In Maidenhead, we’ve had the promise of new restaurants and bars for a while, but while we wait for the regeneration plans to kick off fully, I find that many people seem to nip to Marlow or Windsor for a night out. The Real Greek Restaurant in Reading claims to offer mouthwatering Mediterranean flavours, fresh Greek food, a vibrant atmosphere and it’s all local to Maidenhead! It was enough to inspire me to travel a little bit further for a night out. It’s pretty easy to get to Reading by train, and if you can manage to walk, or get a lift to the station, it’s actually a much cheaper way of having a night out than going to Marlow or Windsor.

All about the Real Greek

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

The Real Greek is located on the riverside opposite Vue cinema

The Real Greek in Reading is part of a chain of 13 restaurants including locations in Shoreditch, Soho, Bournemouth, and Windsor. They aim to create the dishes with ingredients from Greece or Cyprus whenever they can. There was a huge crate of enormous Watermelons that had arrived from Greece just a few days ago when we visited.

In their very own words:

‘The Real Greek brings the spirit of the Mediterranean dining to Reading. The new restaurant has been designed to recreate the atmospheric experience of eating in Greece, allowing shoppers, locals and families to sit back and relax, whilst enjoying an array of authentic Greek cuisine – cold and hot mezes, grilled skewers, marinated meats and Souvlaki wraps, with a delicious selection of The Real Greek wines and beers.’

 

Watermelons at The Real Greek in ReadingFresh Watermelons, flown in from Greece

A new restaurant experience in Reading

The restaurant has a cosmopolitan location on the riverside, behind The Oracle shopping Centre and has additional seating outside for the warmer times of the year. If you only ever to head to Reading for a spot of Saturday shopping (guilty as charged!), then the Riverside area in the evenings is a treat. Having previously lived on Camden lock in the centre of London, there are times that the city gal in me misses the bright lights and bustle of the ‘Big Smoke’. Even mid week on a Wednesday night, there was a buzzing, vibrant atmosphere: it was almost holiday like!

Reading at night

Reading waterside at night looked pretty with the lights reflecting in the water.

The Real Greek in Reading reviewed

The Real Greek in Reading is next to Debenhams in the Oracle Shopping Centre.

The Real Greek in Reading reviewed

Even on a ‘school night’, Reading was buzzing.

Our table was booked for 7.30pm which meant that we hopped onto to the 19.08 train from Maidenhead and then walked from Reading station, through the Oracle shopping centre (which was still open!) to the Real Greek Restaurant. Not ideal in heels, but I’m all about the sandals at the moment!
On our way home we walked up by the taxi rank and along the side of the shopping centre back towards the high street.

The Real Greek in Reading reviewed

You can choose to sit inside or outside. It was a bit nippy when we went so we chose a table inside.

What was on the menu?

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Inside the restaurant, it’s light, bright and open plan. The kitchen is right in front of you which adds to the atmosphere and hustle and bustle.

My husband was very excited by the range of food on offer on the menu as he has fond memories of trips to Greece in his childhood. He was happy to dive straight in and choose dishes. Seeing as Tonia Buxton, TV presenter of ‘My Greek Kitchen’ was on hand to offer some expert advice; I was happy to let her make some recommendations.

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Mr H was excited to see dishes that he remembered from family holidays to Greece.

The idea of meze food is to order a mix of dishes which can be shared. It’s not really a ‘first course’, ‘second course’ kind of place. My other half is a bit funny about sharing food that he’s chosen, (if you’ve watched Gavin and Stacey, imagine Smithy talking about his Bhuna) so be sure to forewarn anyone with you if they feel the same!
The restaurant prides itself on fresh food, so our first choice was a watermelon and feta salad. This was fresh, crisp and mouth wateringly tasty. I’d not paired watermelon with feta before, but it was a surprisingly good mix.
Tonia advised us to stick to just two dips so that we didn’t get too full up, so we chose the Spicy Feta and the Green Pea Fava dip which came with toasted flatbread. We then chose a further three plates to share: Lamb Meatballs, Salted Cod and Garlic and Chilli Tiger Prawns, all of which were beautifully cooked and presented. Dishes were served piping hot, and it felt as if they had been cooked with care and had come straight from a family kitchen. The only thing that I felt was missing from our order was a bit more greenery to balance out the meat and fish dishes, so I added a Greek salad to our order which had tasty olives and a little more feta.

