Vrisaki

Vrisaki was recommended by my friend’s Greek hairdresser. You know when the hairdressers are talking about it, the place is worth a visit. All the way up the Northern line in Haringey, you enter the restaurant through a tiny kebab store. Not in an underground-restaurant-hidden-behind-a-hot-dog-stand-New-York-way but in a, purely practical, no-more-room way. They need every table they have at Vrisaki as the restaurant books out on the basis of the vast quantities of food available for the set price of £36 for two people for the mezze. Most people don’t seem to even bother opening the menu and just plump straight for what is essentially an all you can eat option plus some more. Perhaps the team of leather waist-coat clad, moustached elderly Greek male waiters are also part of the attraction.

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Cold mezze selections – note the amount of dishes on the table!
MTV boyfriend and I ate at Vrisaki with Greedy Diva, London Foodie and their partners (it was London Foodie’s hairdresser who gave us the tip) it what was a Greek feast of epic proportions. There is nothing at all modern about Vrisaki, which is like a moth balled version of a 1950′s Greek taverna, even the sheer amount of food is from another era.

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Some of the seafood on offer for the cold mezze selection
Accompanied by a thumping sound track of epic Greek ballads, the food starts to arrive. The first part of the mezze entirely blankets the table in an array of dips such as garlicky tzatziki, hommus, taramasalata along with olives, cold potatoes, tabbouleh and almost any other cold mezze item we could possibly imagine. The mezze is served with warm pita bread and is all pretty good with the exception of the prawns which are fairly measly looking specimens. In the end there are so many dishes that the waiters had to pile the tiny plates on top of each other.

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Hallomi on gammon
Hot mezze follows includings slices of slightly rubbery grilled halloumi on gammon, a plate of huge circular field mushrooms grilled with garlic and lemon and a serving of crispy battered squid.

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Butterflied prawns
Just when all the buttons on our clothes feel like they are about to pop from over eating the seafood arrives. There is a plate of charcoal grilled butterflied prawns which have a lovely smokey flavour to them and a grilled whole sea bass which is unadorned apart from a squeeze of lemon. But wait, there’s still more, the meat course features plentiful chicken and sheftalia although I have to admit I am slightly disappointed there is no lamb. I love the way the Greeks cook lamb. Somehow, admist the heaped table of food that famous second dessert stomach kicked in and a few of us were able to sample Vrisaki’s flaky, light baklava. There is a whole dessert trolley of Greek sweet treats available for anyone who still has room.

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The meat course
As we were dining with some wine experts we enjoyed exploring the predominantly Greek wine list and our enthusiasm for this process probably left our eventual bill being a lot higher than some patrons. My favourite was the 2007 Nemea from Tsantali a lovely berry and plum scented red wine.

Vrisaki has a great relaxed and unpretentious feel to it however, quality does suffer in favour of quantity. Personally I am more of a quality over quantity person as there is only so much a girl can eat! I don’t think I would make the trek to Haringey again but maybe it is worth it just for those moustached waiters.
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Baklava
Essentials
Details: 73 Myddleton road, Haringey N22 8LZ (Ph 020 8889 8760) Tube: Bounds Green
Damage: Reasonable
6/10

Links
If you liked reading this you might be interested in my reviews of Lemonia in Primrose Hill which does a similar mezze deal for £18.50 per person or the Greek restaurant Aphrodite in Bayswater.
Vrisaki on Urbanspoon

Posted by: on January 10th, 2011     17 Comments »

Category: N22, Restaurants - Greek
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17 Comments on “Vrisaki”

  1. tori said at 9:58 am on January 10th, 2011:

    oh lordy- so much food! I think I’m with you- quality over quantity. Though occasionally the spouse (aka The Hungry One) will disagree… :)

  2. Greedy Diva said at 10:24 am on January 10th, 2011:

    I do love having that much food in front of me! And the ‘taches were definitely quality.

  3. Three-Cookies said at 10:35 am on January 10th, 2011:

    Looks like they bring the buffet to the table so guests don’t waste time and calories walking back and forth:)

    Its a reflection of Greek (and other cultures) hospitality – to shower their guests with large volumes of food

  4. Su-Lin said at 11:19 am on January 10th, 2011:

    Wow! It wasn’t clear to me but it’s just £36 for 2 for all that food?!

  5. Krista said at 12:34 pm on January 10th, 2011:

    This looks like a very fun meal!! Love restaurants in the back of shops!

  6. Emily said at 2:50 pm on January 10th, 2011:

    Wow those look delish! I’m a big fan of Lemonia as well. Goo gracious, I could go for a second lunch! x LondonZest

  7. Helen (Grab Your Fork) said at 3:20 pm on January 10th, 2011:

    Now when you have to start balancing plates and create a new mezzanine level of food, you know you’re in for a good time. This looks amazing – I’m gutted I never knew about this spot when I was in London.

  8. kelsie and mel said at 11:02 am on January 11th, 2011:

    OMFG. i wish i had gone there when we lived in london. looks totally amazing. i can almost taste it…

  9. catty said at 3:02 pm on January 11th, 2011:

    Great post but what I love best is that first photo where food is stacked on top of food! That’s the way to eat!

  10. Gourmet Chick said at 9:54 pm on January 11th, 2011:

    Tori – sounds like MTV boyfriend and the Hungry One are very similar!

    Greedy Diva – They were hilarious

    Three Cookies – In that case they were very hospitable

    Su-Lin – £36 for two but we went as a group of six so the pictures show three lots of the £36 worth of food – if that makes sense!

    Krista – I know hilarious.

    Emily – I think I prefer Lemonia – not as much food but better quality

    Helen – I know there was a ridiculous amount of food

    Kelsie and Mel – It was a feast alright. Almost the same quantities as the TWMF supper club!

    Catty – Yes multiple layers is what is called for

  11. ginandcrumpets said at 1:19 pm on January 12th, 2011:

    Wow, that really is a hell of a feast. When plates of food are balanced on more plates you know that your second stomach will have to come into play at some point in the evening.

  12. The London Foodie said at 7:25 pm on January 12th, 2011:

    It was a lovely evening, although I was also a little disappointed with the food. I loved the cold mezze but felt that everything else was just ok. I haven’t been back to Lemonia for a very long time but remember it being excellent. I should try that again soon.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  13. Gourmet Chick said at 10:07 pm on January 13th, 2011:

    Gin and Crumpets – It was a LOT of food – we even had a doggy bag to take away for London Foodie’s dogs

    The London Foodie – Yes very fun evening and I agree the cold mezze was the highlight but for the rest of the food it was mainly sheer volume rather than quality. Thanks for thinking of it though – I enjoyed it!

  14. Graphic Foodie said at 6:02 pm on January 21st, 2011:

    Gah! I thought there was going to be a pic of the waiters!

  15. Gourmet Chick said at 9:11 am on January 23rd, 2011:

    Graphic Foodie – I should have taken one of the waiters – they were hilarious!

  16. nazarblue said at 11:26 am on January 11th, 2012:

    Great review – I’ve been meaning to get to Vrisaki as it has been highly recommended by various Greeks/Cypriots I know. I seem to remember that they do live music on Weekends too?
    FUN!

  17. Gourmet Chick said at 8:49 pm on January 11th, 2012:

    Nazar Blue – Not sure about the live music, let me know what you think if you make it there.


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