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Dinner made easy: a European Affair

Good morning! Christmas is almost here! 
How exciting! 
Friends popping over for an impromptu Christmas drink after work? Panic not!
It's the perfect excuse to indulge in all of the no-nos of the year....take the most famous products of each European country and voila!
French baguette, two yards long...try walking with this under your arm! 
Baked Camembert, stuffed with a couple of garlic cloves for an extra kick! 
Greek olive bread, so sturdy and flavoursome! 
Italian prosciutto with red grapes for a light touch, alongside creamy dolcelatté cheese for a high intense note! 
Spanish rich chorizo, you know for protein! 
And a splash-splosh of port from Portugal, oops that was my third one...
And if friends don't pop in after all, it's the perfect romantic night in, no cooking, no fussing, just relaxing! x


21 Bateman Street - Greek Suvlaki in Soho


Walking around Soho is an experience in itself.
First we had to navigate through the Hare Krishnas chanting and dancing down Soho Street - yes we smiled and boogied along a bit too, there is no harm in spreading happy vibes;
and then we were prompted to light a candle in the newly renovated St Patrick's church in Soho Square, where we were actually led by lanterns right to the front of the sparkling clean and peaceful interior. Religious PR on a Saturday night?
True story, Soho approved!
 
 
Finally, we were able to step into the brand new, tiny, corner, olivy-front 21 Bateman and my heart was pounding to see what all of my friends' hard work had achieved. 

I was excited to see everybody tucking into yummy food, tables covered in all kinds of delicacies and familiar wines flowing amongst smiley faces.
And a retro touch from the past: Fix Beer from an Athenian brewery, in the 50's traditional hourglass bottle. Summer dreaming...
 
 
You are thinking...focus and get on with it, what about the food?

Well...think about chunky pieces of feta cheese, mixed in a bright red tomato salad and sparkling olive oil. So tempting to dip in there and finish it off with bread, stuffing yourself before you even start your meal! Always a problem with Greek salads, if you ask me!

Burgers (or Biftekia in Greek) were barbecued to perfection,  chunky yet so soft and succulent, a perfect three meat feast all in one bite! Alex's - the grill master - training in a popular Santorini taverna paid off! 

 
Here's something you probably didn't know, the ever so popular Halloumi is actually Cypriot but there is also a version straight from Chios island, called Mastelo. It's quite strongly flavoured, although not as salty as Halloumi, but is also grilled to enhance the flavours and mellow down the texture; it was served with a drizzle of honey and toasted sesame seeds...heaven!

On to Moussaka, with its' creamy béchamel  sauce and soft aubergines. Mama's cooking!
Finally, the star of the show...souvlakia, skewered pieces of pork in other words that allow for no mistake. Good quality is imperative because all flavour depends on the quality of the meat and the grilling. Drizzle of lemon and sprinkle of oregano, done!
I can picture late dinners after a couple of drinks here...
 
 
So, Soho is about to smell of souvlaki again!

Friends always ask if I can recommend any good Greek restaurants in London, but I'm afraid to say that I am often hesitant. This time a whole bunch of friends decided to put their successful heads together and bring some quality Greek flavours and smells in London. Let me say, yes they are my friends too, but if the food wasn't any good, I'd keep quite and share nothing with you.
So, watch this space! x

ps: the restaurant has had a facelift and is now called "Suvlaki".
  
© Life Love London

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