For those of you not familiar with Greek food, I’ve included details from the restaurant menu to help explain the dishes we tried.

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Watermelon and Feta was a lovely combination

The Real Greek in Reading reviewed

The mezes are served on these cool plate stacks. Cold meze come first then the rest follow when they are ready.

The Real Greek Reading restaurant.

Green Pea Fava (‘Mashed green peas with olive oil and lemon, topped with red onions and tomatoes’). This is the Greek version of mushy peas but soooo much nicer!

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Greek flatbread (not Pitta bread: that’s from Cyprus originally)

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Htipiti or Spicy Feta Dip: (Roasted pepper and cheese dip finished with a touch of chilli).

This volume of food was perfect for two and by the time the dessert menu was offered we were both really full. But it would have been rude to go home without trying the Greek yoghurt or the balaclava!

My husband enjoyed the white Retsina, a classic Greek wine.

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Lamb Meatballs (Handmade lamb patties grilled and topped with Greek yoghurt, tomato sauce, onions and sprinkled with paprika)

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Prawn Saganaki (Tiger prawns in a rich tomato sauce, with spinach, pickled peppers and sprinkled with feta). A dish created by Tonia Buxton

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Salt Cod (Fresh Cod, home cured then dipped in beer batter and fried, served with lemon mayonnaise)

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Olives are my favourite but my husband isn’t so keen!

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

A classic Greek salad (tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, Greek olives, red onion, feta and olive oil, finished with Greek oregano from Mavrouda, Thessalonki

This volume of food was perfect for two and by the time the dessert menu was offered we were both really full. But it would have been rude to go home without trying the Greek yoghurt or the baklava!

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

We ordered deserts to share… or at least I did! Hubby not so sure about that.

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Greek Yoghurt with walnuts in syrup (A traditional greek dessert served with walnuts in syrup)

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

Baklava (Homemade, crisp filo pastry with walnut and honey)

What did we think?

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

We had a great time! The food was delicious, and there was a lively atmosphere in the restaurant. We always seem to end up in a Pizza restaurant, so this made a refreshing change. I feel that it’s somewhere you could go again and again as there are so many different dishes on the menu and you can only eat so much at one time!
The menu is so varied and has plenty of options that are Gluten Free, vegeterian and even vegan. We went on a grown up ‘date night’, but The Real Greek are keen to encourage families to eat and enjoy time together too. I think my five year old would have loved seeing the way the dishes were served on the plate stacks, but it would have been crazy with our two years old! Just too much for him to grab and knock over.

According to the folk at The Real Greek:

“Eating in Greece is never rushed. We take our time, engage in discussion and love to share our food with friends and family. It is all about the experience!”

We found it really simple getting home from the restaurant too, with trains running regularly to Maidenhead until midnight. We jumped in a cab from Maidenhead station, and we were home for our babysitter by 11.15. With two small children, I’ll confess that we don’t get out and about that much. I find that by the time you account for a babysitter and a return taxi to Marlow, you’ve nearly spent £50 before you even got to a bar or restaurant. A night out in Reading is a viable alternative for us and I would happily recommend the Real Greek for a ‘date night’ or catch up with friends.

The real Greek Reading restaurant.

I couldn’t resist the photo opportunity.

About this post

I was invited to review a meal for two at The Real Greek in Reading in return for an honest review on the blog.

About my blog

I write this ‘Maidenhead Mum’ blog to share my experiences of life here in Berkshire and beyond. I fit blogging into my ‘spare time’ around a four day a week day job and family life, but I love to share the beautiful things that I find to see and do.  For more posts like this, you might like to follow my Maidenhead Mum page on Facebook or on Instagram as they are the most frequently updated. If you subscribe using the box below you’ll get my blog posts delivered straight to your inbox along with some behind the scenes photography tips on each email

[subscribe2]

SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave