It’s all Greek to me
I’ve long protested at the general belief that a visit to the theatre or a concert needs to be automatically coupled with a meal out. For me, the two can provide a satisfying evening’s activity when enjoyed singly. But, this said, there are moments when food becomes an almost essential part of an outing. On Good Friday this year, such an occasion arose. The timing of a concert of seasonally appropriate early music meant that our party would need to gather and dine in advance. Now St Martin and St Winifred church on Lewes Road is hardly positioned for early evening dining, in fact, bar a few local pubs, the food on offer is for the most part of the take-away kind.
It fell to me to find somewhere and after a little research I found what I will describe as a little gem.
Santorini Gyros is, from a fleeting glance, yet another Greek take-away with the ubiquitous rotating meats proudly displayed in the window, but after a quick phone call, I was informed that if we were happy to sit in the shisha room at the rear, we were very welcome to dine in.
Well, as it was so conveniently positioned right next to the church I said yes and booked a table for four.
First impression on our arrival was that the place was brand spanking new and spotlessly clean. The shisha bar at the rear has a retractable roof which, as the evening was bright and dry, had been opened and to keep things comfortable, a heater was turned on. The menu holds few surprises but the food that arrived certainly did. We decided to start with hummus, tzatziki, grilled halloumi and a feta dish described as a mousse but not mousse as perhaps we know it, delicious all the same and it arrived with mounds of excellent hot bread and all in a more than generous quantities. There was also a tasty cheesy dip too, not ordered but very welcome.
In truth, there was rather too much and we were in danger of being too full even before our main course arrived, not that we stopped, as it was all very good.
For our main course the menu offered a mixed grill for four, well it seemed like a good and simple idea so we went for it, at £52 between us it seemed a bargain. Wellm the word bargain hardly covers what arrived. Not one platter of food to share, but four wooden boards simply piled with food. There were chips, gyros meat, salad, a skewer of lamb, a skewer of chicken, a spicy minced lamb skewer and a smoky Greek sausage. The delightful lady attending to our needs produced a bowl of a fresh finely chopped chilli salad that she told us was called spicy spoon when we asked for something spicy. It was perfect!
Between us we drank one orange juice, one sparkling water, a diet cola, two large glasses of white wine and then a whole bottle of the same, yes, a feast to be sure, especially when she brought out a treat of sticky baklava on the house.
So on to the damage… well after rounding things up and adding a tip it came to £26 each. Yes that’s right, add to this that three of us went home with boxes filled to the brim with the food we could not manage to eat at the time. Mine made a very fine lunch the following day.
The lesson to be learned here is to not take things on surface value but to look beyond, we did. Santorini Gyros is a real gem and one that I certainly plan to return to.
Santorini Gyros, 35 Lewes Rd, Brighton BN2 3HQ