There’s no doubt that this chain lacks the homely charms that most London Greek restaurants trade upon. Customer turnover is quick, and – particularly given this branch’s tourist-friendly, riverside location – service can be impersonal, if not downright inattentive. But the Real Greek also lacks the amateurish qualities that can characterise the cooking in some of the capital’s Hellenic eateries.
Food rarely sparkles, but order one of the souvláki wraps and you’re in for a reliable, hearty feed. The focus is on Greek rather than Greek-Cypriot dishes, with the various sharing menus named after the nation’s provinces. Rather than typical Cypriot pitta bread, you’re offered the far superior fluffy flatbread of the mother country.
On a sunny day, the outdoor tables are a pleasant place to take in the Thames views. Inside, decor is smart and tasteful (all dark wood furnishings and twinkly lighting), but the restaurant’s large size means that it tends to feel either jarringly empty or swamped by the procession of tourists who frequent the place. Also, despite claims that a Mediterranean diet is ‘healthy’, the inclusion of calorific values on the Real Greek’s menu is thought-provoking.