BY PALOMA LACY
Less than a week since restaurant in-dining reopened, the restaurant kits we ordered with great gusto over the past year seem to be but a distant memory.
But let’s not forget how they brightened our days.
Quite frankly in a world with little good news, these kits helped many cling on to the hope of the potential delight that week’s at home restaurant experience would bring.
At my house, this new dawn in dining raised the bar of our enforced in-in social life immeasurably.
One of the most memorable was Souvlaki Street, inspired by Athenian grill houses that serve Greek wraps, the contents of which is supplied by the chargrill.
No pitta pockets here but circular, flat pitta that’s somewhere between focaccia and naan, folded into a cone and filled with chargrilled meat, salad, tzatziki, halloumi and chips.
I think this is what they call a complete meal.
With Souvlaki Street’s doors at Pop Brixton closed for the almost four months this year, customers made the most of the At Home DIY Kits – just as good as the restaurant experience.
Orders placed between Friday and Monday were delivered on Thursday.
By evening you can feel the Hellenic flag well and truly hoisted and flying high.
The kits serve four and includes high welfare chicken breast souvlaki skewers (2 x 100g), native breed free-range pork shoulder souvlaki skewers, ours, which was High Welfare Chicken Breast Souvlaki Skewers (2 x 100g), Halloumi cheese produced in London, homemade tzatziki, house sauce, house spice mix, and tomato, red onion and flat leaf parsley.
Most importantly, there are step-by-step instructions to keep you on track.
The kit arrived chilled in an insulated box with ice packs.
The meat was vacuum-packed and can remain refrigerated for three days or frozen for three months.
Not only did the Souvlaki Street experience break the monotony of our weekly menu but it also transported us back to the Greek island holidays of yesteryear.
But it was one trip in particular that we drifted back to. A friend’s wedding in Santorini, introduced us to the culinary greatness that is souvlaki – an unforgettable memory for so many reasons.
Amusingly, one of the wedding party were so enamoured with this find that they pledged and stuck to a daily souvlaki fix, apart from the day he forgot himself and ate two.
Despite initial appearances, this was not a man given to greed but simply necessity.
London’s relationship with Greek food has long been with the island of Cyprus, and even that’s weakened over the years as Cypriot restaurant have dwindled.
Looking for mainland Greek restaurant in our capital is not an easy task.
Before I’m corrected, The Real Greek chain is an excellent one but there aren’t too many around.
However, in the past five years the popularity of Greek food has soared once again, as street food has taken hold of society.
Souvlaki is perfect eat-as-you-walk fodder – it can be held in and consumed using one hand, making it the perfect on-the-go food.
The At Home DIY Kits are on hold at the moment as Souvlaki Street is fully open for business.
The menu is satisfyingly simple – chicken, pork or veggie souvlaki and three side – a choice between fried, loaded fries and pitta chips.
Open seven days a week at Pop Brixton from noon.
Souvlaki Street’s traditional Grecian wraps source ingredients locally such as the meat from Flock & Herd butchers in Peckham.
Provincial ingredients come from Greece, like the pitta bread, which is handmade in Athens.
The online shop sells a number of products, imported from Greece, including olive oil, oregano, tzatziki, mountain tea and seasonal breads.
Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, Brixton, SW9 8PQ.
We’re all too ready to turn our noses up at ready meals, assuming they are not healthy but as with every good rule, there are a few exceptions.
Charlie Bighams is a safe pair of hands when it comes to meals in minutes.
Alright, every dish takes a minimum 25 minutes to heat through in the oven but the fact that micro-wave cooking is not recommended, makes it a great choice.
One of the newest in the range is Paella with Chicken, King Prawn and Chorizo, which if cooked from scratch would take at least a couple of hours.
It is tasty, filling and wholesome. Designed to feed two adults – it feeds two adults and a child easily.
RRP: £8.50 From all major supermarkets.
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