The Real Greek, The Oracle Riverside, Reading, RG1 2AT.
Sit back, relax, and indulge in the gorgeous tastes of traditional Greek dishes. This Reading restaurant will transport you to the shores and tavernas of idyllic Greece with its velvety wines and mouth-watering mezes.
The Real Greek sits on the riverside of the Oracle shopping centre, next to Italian eatery Franco Manca and just a stride away from stylish bar and restaurant Caffeine and Cocktails.
However, despite the restaurant’s town-based location- it’s authentic dining experiences promises guests an evening of escapism aided by the bubbliness of its service team and an exotic menu.
The chain’s drinks menu flaunts an intriguing variety of wines, beers and soft drinks. There are over four options to choose from of each family of wine, meanwhile each beverage also has a fascinating story behind its origin.
I chose the Makedonikos Rosé (£5.35), a vibrant wine comprised of ripe strawberry and raspberry jam-like flavours. The taste was sweet but wholly refreshing and offered an impressive complement to the multitude of flavours throughout the meal.
I also trialled the Mythos Beer (£4) which- although typically available in most supermarkets- carried an equally as authentic taste as the Grecian wine.
My dinner companion opted for the Ellinas Red (£4.90), a rich and crisp red wine with ripe berry fragrances. This went particularly well with the deep flavours provided by the kebab meats.
Our choice of main dishes followed the Peloponnese set menu for two (£34). Although a prescribed selection of dishes, there was some room for choice which catered for both vegetarians and vegans.
A combination of cold mezes, grilled mezes and hot mezes were included in the set, with each group of mezes served in a tiered display stand.
The first of our servings was a selection of Greek flatbread, Houmous, and Gigandes with Spinach (giant beans and spinach cooked in a tomato and garlic sauce). The Houmous had a pleasingly silky texture which accompanied the softness of the flatbread impeccably.
The Gigandes with Spinach was a new, but also satisfying taste: the beans offering a juiciness which worked perfectly with the smoothness of the tomato based sauce.
To follow were the Chicken Skewer, Spinach Tiropitakia, Lamb Kefte, Greek Salad, and chips.
The flavoured meats offered two highly impressive and distinct flavours. The Chicken Skewer arrived seasoned with Greek herbs and a crunchy coleslaw side, while the Lamb Kefte was marinated in spices and had a citrus flavoured tang which was elevated by its accompanying mint sauce.
Rich and crunchy flavours also stemmed from the Spinach Tiropitakia- filo pastry parcels with creamy leek, spinach and feta fillings. As did a fresh and nutritious touch to meal from the Greek Salad consisting of tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, Greek Olives, red onion, feta and olive oil.
And to supplement the savoury flavours of the Greek dishes, our choice of dessert was the Greek Filo Custard Pie (£4.75).
Originating from North Grecce, this tempting treat featured a custard filled filo pastry square served warm and topped with vanilla ice-cream and cinnamon. It likened to a traditional British hot pudding but with a Grecian twist.
From start to finish, The Real Greek dining experience successfully immerses guests in its culture. The service from staff was exceptional, while they take every care to guide their visitors through the menu and to enlighten them about the food’s history and flavours.
The menu offers a variety of food options designed for different budgets, preferences, and diets. Guests are free to combine their own choice of mezes, or to choose one of the set menus. Meanwhile they can also choose from lighter options including Souvlaki wraps- meat, halloumi, falafel or jackfruit served with homemade tzatziki, fresh salad, and chips in a thick wrap- which cost only £6.50.
Luckily for students, the chain also offers a 25% discount for main menu food Sunday to Thursday.
For more information about The Real Greek, or to book a table visit www.therealgreek.com.