food (I am Spanish) plus I have been prepared Greek food by Greek people plenty of times. And I can tell that the food in this place is really terrible.
And it was very expensive for what it is.
It was really busy, we were hurried, the service was poor.
What can I say? Terrible. I woud choose no stars if I could.
This was fine for a pre theatre lunch. Tasty hummus, Greek salad, a lamb wrap and bread with oil and spicy ground nuts. All tasty but the venue is small and very busy so we didn't exactly feel relaxed as the waiter and the lunch crowd kept bumping into our chairs. Mind you the three women next to us dissecting their relationship with their mother kept us entertained...and rather sympathetic towards poor old mum!
Real Greek ? well..not in the atmosphere If you expect Sirtaki and Ouzo.. white and blue paint all over the venue.. well.. it is not here you ll find those
Service starts a 12.
Nice location (Bow st X Long acre).
Traditional pub venue converted into a restaurant. High celling, large windows, meaning plenty of light
Many tables.. very tall and narrow top, with super high chairs / benchs. Narrow tables mean that you re super close to your eating-partner. It gives a sense of intimacy that i liked.
I appreciated the Plate-rack on which the mezethes are served.
Now the food.. tried a meat sharer which is a combination of 6 plates i think: skewers, meatballs, red pepper paste, aubergine puree + a side (chips or salade).
Adding a coke and a beer : about £30 for 2.
deserved 4 stars IF : the waitress hadn't had pressured us to pay and leave but i must admit.. 90mn for a lunch might have been too much .
I really enjoyed my time at The Real Greek. This particular restaurant is based in an old pub, the Kembles Head, and seems to have a very different feel to others in the chain. It is set up bar style, on high tables which can be difficult to get used to, but once you have got the hang of it, it actually gives the places a great tapas style atmosphere.
I have only eaten their meze style dishes, but the Vegetarian Meze for 6 I would say is about enough for 4 people - I'm not sure I would have wanted to share with another 2! However there is good variety and you can order extras too.
The service I felt was speedy, if not a little rushed, but I think this is the ethos of the place - quick and easy dining. It is really close the theatreland, so ideal as a quick stop off before moving on.
I ate here last night for the first time and really enjoyed it. The place was packed when we arrived around 8.30pm but we only had to wait a few minutes for a table. The staff were friendly and the service was speedy. We opted to share the Anatolian meze and chose flatbreads, hummus, revithia (chick peas), chicken skewers, dolmades, grilled halloumi, salad and rice which were all delicious. With a very nice bottle of Sauvignon Blanc and a bowl of olives the bill came in at £55 for the two of us not unreasonable considering the area.
Hmmm, what to say? Incredibly incompetent service here at lunch (I've lost my pen so I can't take your order?!!) - I even offered mine but he wasn't interested. It's also quite expensive for what you get. However, the food was delicious, and I really like the trad pub decor, so I'll give it 3. A big downer for me really though, is that someone has contrived to convert a lovely pub like this, into a bloody restaurant. A real Greek tragedy.
I'm quite surprised at the reviews. I was here as a last minute dinner plan, and thank goodness didn't look at the reviews! I agree it's small but that's part of the fun, the food was really nice, all my Greek favs! We nearly gad everything on the menu! The service was excellent and well timed an important fact w/ Tapas. The dessert was equally well done! I'd return!
We went here for a meal while on a weekend break in london. We were really surprised with the quaint layout as its a small venue in an old pub on a corner. The seating is quite high but was comfortable once i had got up there! This seating arrangement gives it a really intimate setting and because the numers are limited it doesnt get rowdy or anything like that.
The staff were friendly and our waiter very helpful and knowledgable. My husband has Coeliacs so cannot eat gluten and they were great advising suitability of dishes.
The food came on sort of high rack plate design, like a 3 tier cake stand affair and all was presented well and tasted fantastic.
This was an introduction for our daughter to greek food and we thought the quality and authenticity was great, she loved it all.
Prices were reasonable for London, we did however use some Tesco vouchers which meant we paid just for the drinks in cash ourselves, bargain!
We would definately go here again, with or without the tesco vouchers. I believe the other branches are arranged differently and the seating at this one is unique so if the high seats dont suit you maybe try a different branch.
If we just talk about the food it was delicious, plenty of choice, great flavours, lots of extra and side dishes to order - what to choose was the problem!
Service is a real let down. Very pleasant and polite staff but dishes were brought out separately and well before other members of our party had their food, and then had to be returned to heat up.
The wine was served warm and we requested ice cubes which took over 20 minutes to arrive.
The cloakroom facilities were basic and not well kept.
When asking for the bill again we were kept waiting 20 minutes.
This place is pretty small by chain restaurant standards, and pretty tightly packed. If you like people-spotting over your lunch then you'll like the window seats. You might not like having your back pressed against the guy at the table right behind you so much.
The portions are pretty tiny, as mentioned below, but the food is good. As long as you like Mediterranean food! The service was poor, the staff spent a lot of time chatting to each other and ignoring the packed restaurant.
If you use a discount to get a decent amount off the bill then the price is acceptable, otherwise, you don't get much food for your money.
This was my second outing to The real greek and my last. The first time i went to the bankside restaurant and found the food very average and expensive. I swore i would not go again and it was not good value for money. After 6 years or so while shopping at Westfield, Shepherds Bush i though why not give it another try. We had lunch there and had to wait about 40 minutes before we got any food, we had ordered some cold mezza's which would be followed when finished by hot mezza's. All the dishes arrived together, ok not a big problem as we were starving but one of the dishes we had ordered was missing. What we did have was mixed in quality, the flat bread was delicious, the hummus was tasty but dried with a skin around it, now i'm a chef and to me these had been made up way in advance and not to decorate with a sprinkle of paprika and olive oil is the ultimate in lazyness. The beetroot, green lentil and feta salad was lovely. The Haloumi was ok but cold, the greek sausage was great but the grilled squid was tough as old boots, now i rarely complain as i know often kitchens are put under pressure for a number of reasonsbut i sent it back and asked for some cooked properly, the waitress apologised and said it would be a few minutes. after waiting for over 15 minutes i said dont worry we will just have the bill. Its a shame the real greek dont live up to the promise as i love greek food. My bad experiences haven't been down to a dodgy branch as i have tried 2 different ones but to a company that isnt providing quality and value for money and is quite happy to be average
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