The Real Greek Manchester, Corn Exchange, Exchange Square, Manchester, M4 3TR – Visit Now
The Real Greek Manchester is a new addition to the city’s restaurant scene this winter. It’s a tapas style restaurant, or mezze, rather, serving up a healthy selection of authentic East Mediterranean dishes. Based in the former Wahaca unit in The Corn Exchange, this is The Real Greek’s first northern venue after launching in London back in 1999.
The atmosphere stays true to the spirit of eating in Greece
Since then it has built a strong reputation for Greek cuisine, using premium ingredients sourced from Greece and Cyprus wherever possible, with celebrity chef Tonia Buxton in charge of menu development. The atmosphere stays true to the spirit of Greek dining, encouraging diners to take their time and enjoy themselves in this warm, comfortable setting.
We’re here to try out their new Christmas menu: two courses for £19.95 or three courses for a reasonable £24.95 per person. We start with a complimentary glass of Prosecco before tucking into The Real Greek Meze Plate as a starter. This consists of a selection of crudités, flatbread, houmous, tzatziki, a tangy green pea fava, spinach tiropitakia (a deep-fried pastry made with layers of buttered phyllo and filled with gooey feta), dolmades and, of course, olives. The dolmades are the star of the show – a zesty rice mixture wrapped in a bitter vine leaf, as authentic as they are moreish.
For the main course, it’s a choice of a hot meze and a side dish. We choose the Greek moussaka, saffron rice, vegan meatballs and new potatoes. The moussaka is made with slow-cooked British lamb in a sauce that has been simmering away for over 48 hours, topped with fluffy potato mash and slices of aubergine then finished with a crispy layer of cheese on top. The rich, deep flavours of the moussaka pair superbly with the delicate aromas of the fragrant saffron rice.
Mix things up this Christmas and dabble in some historic Greek dishes
The soya meatballs (soutzoukakia) were delivered in a traditional tomato sauce and seasoned with Anatolian spices that deliver a combination of sweetness and lip-smacking heat. The vegan meatballs melt in the mouth, offering a rich, comforting flavour without the rubbery texture that soya sometimes has.
To end, traditional baklava. The fine layers of filo pastry create a tower of crunchy sweetness, cut through by the earthy walnuts, and topped off with a sticky and pleasingly messy syrup. If you’d like to mix things up this Christmas and dabble in some historic Greek dishes The Real Greek will be serving its Christmas menu until the 9th January 2022.