Marvellous mediterranean

2012-03-17 07:44

Parea Greek Taverna, Illovo  011 788 8777

This is as close to the real thing as you are likely to get this far from The Med.

The owner is always on site, sitting at a table by the entrance chatting to friends or reading a paper – always keeping an eye on what’s happening and what’s coming out of his kitchen.

The place is decked out in blue, white and green taverna colours, with a trellis growing vines over the verandah, just like you’d expect to find at a little family restaurant on one of the Greek islands.

The service was pleasant and fast, and the waitress had her Greek ronunciations well practised.

She was also happy to help with recommendations, though we did end up ordering too much food.

It’s also nice to see the staff bustling about clearing tables and getting ready for more diners rather than standing around looking gormless.

Best on the menu:
It’s tough to pick a favourite when the aim of lunch is to sample as many different dishes as possible in true Greek meze style.

But what is so great is that you can happily dispense with the meat (though the souvlakis were delicious and the sardines sublime) and enjoy a tasty meal of haloumi, dolmades, butter beans, grilled peppers and brinjals, as well as a number of delicious vegetable dips such as skordalia (potato and garlic).

What’s not to like?

Expect to find:
Parea attracts all sorts – from business people sneaking off for a quick lunch to birthdays and corporate hoedowns.

They add belly dancers and plate-breaking as extras to their great food. In the evenings, you are likely to find large families tucking in.

Great value for money and as close to a Greek experience as you are likely to get this far from the actual fiscally challenged nation.

It’s definitely worth a visit.

On the day, our lunch consisted of drink each as well as a generous vegetarian platter for two, souvlaki and sardines, followed by Greek rice pudding and galaktoboureko (phyllo pastry filled with custard).

Despite taking half of it home for dinner, we spent a mere R350 with tip. – Gayle Edmunds

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