Suvlaki — London, UK
So successful was their first Suvlaki in Soho’s Bateman Street that Irene Margariti and Yannis Theodorakakos have opened a second, this time in Brick Lane.
The sophomore restaurant fits nicely into the area’s unmistakable blend of grunge and chic, thanks largely to Afroditi Krassa. The Greek-born, London-based interior designer has fashioned a moodily stylish interior of mosaic flooring, gray marble, purple washed walls, a neon-lit crucifix, and a feature wall that mimics a crumbling street corner plastered with overlapping retro poster ads of 60s Greek movie stars and concerts. Squint, and you might half convince yourself that you’re actually settling into an Athenian hole-in-the-wall taverna, albeit one done up with good taste.
Literally, at that, because executive chef Alfred Prasad has built a compact but pleasing menu around the titular suvlaki. Fluffy wraps sourced from Greece encase wild boar sausages and smoked aubergine; triangles of pita are speared with grilled mastelo and dabbed with a gently sweet fig marmalade; a whole aubergine arrives at the table with its skin charred almost to ash, its soft fragrant flesh spiked with tiny feta cubes and pomegranate nuggets; whilst the classic Greek salad features juicy Isle of Wight cherry tomatoes amidst cucumber shards and tart olives.