SOUVLAKI IS a sleek, modern, fast casual restaurant serving delicious Greek street food suvlaki. Recently launched, the Athenian grill house will provide Soho with a unique new concept from lunch to dinner, take-away to delivery and for late night bites.
“The perception of Greek food in the UK is often outdated,” says Yannis Theodorakakos who co-owns the restaurant with his Greek business partner Michael Kantartzis. “Greek street food in particular, which revolves around ‘suvlaki’, a grilled meat skewer eaten plain or inside a wrap, has a very limited presence outside Greece, yet can be a great substitute and competitor to burgers, burritos and hotdogs.
“Our vision is to bring suvlaki to Soho’s discerning food lovers and, more generally, to educate the London audience with regard to the product. We aim to show how suvlaki can be fresh, tasty and healthy, fast and casual, sexy and trendy.”
Acclaimed Greek chef Elias Mamalakis, has been brought onboard permanently as a consultant chef, starting with the main menu. The much-loved Greek culinary figure, who appears frequently on TV in Greece, has also designed several signature dishes for Suvlaki.The restaurant will offer options including lamb, chicken, pork and vegetables wrapped in pita bread or served on skewers. All meat is delivered fresh and prepared daily, with the best cuts chosen for the best tasting suvlaki.
The suvlakis will be cooked on a robata-style grill with top quality charcoal – no chemicals/additives, just pure, highly carbonised wood. The menu will also include sides such as Elias’ Fresh Herb and Vegetable Salad and Baked Feta. A fully Greek wine menu is also offered alongside rare bottled craft beers from selected microbreweries in Greece.
Athens’ notorious, satirical graffiti has provided inspirations for the brand’s design, reflecting the authentic urban side of Greece that is far removed from the touristic clichés of Greek eateries worldwide.
London-based, Greek interior designer Afroditi Krassa says: “In the past year there has been a massive wave of Greek innovative hospitality concepts opening in London. As a Greek designer, I am fascinated by Athens’ culinary reinvention and its representation within the UK. Gone are the days of the Greek tavern, bouzouki dancing and plate smashing.
“Greece is currently presenting itself as one of the creative powerhouses of Europe and our brand and interior design is picking up on this energy: raw, witty and idiosyncratic. The small restaurant will be buzzing with energy and pace, show-off grilling, large communal tables and bold colours.”
The restaurant seats 34 and includes casual dining tables. The interior design is based on a palette of blues, from inky petrol blues to bright turquoise hues, which have been used throughout the scheme in a myriad of rich textures, finishes and patterns. The result is dark and classic; resourceful and understated. The feature grill has been positioned prominently to the shop front to create theatre and showcase the provenance of ingredients and specialist grilling.
Products from Afroditi Krassa’s signature collection AKollection have been used throughout the interior, including the Moroccan-made Piano Tiles and beveled glass Pentagon pendant lamps, creating a warm and bold feature reflecting light along the ceiling.
Furniture and bric-a-brac are sourced and made in Greece, alongside Greek marble table tops and Italian lava stone worktops. The feature Greek column cladded wall is produced by a repetition of over 80 reclaimed, vintage Italian terrazzo fluted column sections.
Suvlaki, 21 Bateman Street, London W1D 3AL. www.suvlaki.co.uk
Open Monday to Thursday: midday to 11:30pm, Friday and Saturday: midday to midnight, Sunday: midday to 10:30pm