Restaurant review: Souvlaki, Leeds

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The nights are getting darker and the mercury is starting to free-fall.

Winter is starting to rear its head as shoppers begin to layer up with their hats and scarves. You could be easily forgiven for wanting to escape to sunnier climes and feel the sand between your toes. Rather than opting to board a plane Little Oliver decided to sample a taste of The Med right in Leeds.

After just eight months of opening, Souvlaki is hoping to cement itself on the city’s dining scene.

It has taken up residence in the former home of Dish and food and wine bar Aglassto in the city’s grand Electric Press building on the edge of Millennium Square.

A small blue sign greets diners outside but as you step away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre into the building you could almost be forgiven for thinking you were in the Mediterranean.

A huge mural adorns the main wall of the small dining room depicting traditional whitewashed buildings and of course, the obligatory olive or two. And my lunch companion quiet enjoyed the Med-style music that was being played to the room when we entered.

On selected evenings Souvlaki also plays host to live Greek bands. The small eating area is home to a handful of tables with an open kitchen tucked away at the back.

Two tables were already full when we made our mid-afternoon visit and we could only imagine the atmosphere had the intimate restaurant been packed.

Souvalki prides itself on traditional Greek and Cypriot dishes, according to its website. So it was pleasing as we browsed the menu to see a number of specialities ranging from the namesake souvlaki, lamb kleftiko and brizoles.

Little Oliver decided to opt for the pork souvlaki - after all the restaurant has chosen to name itself after that dish so it seemed only fitting.

Souvlaki is a popular Greek dish which includes meat and sometimes vegetables grilled on a skewer. My lunch companion opted for the lamb and halloumi souvlaki.

Both dishes came served with a salad, a pita bread, a dish of chips and a serving of traditional tzatziki sauce.

The pork was beautifully seasoned and tasted excellent.

My lunch companion quickly devoured his souvlakis and was more than happy to help me finish off my meal.

He was impressed with the tenderness of the lamb and loved the halloumi and the tasty yoghurt sauce.

We have both sampled souvlaki in Greece and these certainly lived up to our high expectations. Overall our quick lunch complete with a beer and a lemonade came to just over £28.

After just a few months since Souvlaki first opened its doors it seems to be well on its way to becoming a favourite on the city’s dining scene.

There are also plenty of early evening offers to tempt in diners. Our friendly waiter told us the restaurant was forced to stop serving food on one recent Saturday because they were so busy that they had run out of food. Souvlaki may end up following in Dish’s dining footsteps and move to a larger building?

Rating: 4/5

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