Having got married recently in Santorini, you might be under the impression that Ed and I are big fans of Greek food.
In actual fact, our time on the island getting married was the first, and only time, I’ve sampled any Greek cuisine.
I’m what you would probably refer to as a bit of a fussy eater generally. I’m not as bad as my Mum, who really doesn’t like dishes from most nationalities, but I do tend to avoid certain foods, and truth be told, I was a bit unsure about the menu at The Real Greek.
When I was invited by Bh2 leisure, along with three other of the Bournemouth Bloggers, to try out the menu at our local branch of The Real Greek, situated in their centre, I figured it was the perfect chance to try some different foods.
Louise kindly gave me a lift, as we discovered after the last event that we live only a few minutes away from each other, and we ended up getting to the restaurant 15 minutes early.
As it was so cold outside, we went straight in, and the staff and manager couldn’t have been more accommodating to us. Our waitress showed us to our table, which was directly under a spotlight (a blogger’s dream!), and we were offered a drink whilst we waited for the rest of our party.
Our waitress, Hannah, was incredibly bubbly and friendly throughout the evening, and was happy to make suggestions from the menu. Louise had a glass of rose wine, at her suggestion, and I settled for a glass of Prosecco.
Soon after, Harrison arrived, but it came to light that our final member, Emma was stuck at a bus stop quite a distance away as her bus hadn’t turned up. Luckily, after a long wait in the cold, Emma managed to get on another bus and was on her way to join us.
Whilst we were waiting, Hannah didn’t once make us feel we needed to order, but she did suggest some olives and flatbreads with dips to keep us going, which we happily agreed to.
Now, I will admit, I didn’t think I would like olives, and I really didn’t, but I’m happy to say I at least tried them this time rather than just claiming I didn’t like them without knowing for sure.
The flatbreads, on the other hand, were gorgeous, nice and soft, but with a slight crisp on the outside, and flavoured just right.
The dips we had originally were Tzatziki and spicy feta dip. I’m generally fussy when it comes to dips as well, sticking to my trusty salsa rather than trying anything new.
In the spirit of the evening, I tried both dips and I really liked the Tzatziki! I described it as a bit like white salsa, and I really enjoyed it. I wasn’t as keen on the spicy feta dip, but I would eat it again.
When Emma arrived, the team brought over more flatbread and a couple more of their dips for us to try. None of us were very sure about the Melitzanosalata, which had a bit of a musty taste to it, but I quite liked the Taramasalata, which is made with Cod roe and was fairly strong and fishy to taste, as you can imagine.
The Real Greek is very much about small mezzes, which you can mix and match to try a few different dishes, rather than one big main meal. The menu suggested 3-4 mezzes per person, and we decided it would be nice to share amongst ourselves, to try as much of the menu as possible.
Harrison and I ordered one of the chicken souvlaki wraps each in place of a mezze, as I remembered having them in Santorini and loving them.
When the food came out there was so much of it, it took up most of our table, and we jumped into typical blogger mode and started snapping away. I think the people on the surrounding tables to us must have wondered what on earth was going on when we started circling the table, and moving the dishes around to get the best angle.
Satisfied with our shots and practically salivating at the delicious looking food in front of us, we sat down to eat and oh my word, the food was incredible.
My favourite has to be the Halloumi fries, they were amazing. I have had halloumi before, but only really as part of a dish, and not on its own, but it really works, and everyone was fighting over the 3 dishes we had luckily ordered of them, having been tipped off by the restaurant that they were a must try!
As well as my wrap, I had also ordered the Loukaniko (beef & pork sausage), which reminded me a bit of chorizo, which is a firm favourite of mine, the lamb meatballs, and the chicken skewers.
I tried a little of the Chicken Monastiraki Louise had ordered, and it was so yummy, I can see why she liked it the best.
I also tried a tiny bit of her Kalamari, but I wasn’t a fan. I’m so proud of myself for trying it though as I never would have in the past!
Emma is a vegetarian, so she had a few dishes I wouldn’t have ordered myself, but that she loved including falafel and the beetroot, feta and lentil salad. She also had the Grilled Aubergine. There was definitely a nice selection for her to choose from, and the restaurant also cater for vegan and gluten free diets.
I know Ed would have loved eating at The Real Greek, as he’s on a carb free diet, and a lot of the options are meat and vegetable based, although I don’t know how we would have been able to resist that flatbread.
Talking of the flatbread, we realised halfway into things that we maybe had ordered a little more than we needed, and asked for the rest to be boxed up for us, as we were keen to leave a little room for dessert.
The others wanted to try the sorbets, but I took Hannah’s recommendation of the Caramel & Pecan cheesecake. We all shared the desserts, but luckily for me, I ended up with most of the cheesecake, as it was incredible.
Harrison, Louise and Emma absolutely loved the lemon sorbet, they were fighting over who got to finish it as it was so zingy and refreshing.
Totally full, we gratefully accepted our boxes full of leftovers and headed out of the door. It was an absolutely wonderful evening, with the best company, and such lovely food and service.
I’ll definitely be going back with Ed, as he was very jealous and loved tasting the dishes I brought back home for him.
This meal was provided complimentary by Bh2 Leisure, for the purpose of the review, however all opinions and photos are my own.