My Big Fat Greek
11-15 Melbourne Grove
London SE22 8RG
Tel: 020 8693 0505
What greets you as you enter My Big Fat Greek is Andrew. He is the owner, maitre ’d and all round nice man. This restaurant is all about authentic food and a relaxed atmosphere.
Now I’m going to try my best to avoid clichés like ‘food of the gods’. With the walls adorned with pictures of the gods, I’m not sure I will be able to! We started with a selection of well-cooked traditional Greek fare. The menu divides this section into hot or cold. It was freezing outside so we all had hot. The Halloumi Cheese was excellent. So often it can be over salted but not this crispy grilled version. Loukanica (spicy sausages) weren’t too hot so both our boys enjoyed them. The big surprise for me was Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) every other Greek restaurant I have ever been to has stuffed them with rice. That’s OK, but you’d need something with them. Here they are a main event. They came packed with fresh mince, rice, onions and herbs and a thick tomato sauce. They tasted great. Andrew told me that these were the Cypriot version. I urge you to seek these little beauties out they are certainly worth it. The starters hovered around the £4 – £5 mark.
All the food is cooked on the premises with exception of desserts of which there are only two, but more of that later. We felt privileged as mere mortals that ambrosia was being spared from the gods’ table. Were we divine? Could we become immortal by merely eating the gods’ food?
The eighth wonder of the world is how Kleftiko (lamb shank) is described on the menu. It was a robust combination of tender meat falling of the bone surrounded by a deep flavoured juice with some roast potatoes. It felt authentic, but not as authentic as my Herculean Stifado. This was truly a dish for the gods. Succulent beef stewed in red wine, plenty of shallots and served with rice. Excellent in taste, appearance and just about everything, it was a massive portion as well. Poseiden no doubt would have been jealous at the two filets of simply cooked sea bass. Lemon, garlic and olive oil were all that was used, and all that’s necessary. The flesh was firm and delicate. A good price too, at £13.50. Our youngest son enjoyed his chicken kebab. It had all the qualities you’d expect, char grilled, lemon juice to squeeze over and some fabulous golden chips. You can have rice if you prefer and a salad with a few rectangular pillows of Feta. And his meal was free! All under 12’s eat free with a full paying adult. Not bad eh? In addition to that great offer, people who work for the emergency services will receive a 20% discount (with the presentation of a valid ID card). This is a restaurant that makes it affordable for families to get together.
The desserts are bought in, but I understand that Andrew will change this in the future. We had Chocolate cake again a mammoth portion and baklava which was sweet, sticky, moist, gooey and a bit too much but I ate it anyway. My Big Fat Greek has only been open since May and they are still at that smoothing out stage. The location is good, just off the hub of Lordship Lane with all its cool shops, cafes and bars it makes a calm diversion. With a reasonably priced menu, food cooked with love and authenticity it’s hard to fault My Big Fat Greek. The stand out dish for me was the Stifado, which at £12.50 just shows you that you can eat very well without spending a fortune. I’ll just have to wait to see if it has made me immortal.
This would be a great location for a party or large family get together (they have a private room upstairs). I’m sure Dionysus the Greek god of wine, parties and festivals would look down and approve.
The temptation of the gods proved too much for this reviewer!
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