With all this brilliant yet sweaty sunshine we’ve been having in Cardiff over the last few weeks I’ve constantly been in a holiday and travel kind of mood. Unfortunately for me, I have a house deposit and a wedding to save for, which means travel is a current luxury my bank balance just can’t afford. Fear not, for whilst myself and my other half may not be able to actually leave the country, we were most definitely able to bring another country to us! Cardiff is a brilliant city for great independent food at the moment, and with the amazing ranges of cuisines on offer the ability to transport yourself to another place are endless!
We actually decided pretty quickly on The Hellenic Eatery, a Greek restaurant we’ve been meaning to get to which really did have me feeling as if I were back in Kos or Crete. We both love Greece and the stunning local food there, so the idea of a Greek family-run business where most of the ingredients are important from Greece and cooked in an authentic Greek way was far too tantalizing to pass.
Located on the busy Crwys Road, The Hellenic Eatery is a small yet comfortable restaurant which could be easily overlooked from the outside. Step inside and you’re greeting with a pretty down to earth decor. There’s nothing fancy or over pretentious in here; just simple wooden tables and rather plain walls with a few framed Greek photographs. The emphasis is very clearly on casually relaxing and enjoying the food, as opposed to being distracted by your surroundings, an ethos I can most definitely get behind.
Drinks wise I was immediately tempted by something called a Loux sour cherry. I love cherry and you don’t see it that often as a flavouring in non-alcoholic drinks. It came in a small bottle and was almost like a slightly more fizzy version of a Vimto. It was deliciously refreshing and wasn’t so fizzy that it made your throat hurt. My boyfriend opted for a Mythos beer, something he had become quite partial to when we’ve been to Greece before.
When I’ve previously been to Greece I immediately fell in love with their Souvlaki. It’s essentially a wrap with skewered meat and it’s popular as both a street food and in sit down restaurants. Although they had other classics such as Mousaka on the menu here I immediately ordered the portion of souvlaki chicken skewers. We’re both big eaters so the fact the portion size was so incredibly generous was a massive plus. Likewise, this came in at only £8, which is a bargain when considering not only the quantity but also the taste!
The chicken itself was beautifully white inside and cooked to perfection. I can often have issues with skewered meats as I’m mostly a chicken eater but really dislike chicken thighs. Thankfully this was all chicken breast and was incredibly succulent with a brilliant balance of seasoning. This was coupled with a traditional salad of tomato and red onion, a wonderfully creamy yet tangy tzatziki, quarters of pitta bread and a generous helping of seasoned chips. I loved the how this was presented as the somewhat informal presentation meant we could decided how to eat our food, be that making it up in the pitta or eating it bit by bit. They do also offer smaller souvlaki which come wrapped up in the pitta bread if you would prefer a lighter meal.
My boyfriend, a massive meat eater, naturally opted for the very traditional Gyros, which was the same but with roasted slices of pork. He had a massive amount of meat which seemed just as well cooked as the chicken. As you can see from the ‘after’ photo, the food was simply too delicious to leave behind!
I really enjoyed the friendly yet laid back service here. We were greeted fairly quickly once we had walked in and chosen our own table. The waitress quickly took our order and then pretty much left us alone except for bringing our food and checking everything was alright. I hate over the top service and would much rather be left to enjoy my food in piece – there’s nothing worse than being mid mouthful when your server starts a conversation! The food was also cooked really quickly so this would be a great place if you want a filling meal without having to spend all day sat down.
I absolutely loved this restaurant and I’m already desperate to go back. I loved the informal relaxed environment and still can’t believe how reasonably priced the food is! Next on my list to try is most definitely ‘The Hellenic Eatery Feta’ which in wrapped in filo pastry and served with a honey dressing (heaven!). It’s worth mentioning they also do vegetarian options such as halloumi and veggie patties.
Relaxed, friendly and above all absolutely delicious! The portions may be massive but they are far to good to leave behind!