Most people might not have heard of Theodore Kyriakou, but he has done more than anyone else to bring modern Greek cuisine to forefront of Londoners minds when he opened The Real Greek at Hoxton Square before expanding it to into a chain of restaurants and then selling it on. He has also written cookbooks and been involved with other restaurant ventures. His latest, The Greek Larder is how you would have imagined The Real Greek would have developed into, if it had not evolved into a high street chain.
It is situated near Granary Square in the redeveloped part of King’s Cross, which is looking more and more like the destination of choice for foodies and cultural enthusiast. The decor is relaxed and welcoming, the space is filled with all kinds of Greek produce such as olives and Cycladic honey from small artisanal producers from Greece. Their selection of Greek wines are unparalleled in London and it is proudly displayed throughout the room.
You can order the food meze-style as sharing platters or alternatively you can opt for a traditional 3 course meal. I tried their grilled octopus, paros style. I had a love, hate relationship with this dish. It was very fresh, hence the meat still tasted extremely firm; however it was perhaps marginally undercooked hence it was next to impossible cutting the octopus with a standard knife and a steak knife should have been offered. The taste was sublime, especially with the accompanying brown sauce which utilised the juice from the octopus along with herbs and vinegar.
For main course, I tried daily fish spetse style, which was sea bass with an assortment of spices and flavours. Spetses in Greece is a small island but well-known for its spices.The bread crumbs used are made in-house from their bread and this dish does erase the stereotype of fish dishes being rather bland when this version is delicate yet vibrant and flavoursome.
The baklava is suitably crispy and sticky with multiple layers of finely chopped nuts. It is a sweet and rich pastry dessert and thankfully the portion isn’t too large to put you off from ordering it. Also using Greek mountain tea ice cream must help too, as that variety of tea has well-known antioxidant and improving digestive health properties.
For a slice of Greek Island delight, make sure you visit The Greek Larder at King’s Cross soon.