|My Big Fat Greek Dinner|
Emma Brophy discovers the delights of Chiswick's "best kept secret"
Kalamari claims to be the best kept secret in Chiswick, which is odd considering how popular it seems to be. The long established Greek restaurant, situated just before the High Road becomes King Street, is a place I had passed on many occasions but never felt the urge to give it a try. That was until the fourth person asked if I had. So with interest piqued I decided to give it a try.
Kalamari is a traditional taverna replete with Grecian statues, murals adorning the walls and a proprietor who exudes warmth and conviviality as he works the room chatting with diners.
The restaurant was almost full when we arrived at 8.30pm and throughout the evening diners continued to arrive in a steady stream, many of whom were clearly regulars and greeted as such. Like the gentleman who was seated at his 'usual' table beside us, presented with a glass of wine and a plate of food without uttering a request.
Onto the food. We had to admit that amongst the many attractions of Greece, we never considered its cuisine to be one. Eating out in Lindos was much more about where to get the best breakfast - preferably on way home from a nightclub - than sampling local delicacies or tasting wines. However, if Kalamari is anything to go by, we've been missing out.
We grazed on dishes of olives, chillis, pitta bread and some excellent humous whilst we decided what to order. To start we shared generous dishes of Batsurma (grilled spiced sausages), Greek salad and calamari all priced at £4.00.
To follow I chose Sheftalia (described as 'Greek burgers' by the owner which did them little justice) £9.50 and my husband had Soulva (tender grilled lamb) also £9.50. Neither of us could find fault except perhaps the generosity of raw onions that featured in or accompanied most dishes. Thankfully years of marriage forgives many things!
We shared a surprisingly good Greek house white, 'surprisingly' because historically I've associated Greek wine with appalling hangovers; though in fairness this could have been the quantity consumed as well as the quality. No such after effects on this occasion.
To finish I had chocolate ice cream (£3.50) and my husband a Greek coffee (£2.75). The bill came to £68 including service. On the steep side if we were in Greece but this being Chiswick we felt it wasn't too bad.
Kalamari is a great neighbourhood restaurant full of geniality. We left with a real desire to revisit Greece not for Retsina and discos but to appreciate the delights both culinary and cultural the country has to offer. Evidently discernment happens to us all eventually!
October 4, 2007