Concept Creations, the group behind Tapeo, Frites and Chicha really knows how to create a winning restaurant. This time they have brought us Souvla, a contemporary Greek restaurant in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong.
The restaurant, which was once British ‘gastropub’ Harrington’s, is completely unrecognisable. The CC team have done wonders with the space, completely transforming it into a haven of colours and textures that emanate the restaurant’s concept, whilst avoiding all kinds of common Greek stereotypes. A honeycomb feature runs throughout the restaurant as a homage to the Greeks being the finest honey-producers in the world; beautiful marble on the bars and tabletops adds a touch of ‘Ancient Greece’; whilst an open flame spit (alluding to the style of cooking referred to in the restaurant’s name) is on display for all to see. Lastly, a stone motif, relating to the hot stones used for the ‘souvla’, also runs throughout the restaurant and along both bars.
Just as the décor is somewhat unexpected, so too is the menu design, featuring characters from Greek mythology and bringing them to life as part of the restaurant’s theme – a feast for the wedding of Hercules to Medusa!
Unsure where to start with the menu, as everything sounded delicious, we let owner Viviano Romito go crazy and do the ordering for us, whilst we nibbled on a plate of delicious warm marinated olives and sipped on some Metaxa-fuelled cocktails – the Son of a Gun and Souvla Sour, Souvla’s take on a Mojito and Pisco Sour respectively, were particularly good.
No Greek feast is complete without some pita and dips to kick the evening off. Souvla’s homemade tzatziki and taramasalata were incredibly fresh and flavoursome, serving as the perfect accompaniment to the freshly baked, insanely fluffy pita.
Following this came a saganaki – a huge slab of salty kefalograviera cheese served on a hot iron pan with fig marmalade and chunks of lemon. If I have told you how much I love halloumi before, I can now tell you that this cheese was even more delicious and I could happily have chowed down the entire slab myself.
The grilled scallops with almond skordalia, manouri cheese and tsoureki crumbs were divine. The bouncy, perfectly cooked scallops paired beautifully with the creamy skordalia, and although the flavours were very simple and light, they were fantastic.
As an alternative to the classic lahanodolmathes, Souvla serves a deconstructed version – you get a bowl of minced beef and another of steamed cabbage for you to create your own rolls; a modern Greek take on the san choi bao, and a damn good one at that!
For main courses, to accompany a gorgeous Cyrpriot Salata (an incredible and colourful mix of pulses, grains, nuts and currents, topped with honey, yoghurt and pomegranate), we tried the grilled Glacier 51 Toothfish and the slow-cooked lamb. The former, a highly prized, sustainable fish from the coast of Heard Island in Antarctica, had a beautiful, firm texture and a delicate yet delicious flavour. Souvla is the only place in Hong Kong as of yet to serve this fish, and apparently, as it is fished so far off the coast of Australia, in some of the wildest, pirate-ridden seas on Earth, it isn’t exactly an easy catch.
The lamb, which is first cooked sous-vide before being roasted over a low heat for two hours, was incredibly tender and full of flavour, served with creamy Greek yoghurt. If you have to order one thing and one thing only at Souvla, definitely order this lamb.
Having heard so much about them, we tried one of each of the signature souvas – pita bread cones stuffed with chips, herbs, onions and either chicken, pork, goat or soft-shell crab. Despite the fillings occasionally being a little on the stingy side, the flavours were delicious and the pita was again wonderfully fluffy. I think one of these would be the perfect late night snack after a few Son of a Guns.
Once we’d found that second stomach, our first dessert was a bowl of Loukoumades – a form of Greek doughnuts, smothered in syrup and cinnamon, sprinkled with walnuts and served on a bed of yoghurt. Despite being deep-fried and probably the least healthy thing we’d eaten so far, they still seemed lovely and light.
The Golden Greek Time, a play on Australia’s popular ice cream dessert, the Golden Gaytime, was quite possibly the best thing I’ve eaten in a long time. A ball of vanilla and chocolate ice cream, made with mastic, to achieve that chewy texture present in Greek ice cream, was encased in honey-nut cornflakes, served with salted caramel sauce and a broken Crunchie bar. Need I say more?!
Including a round of cocktails and a fairly expensive bottle of delicious Pinot Noir, the bill amounted to $800 a head, including a tip (service charge is not included). It’s not a cheap meal (if you eat as much as we did), but you will certainly leave feeling full to the brim and eager to return soon for another helping of tender lamb and Golden Greek Time…
1/F, Ho Lee Commercial Building
40 D’Aguilar Street
Tel: +852 2522 1823 or Text: +852 9285 8846