Meraki is a Greek restaurant based in Fitzrovia. It is the latest food offering by the Waney Family whose other London restaurants include Roka and Zuma.
As someone with a keen interest in food, as well as a person of Greek origin, when I heard that a new Greek restaurant had opened in the West End, I was naturally intrigued. Proprietors of such restaurants as Zuma, Roka, La Petite Maison, and the exclusive Arts Club, Meraki is the Waney Family’s first venture into Greek cuisine. This previous success with so many different cuisines by Waney convinced me that Meraki was worth a try.
Upon entering the restaurant, I was greeted by international music and a smiling hostess who immediately seated me on one of their cosy sofas which line the sides of the room. Upon looking at the menu, I was pleased to discover that this was not your normal Greek restaurant fare. From stuffed Florina Peppers, to Langoustines Kritharoto, there as a wide selection of authentic Greek dishes which do not normally make it to restaurant menus in England. As a starter, I ordered the Trahana, a traditional Eastern Mediterranean thick soup made with cracked wheat and fermented milk. My main course was the pasta with squid ragout which I ordered without the Kalamata Olives it is usually served with.
The Trahana arrived, served with an impressively coloured egg yolk confit which my waiter mixed into the soup upon serving. The soup itself was indulgent, with pieces of spinach and chunks of cheese giving the soup a distinctive flavour. However, despite these positives, I could tell that it was designed for British palettes and the Trahana was not quite sour enough for a Cypriot who has grown up eating these dishes! Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by this dish, expecting something far less authentic from a meal which many Western diners would regard as an acquired taste so this is minor criticism.
My main meal, however, was excellent. The squid was soft and fresh and the bell peppers in the sauce just added to the flavour. The pasta was traditional Greek pasta, served al dente and was reminiscent of food which you would be served in a top quality Greek taverna by the beach. The mocktail I ordered was also excellent, sharp and bitter without being overpowering, it had a fantastic flavour.
Overall, I would highly recommend Meraki. The predominately Greek staff have a fantastic understanding of the menu and the needs of the customer and the food itself makes a great change from the many Greek restaurants all over London.
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