The Real Greek Bournemouth opened this May in the most prominent unit in the new BH2 complex facing The Square. The restaurant is set over two floors with a variety of outdoor seating areas overlooking the gardens.
We entered on the ground floor but headed upstairs to be served. The staff were fast and friendly and we were sat in the window with wonderful views central Bournemouth as the summer sun set during our meal.
Our waiter, Sylvester, was fabulous, bringing us nibbles and a jug of free water while we had some serious decisions to make regarding the menu. Sylvester had excellent knowledge of the menu and made a few recommendations and helped on some pronunciations - I was most surprised getting 'Melitzanosalata' correct first time! It's a meze menu so there's lots of choose from and they recommend 3 or 4 dishes per person.
There's a good selection of wines with an excellent range from Greece. We went for a light and fruity Greek Makedonikos white at £7.25 for a large glass, and a Rapsani Tsantali red at £7.65.
With decisions made Sylvester came back to take our order. Having made a thing of it already I pretty much had to order the Melitzanosalata, a light and fragrant blend of smoked aubergine, garlic, shallots and lemon. The cold meze dishes were served first. Plates come stacked on handy space-saving vertical holders, more commonly seen holding English Afternoon Teas. We also went for the houmous which was excellent, but disappointingly doesn't come with anything to dip or scoop it woth, a side of flatbread is an extra £3. Beetroot is a personal favourite so we tried the Beetroot, Feta and Lentil Salad, very delicious and a classic mix of flavours. Served in a hot pan we loved the fat and juicy Prawn Saganaki, Tiger prawns in a rich tomato sauce, with spinach, pickled peppers and sprinkled with feta. This dish was designed by the awarding winning TV chef Tonia Buxton. We also tried the Greek Pie, made from a traditional Northern Greece recipe. It's a tasty mix of beef mince, filo pastry, feta cheese and parsley.
A second tier of dishes was brought to our table. The Kalamari was generous in portion size and consisted of fresh squid with a sticky Greek honey and paprika marinade. Grilled lamb cutlets came served with lentils and minted Greek yoghurt and didn't last long! The restaurant has specials and this month they have a few dishes featuring watermelon. We tried the watermelon with grilled halloumi and pomegranate which on paper doesn't make much sense. However, the mix of textures and flavours between the juicy watermelon and salty halloumi is something to behold - give it a try.
We worked our way through this wonderful selection and after a bit of a pause came to the desserts. We plumped for a filo pie, a traditional dessert from Sérres, North Greece. It's filo pastry filled with a unique custard cream, served warm and topped with vanilla ice-cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon. However one of my favourite desserts of all time is on the menu. It's very simple with only three ingredients, another traditional dessert of Greek yoghurt, served with pickled walnuts in syrup. It's basic and tricky to make look exciting in a photograph - but it's sublime. I could go in just for this dish and a coffee every day!
The total for the 8 meze dishes, 2 large glasses of wine and 2 desserts came to £74.15. I think we over-ordered by 1 or 2 dishes so would expect more sensible diners to come out with a bill more at around the £65 mark. There is also a set menu with 8 dishes for £36 for 2 people, which is a great price.
We had a great time at The Real Greek and enjoyed the range of meze dishes, we will be heading back to try the ones we missed very soon.
We were guests of The Real Greek Bournemouth for this meal.