It’s All Greek to us at The Greek Larder, King’s Cross

10 Feb 2017

As a young, impressionable child, two of the films that made a lasting impact on me were Clash of the Titans (no, not the God-awful remake with tons of CGI, the original with Harry Hamlin) and Jason and the Argonauts. With Pegasus the winged horse and an army of evil skeletons on the loose, it was enough to delight and terrify my young self in equal measure. And it also gave me my first insight into ancient Greece.

Fast forward two and a half thousand years and another Greek legend is plying his trade in a different and somewhat less dangerous (well, sometimes) arena. Step forward Theo Kyriakou of The Real Greek and Livebait fame and say hello to his open, airy and atmospheric King’s Cross venture, The Greek Larder.

Trotting quickly down York Street on a cold January evening, time was sadly a playing factor in the night’s festivities as 7.30pm and 8pm trains from King’s Cross alas, couldn’t be changed. All we knew was that the location of the ‘Larder’ was in the relatively new and lavish east side of the station. Then before we could utter the words ‘Mighty Zeus’, the impressive glass frontage was upon us and we were in.

And what an impressive space we were in too. It’s sizeable and was very atmospheric, even though only half-full with plenty of odds and sods dotted around to give off an air of authenticity. Think bottles and tins, packs and sacks and plenty of rustic touches thrown in for good measure and you’ll have a pretty good idea. And talking of rusticity (sic), the on-site deli is a little cracker and had both of us mulling over which independently-sourced produce to take home from Theo’s extensive contact list. There’s a fair amount to choose from including traditional sweets, charcuterie, Grecian cheeses, wines, pulses, Cycladic honey and of course, olives.

But, it was the a la carte, restaurant menu that most got our taste-buds tingling and was the main reason we had darkened their doors. It’s fair to say that by and large, the cuisine is light, product-driven and is influenced by traditional recipes from the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean basin. There is grilled seafood, awesome meze and a wide range of simple yet tasty dishes inspired by the street food of Athens from Theo’s youth.

It would have been wrong not to have kicked off proceedings with the fresh Rhodes flat breads (£3) and although very enjoyable, with the feast that followed, I kind of wished we’d have left more room, so beware.

After our ‘false’ starter, we plumped for the wonderful (and large) Meze Platter for £13 which included taramosolata, dolmadakia, htipiti, fava, tzatziki, gigandes and skordalia. And no, we didn’t finish it all.

A succulent and tender Roast Goosenargh duck fricassee with a slow cooked casserole of seasonal greens (£19) was my choice with my dining partner aiming for her second filo pie of the week. She just can’t get enough of the stuff. This variation came as a delicious Seasonal filo pie with Chicory leaf salad with grape molasses & tzatziki (£13).

As if we needed them, sides chosen by the helpful manager Wade and his ultra-helpful team included the Patzarosalata Beetroot salad, dill, yoghurt & Aegina pistachios (£5) and my personal favourite of the evening. (And how could fried cheese not be, right?) It was the Kefalotiri saganaki with Dry cured Kalamata olive paste, black sesame seeds & wild thyme honey (£6). This is the dish you just have to order.

Sticking with the theme, the drinks list includes a range of indigenous Greek wines made by true artisans or you could even just try a Greek tea or coffee crafted from Greek mountain herbs. However, it was the list of house craft beers and the incredibly moreish Tinos Nisos Pilsner that did it for us.

So, a giant meal fit for a Greek (or Trojan) king. It’s a place we heartily recommend, with the only Achilles (groan) heel, being that the large dining room definitely benefits from being at least half-full. Anything less and it may seem like your dining in a half-full Greek amphitheatre.

Carpo in Piccadilly, Ergon at Oxford Circus and Life Goddess in Kingly Court are all currently thriving and proving that Greek cuisine is on the up. The Greek Larder stands proudly shoulder to shoulder and is only going in one direction as far as we can tell.

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