Not too long ago I was running into the Spar after work in my Chefs uniform probably to buy something very un - chef - like for a quick dinner when a man stopped me to enquire as to where I worked and how the hotel was doing while I was trying to hide my ready meals, frozen chips and Vienna's from his sight, typical after work goodies. Turns out this friendly person is the owner of Maria's Greek Restaurant in Dunkley Square in partnership with his wife. We had a brief chat where he told me a bit about his renovations he had just done and I made a mental note to visit sometime.
We met up with a friend who told me that this place had been going for many years and in his words it is an "institution", they closed for two years to do their renovations.... not sure why it took so long but they did an excellent job, the interior is for a better word very pretty, modern and cosy. It is small with an intimate feeling. The kitchen is open and you can see and smell your meal being prepared. We were attended to by a welcoming helpful waitress who explained the dishes to us. Now I don't want to necessarily give this place a bad review but there were a few things that I would like to point out which made the experience a 5/10.
For Starters my partner and our friend ordered fried Haloumi and I ordered Spanakopita's, the haloumi was nice but I did not get Spanakopita with spinach and feta, instead they sent me cheese and leek phyllo. I did not mention it as I did not really mind but the food came very fast and it was plain with no dips or pita in sight only a lemon wedge.
For mains my partner and myself both ordered the speciality which is Lamb slowly braised in wine with artichoke and our friend ordered grilled calamari. The food once again came very quickly, the lamb was soft and tender however I could not see or taste any artichoke, it was served with a Greek salad which was nice, creamed spinach which was very brown in colour and three roast potatoes which were definitely from the day before and reheated as you can tell when a potato has come out the fridge. I am generally not fussy and always happy to be taken out for dinner ANYWHERE but this plate of food cost R135 for which I would expect it to be all the best fresh ingredients as they are charging the same price as say George Jardin would charge for lamb in his award winning establishments.
Our friend had a flour less Lindt chocolate brownie for dessert which he said was the best dessert he has ever had so in conclusion, I would go back and give it another chance but I will order something other than the lamb dish.
31 Barnet st
021 - 461 8887
Review and pictures copyright by Tamsyn Wells