Conveniently situated on Earl’s Court Road, just a short walk from Earls Court, West Brompton and the exhibition halls, As Greek As It Gets is a warm, friendly and vibrant restaurant – a real find in West London. Established by Dimitri Karonis, As Greek As It Gets is a smart, modern restaurant with a huge glass front, but feels warm, cosy and family like inside, with the walls adorned with a map of Greece and family photos. It is a firm favourite with locals, including Ian Hislop, Lloyd Grossman and Boris Becker.
I arrived early on a weeknight and the restaurant although not full yet, felt lively and inviting. The kitchen is open at the back of the restaurant and you could smell the food cooking, and hear a family chatting in Greek, giving the restaurant a genuine and authentic feel.
The menu offers plenty of choice, including a large selection of meze to start and a wide range of mains, all very reasonably priced. Dimitri looked after us for the evening, and we tried his recommendations from the menu. You see, there is so much more to Greek food than meze, and Dimitri clearly runs his restaurant with a mixture of pride towards his heritage, and a fundamental love of feeding people.
We started with a selection of starters, including Greek sausage and Kefalotyri cheese, which is a tangy hard cheese made using sheep and goat’s milk and some sweet Kalamata olives, paired with a Greek wine, Nemea Reserve 2008.
Next, we moved on to some meze. We tried the more unusual and traditional Greek offerings on the menu. First, we had Garides Saganaki – king prawns, cooked in a tomato, feta and ouzo sauce. Having never tried feta cheese in a sauce before, we adored this dish, which was finished with fresh dill, which gave it a delicious subtle aniseed flavour. This was followed by Moshari me meli – deliciously tender beef, baked with honey and ouzo, calamari and Feta Tylixti – feta cheese cooked in a filo parcel with honey and ouzo, which had a very subtle sweetness and a satisfying crunch when you cut into it. Meze are priced at around £5-6 per dish.
For our mains, we tried the Xifias Souvlaki – swordfish kebabs, served with peppers and a deliciously subtle rice, and Arnaki lemonato – lamb, cooked in a lemon and dill sauce served with mushrooms mashed potato. Mains are around £10-15 per dish.
The attention Greek food is gleaning feels long overdue, As Greek as it gets is a warm, generous restaurant, where the food is great, you are very well looked after by the delightful staff, but the food it serves is the kind you want to eat every day. It’s not overly fancy, just great authentic well-priced cooking and it is exactly the kind of local, neighbourhood restaurant everyone wishes they had on their doorstep.