Plaster of Paris statues, faded black and white photos along with a random assortment of urns, Aphrodite
in Bayswater has perfected the Greek taverna shtick. It may not be very cool, but it does feel homely and immediately whets your appetite for plates of mezze
and fresh seafood.
As soon as you sit down a plate of juicy, fat green olives is brought over along with a small plate of chick pea salad and some toasty hot pita bread. A £1 cover charge per person is imposed for these snacks but it is money well spent in my view. I am at Aphrodite with my friend Lucy for a girly catch up dinner so of course we order a bottle of the house white wine and begin putting the world right.
We also supplement the mezze with a bowl of creamy tzatzki (£4.20) before moving straight onto mains. The seafood at Aphrodite is quite reasonably priced and always good so we order the grilled calamari (£13.75). The shimmering white, almost translucent tubes of calamari are ever so lightly grilled so that they still taste fresh from the sea. The moussaka (£10.50) looks the goods with its golden cheese topping and layers of minced lamb and egg plant, but it does not have that rich strength of flavour that you get from a really good slow cooked moussaka. All mains are served with vegetables which means that sides are not really necessary, but we also order a generous serving of Greek salad (£5.00). Aphrodite’s Greek salad is served with actual salad leaves which of course you would never find in Greece itself but is pretty standard in London. (Of course in Greece a Greek salad is referred to generally as a “Country” salad, just as it is hard to find Brussels sprouts in Brussels!).
This is about my fourth visit to Aphrodite and for the price you pay the food is good and the atmosphere homely. Nothing will startle, and the food is predictable, but sometimes that is exactly what you want. It is a real family run restaurant which is not worth crossing town for, but which I am very glad to have in my neighbourhood.
Details: 15 Hereford Road, Bayswater, W24AB (Ph: 020 7229 2206) Tube: Notting Hill Gate
If you are in the area, right next to Aphrodite on Hereford Road is the brilliant “Modern British” restaurant, Hereford Road
. Otherwise why not try this recipe for beef and pork moussaka
which is always a winner.
And… the winners of the competition for a copy of Michel Roux Jr’s A Life in the Kitchen are Lex Eat (who won by random number generation by virtue of being the sixth comment) and Greedy Diva who won for funniest comment. Winners have been contacted and a copy of the book will be winging its way to them shortly thanks to voucher.codes.uk.