For me as a school teacher, these Easter holidays have so far been about having two weeks where I can catch up with friends, have a culture fix, eat out, all mixed in with a boot full of marking and planning.
So with a chance to catch up with a mate last week, after having to dish out on a new windscreen and wipers near Crown Point, I met up with my friend in Leeds city centre. I tend to be the one who has to decide on where to eat, I understand why, but coming up with something that’s tasty and suits all palates, budgets etc isn’t the easiest at times.
Driving into Leeds a few weeks ago I noticed that Harry’s Bar & Brasserie had vanished from Great George Street, and a new establishment with blue signage had replaced it. I couldn’t tell what it was the first time round, so I purposefully drove passed again and noticed it was in fact a recently opened Greek restaurant called Souvlaki. I think it’s been open since February.
After a few minutes of indecision we ventured in. It still had the same familiar lay out of Dish and Harry’s Bar & Brasserie, it’s predecessors, but with newly painted walls in blue. It was certainly quite bright and vivid, livening up what has always been a small space.
I’ve only been to Greece once, and it wasn’t even the mainland. My husband and I’s first holiday abroad was to Skiathos, one of the Greek Islands, in 2001 I think. Also my one and only sunbathing holiday, I’m much more of an art/architecture/culture/fit in as much as you can kinda girl! I remember the food being fairly standard and wasn’t particularly memorable, but I do remember a spot of Metaxa very well though!!
Souvlaki has a lunch menu that seems pretty straight forward, a good thing at lunch I think. I didn’t want to be overloaded with a tonne of options and I knew I wanted something easy to eat and not particularly fussy. They had five Souvlaki on the menu, all came in a pitta bread with salad and chips. Our decisions were made pretty quickly, but after being told we couldn’t mix and match our choices; originally I was going to go for a combo of a Halloumi with Lamb Souvlaki, we did the next best thing and I ordered the Halloumi, while my friend chose lamb and we went half ‘n’ half.
In terms of cost – the Souvlaki were all under £7, not bad! There was also a standard list of mezze options such as stuffed vine leaves, feta cheese and deep fried white bait (£2.95-£5.95 each), which on another occasion I’d like to try and probably find myself having a Greek food fest of my very own!
Our orders were taken by the server who was friendly and within 10 minutes we had our food brought to the table. It looked simple, maybe a little sparse even, but I suppose it’s because the pitta came filled with the salad and chosen meat/halloumi.
A quick half ‘n’ half swap and I took the first bite. I was pleasantly surprised with both of the choices. The lamb was juicy and had decent flavour, whilst the Halloumi had enough charring on it so it had the right amount of give and was lovely and salty. With lots of crunchy salad and tzatziki it all got eaten very quickly. All being cooked to order so was great. My friend certainly didn’t waste any time (he never does actually), but that doesn’t take anything away from our lunch. I’m just a relatively slow eater. Oh, the fries were crisp with a little sprinkling of smoked paprika, all in all pretty good at £6.95 each.
With a couple of soft drinks which were a little pricey at £2 each, our lunch for two people cost the princely sum of £17.90.
I’d RECOMMEND Souvlaki for lunch.
Food: Tasty bit of food. A varied menu of classic Greek and Mediterranean dishes.
Service: Friendly and quick.
Atmosphere: We ate alone, so hard to judge. It’s a nice room, a little bright in colour with the blue, but I fully understand the reason for it.
Value for money: Reasonably priced and doesn’t break the bank.Souvlaki 18 Great George Street Leeds LS1 3DW 0113 345 2433