To cut a long story short, I couldn’t wait for the end of each night so I could get to the kebab shop and guzzle a gyro wrap stuffed with crisp spit-roast pork, fries, salad and tzatziki. Such was my enthusiasm that I dripped kebab fat all the way down the front of my brand new white Ralph Lauren shirt on the very first day of the holiday.
So, it’s fair to say I’ve got a heck of a lot of time for Greek kebabs.
This leads me onto the Athenian Tree, a sister restaurant to Cathays’ much-loved Hellenic Eatery, located downstairs from the Purple Poppadom in Canton.
Much like the Hellenic, the Athenian Tree’s good value menu focuses on Greek dips, salads, grills, wraps and bakes. It’s the kind of no-nonsense comfort food which leaves very little room to hide.
A couple of on the go lunches were a very good introduction to their food.
A pork skewer wrap (£4.70) saw crisp and juicy pieces of oregano seasoned meat stuffed into a soft-griddled pizza alongside crunchy fries, fresh salad and a good dollop of garlicky tzatziki.
A chicken gyros (£4.70) substituted the pork for slices of crisp and tender meat shavings and the tzatziki for golden mustard twanged yoghurt.
On a separate occasion we ordered a home delivery which was more of a mixed bag.
Athenian feta (£6), a must order at the Hellenic Eatery, saw thin sheets of rustling filo filled with a creamy and tangy ooze of melted feta. This decadent treat was liberally drenched with sweet honey and scattered with sesame seeds.
Cretan salad (£6) comprised of a crisp, grassy olive oil-soaked rusk topped with sweet fresh tomatoes, crumbled feta and fragrant oregano.
An Athenian meat platter (£26) was generous in portion but didn’t travel that successfully - coarse textured country sausage and tender pork souvlaki were the standouts. Golden hand cut fries were on the soft-side, shavings of pork and chicken gyro and herby beef patties were fairly decent, whilst a chicken souvlaki was pretty dry.
A soft griddled pitta did the job…
whilst dips were all great - complimentary mustardy yoghurt and garlicky tzatziki, and an additional pot of spicy and feta laced tyrokafteri (£1).
I really liked the Athenian Tree and can heartily recommend their takeaway wraps and starters. A few of their takeaways will certainly save me another trip back to Faliraki.