Greek night with our lovely neighbours

What is it they say…everybody needs good neighbours? We had a highly enjoyable street party to celebrate this year’s Diamond Jubilee in June and got chatting to our neighbours properly, many of them for the first time. We partied together for hours and then all retreated to our homes and mainly didn’t really see each other again, it was all a bit weird!

But the good news is that we have become good friends with some of them . I’ve found it nice to stop on the street corner for a chat, pop in for a cup of tea or glass of wine or take dishes I’m experimenting with over to be tasted and recipes to be shared.

So when David and Emily from two doors down came over for a glass of wine (or two) recently, they insisted that we simply had to try one of their favourite restaurants, a Greek one, Yia Mas, just down the road. They got married on a Greek island (all very Mama Mia) and said that part of the inspiration for the idea came from this restaurant. Well, who could resist that.

Being experts on the place they convinced us to not even look at the menu but just to order the Meze la Cyprus for four, which we did. What a feast, the food just didn’t seem to stop coming.

Love Greek dips! Taramasalata, houmus and tzatziki to start with.

A perfect, fresh Greek salad

This dish was something of a surprise. I love haloumi so picked up my portion expecting to be biting into haloumi on bread but no, it was laid on top of a slice of lounza (which is smoked pork loin and tastes kind of like a cross between bacon and ham) and grilled. Deliciously salty and juicy.

Lounza and haloumi

Beautiful fried calamari

Morsels of tasty swordfish

The prawns were deliciously sweet and succulent

The final course was a platter of meat, pork souvlaki and pagidaki (lamb cutlets) served with a plate of crispy sauteed potatoes. I’d happily eat the whole thing myself!

Pork souvlaki, pagidaki and sauteed potatoes

Picture

And here are the potatoes, just perfect

I didn’t even photograph everything that arrived on the table. Wow! I was still full 24 hours later. Thanks neighbours for the great recommendation. Oh, and the food was only £17 each, for all that! A fantastic local.

Yia Mas is at 40 Upper Richmond Road, SW18.

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