10 Greek Street, W1D 4DH
020 7734 4677
Nearest tube: Tottenham Court Road
“There is nothing showy about how ingredients are brought together. You will not swoon at the originality of anything. There are oceans of technique but it is worn very lightly; so lightly, in fact, that it may only be as you come to the end of the meal that you will recognise how well you have been fed.” Jay Rayner, The Guardian
It’s good to see restaurants that were once “hot” (as 10 Greek Street was when it opened in early 2012) sticking to their original formula and still being successful some years on. Founder Luke Wilson (not the film star) is the son of Scottish media mogul Charlie Wilson and has a background in wine supplying, meaning the restaurant boats an interesting and great value wine list with Andy Hayler noting that “Mark-ups were distinctly kind by London standards, averaging just twice retail price”. Wilson’s co-founder and head chef is the Kiwi Cameron Emirali who had previously worked at the Wapping Project. When it opened 10 Greek Street was a trend setter in many ways – a small, bustling space with no reservations, the understated decor, open kitchen and chalk board menu concentrating on seasonal ingredients as well as the good-looking staff who look like they are destined for more creative things but are happy to serve you in the meantime. The restaurant received rave reviews when it first opened including a 4 star review from Fay Maschler in the Standard and being described as a “bit of a diamond” by Jay Rayner.
The succinct chalkboard menu doesn’t really distinguish between starters and mains, and the pricing is reasonable with dishes at £7-25. We started with octopus carpaccio with capers and artichoke (£9) – this was disappointing, the octopus bland and slightly stringy; the combination of the capers and artichoke was overly bitter. Thankfully, I was able to quickly forget the octopus as the rest of the meal was fantastic – razor clam escabèche with saffron and fennel was a joy to eat: the clams had been quickly boiled and then cured in vinegar so that they retained their natural flavour, whilst a hint of saffron added refinement. The fennel cut through the meaty, slightly salty clams to round off a wonderful dish.
Our first larger course was hake with peperonta (stewed peppers, onions and tomatoes) and a courgette flower stuffed with Cornish crab meat (£22) – the fish had been cooked perfectly so that the skin was crispy and the flesh still firm, the hake and the peperonta worked well together with the peperonta adding a bit of interest to the fresh but slightly bland hake. The crab stuffed courgette flower was really tasty – the batter was crisp, light and not at all greasy and the creamy crab combined well with the slightly sweet flower.
We followed with Old Spot pork with a Vignarola (an Italian spring stew made up of broad beans, artichokes, mint and parsley) £19 – the dish was finished with some fantastic crackling and the pork was cooked impeccably so that it was still nice and moist. The Vignarola combined very well with the pork, adding tartness and wholesomeness to round off the dish. Service was friendly but not especially attentive given the fairly low ratio of staff to diners.
Verdict: 10 Greek Street may no longer be on trend but their food is generally wonderful 7.5/10