Dublin is poorly served by Greek restaurants. Besides Keshk in Donnybrook, which is a bit of a trek outside the city, there’s a Greek buffet called Ramos in the Epicurean food hall and then… well, precisely nothing.
In the summer of 2005, I fell in love with Greek food in, of all places, Vancouver. A brilliant restaurant called Stepho’s, which – honestly – had people queueing around the block every night, opened my eyes to the wonders of Eastern Mediterranean food. You really won’t find fresher, more vital food anywhere else in the world: olives, cheese, yoghurt, salad, grilled meats, rice, fresh fish and vegetables, dips, lots of herbs, and honey and nuts.
That’s why I have high hopes for Corfu, a new Greek eatery on Parliament Street. It’s only been open for a few months, on the old premises of Lebanese restaurant Sinner’s. There’s a lunch special running until 6pm every day: two courses or mezzedes (a selection of Greek tapas) plus a glass of house wine or a soft drink for €9.95.
Jean and I, always on the hunt for somewhere new, went there for a quick bite on Culture Night last month. They were serving the early bird until 7pm that Friday, although I’m not sure if this is a long-term extension.
Corfu shows promise, but it needs a lot of work. We opted for the mezzedes. Some of what we got was lovely, some not so lovely.
First, the not so lovely. What I’m assuming was meant to be a tzatziki dip was grand, but it had far too much yoghurt and not enough cucumber, garlic or seasoning. The dipping bread was little more than white sliced pan, which is not robust enough to scoop up a dip. The manager may as well have visited our table to tell us he was cutting corners – decent bread is such a basic, particularly with Greek food, that it’s hard to imagine how they could get it so wrong. The feta parcels were nice, but too salty: I needed a jug of water.
But there’s plenty of potential here. The meatballs in tomato sauce, although they could have been a little warmer, were very tasty, and the chicken and lamb were perfectly seasoned and chargrilled. We shared a portion of baklava, which tasted fine but was a little bit stale.
The service was swift and friendly, the interior is pleasant, and as it’s the only Greek restaurant in town, I’m hoping it improves from a slightly shaky start. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed the meal. If they can fix the few kinks, it could become, maybe, one day, as big as draw as Stepho’s. I’ll definitely head back in a month or so for lunch, with baited breath.
Parliament Street, incidentally, is one of the best spots in Dublin for restaurants. More on that again.
- Corfu, 12 Parliament Street, Dublin. Tel: 0866049099
Tuesday 18 October, 2011 at 8:38 pm
The other eastern Med place worth trying is Rathmines’ Little Jerusalem.
Tuesday 18 October, 2011 at 9:48 pm
I assume you’re not counting the suburbs here, as there’s an excellent Greek & Cypriot restaurant in Malahide: Cape Greko (http://www.capegreko.ie/).
Friday 21 October, 2011 at 11:52 pm
+1 on Little Jerusalem, fantastic spot.
Saturday 22 October, 2011 at 11:01 am
Keshk is Egyptian-owed, as far as I know and it is opening a new place shortly on Mespil Road.
Little Jerusalem is not nearly as good as it used to be.
Tuesday 25 October, 2011 at 7:15 am
at last a restaurant cooking wth good quality of olive oil..very good food,try their mopusaka is amazing..As far as i know this place is the only authentic greek restaurant in dublin…Yeah,Keshk is Egyptian-owed.Good restaurant,but,not Greek..
Tuesday 1 November, 2011 at 3:40 pm
Amazing food, excellent service and a family-like hospitality 🙂 These people made me get a comeback to childhood loving memories. I will be there again, and again…
Wednesday 23 November, 2011 at 3:16 pm
I’ve tried most Greek Restaurants in Dublin, this one is the most authentic, no frozen foods here! Delighted they DON’T stock ‘Retsina’. Try the Mezeddes (excuse the spelling), great to try different dishes and very reasonable. We’ll be back
Thursday 16 February, 2012 at 7:33 pm
Im Greek and im glad youve enjoyed the food-would just like to reply to the comments on temperature – our climate is usually warm, so Hellenic food IS served only luke-warm! Some people dont like that, but thats just a feature of hellenic cuisine : )
Tuesday 22 May, 2012 at 1:03 am
Hey,Greek food lover,you should know that a good feta cheese is ALWAYS salty:-)
Just a imformation from somebody that knows Greek food.
No disrespect to you Peter:-)
Tuesday 3 December, 2013 at 9:51 pm
Authentic Greek & Cypriot food products in Ireland can only be purchased on http://www.greekshopdublin.com
Friday 6 December, 2013 at 12:01 pm
I do eat a fair amount of (authentic) feta cheese, and what I have eaten is not always salty.