Let’s get down to business: I’ve not really got a lot to say in terms of the usual whimsical pre-amble, mainly cos there isn’t one. I did consider a musical intro by way changing the words of, say, The Real Me by The Who, or possibly The Real Thing by Tony Di Bart, to something related to The Real Greek, but the logistics of recording such a thing defeated me, mainly because I couldn’t be bothered.
I had high hopes for this place, prior to my visit. Located in the Silverburn Shopping Centre’s food bit, which already has a fairly impressive line up with the likes of Doner Shack, Wagamama, Nandos and Five Guys being there, a Greek option is nice to have. Whilst this is their first restaurant to open in Glasgow, they have a number of outlets across the UK, and, as far as I could tell from a cursory Google search prior to my visit, seem to be quite highly regarded.
Now, as much as I hate to go against the grain – I don’t think there’s any way in which I can butter this up – I was not particularly impressed. Let’s have a look at my lunch:
I got the Lamb Meatballs souvlaki wrap, with a bottle of Greek lager Mythos to wash it down with. Now, I know that gyros and souvlaki wraps come with a few chips inside – what I got here was a wrap that contained loads of chips, with three meatballs inside. That’s right! Three meatballs! (though they do cut them in half – so a total of six “meat bits” were inside this). For a wrap that costs £8.25 at time of checking, that comes out at £2.75 a meatball. By way of comparison, my local Subway puts 4 meatballs into a 6 inch marinara sandwich, which I think is roughly the same size as this – for £4.59, or £1.1475 per meatball.
Anyway, time to put the calculator down for a moment – low meat content and price aside, was this any good? Well, the chips were. I can vouch the chips – nice and golden, no paprika which is a standard for a wrap of this sort which was disappointing, but let’s face it, I had bigger things to worry about. The lamb meatballs themselves were ok – the taste was fine but they were a bit dry, and not the juicy, dripping kofte that I’d had at other establishments, and the “minted yoghurt” as the menu called it was exactly that – tzatziki – though credit where due here, they got the amount spot on here. Other places I have visited have overdone it in the past (the old Greek takeaway in St Enoch’s food court absolutely drowned theirs in the stuff), but all in all I just sat there thinking that Yiamas, MacTassos and friends don’t have an awful lot to worry about on this showing.
Service wise, a mixed bag. I was attended to by no fewer than three different people! The first, a pleasant enough lady who took my order and eventually delivered my drink, followed by a remarkably happy gentleman who bought the food over, and finally payment was taken by a girl who said few words.
I took this photo at this angle for two reasons! The first of which was, as per normal, so show a top down view of the contents. As you can just about see, here we have a slice of tomato, a very thin slice of red onion on the right there, 1.5 meatballs, and chips seemingly going all the way into the wrap as opposed to just being at the top. Spoiler alert – the chips very much did reach the bottom. The second reason I took this photo was to highlight the distance between where I was sitting, and where the bar was (see the top of the photo, with the strip light underneath the bar itself). I estimate that the distance between my seat and the bar was somewhere in the region of one to two metres, and considering the bottle of lager simply required opening and a glass needed to be picked up and delivered, I am genuinely at a loss as to how this took a restaurant 10 minutes to be delivered over – considering the total number of patrons when I visited were in single figures. For half of this ten minute wait (reaches back for calculator – five, apparently) the beer sat on the bar and the temptation was to simply stand up, take three paces to the counter, pick it up, then return to seat, but I figured that’s the done thing, so I waited patiently. It’s important to stress quite why time is important in the context of Silverburn – it’s not in the city centre, it’s very much an out of town shopping centre that fortunately is right by the motorway, and has an express bus service that operates on a half hourly basis. Long story short, what I was hoping would be a fairly quick in/out job wasn’t – and that half hour wait is a killer.
So – would I recommend this? Well, no – but I’m not going to go to town with the condemnation. They’re relatively new after all, and it seems like a relatively easy fix – more meat, fewer chips, quicker service and they’ll turn it around, I’m sure! But, one can only review what’s placed in front of them, and this is what I got. Might give them another go in 6 months or so.
The Real Greek, Silverburn
Lamb Meatball Souvlaki + Beer, came to about £15 all in – 10% tip automatically added to bill.