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Named after the Cypriot dish of charcoal barbecued meat skewers, Souvla is a modern Greek restaurant at the heart of Lan Kwai Fong by dining group Concept Creations. The 4000sq ft space is comprised of a long marble-topped open bar and a main dining area, with different seating options including circular sofa booths, wooden square tables and long bench tables. The restaurant pays homage to honey, the staple food product of the Mediterranean country, by incorporating the honeycomb patterns into shelves, tiles and latticed partitions. Breaking the stereotype of traditional white and blue colour scheme, the designer uses red and azure blue to bring about a chic and vibrant ambiance to the space, matching well with the theme of contemporary Greek cuisine. Small Hellenic details such as the open flame spit, stoned motif pillar and the Greek mythology comic on the menu cover also hint at the exotic nature of the restaurant.
We started our meal with the recommended grilled halloumi with caramelised fennel and lemon. While the waiter told us that this kind of cheese has a more subtle flavour (comparing with the kefalograviera cheese also on the menu), we found the grilled cheese far too salty to eat on its own. We ordered two of their signature souvas (mini pita wraps) and although they are not something that you can savour elegantly, we were quite impressed with both. The pork souva, filled with chips, tomato, parsley, onion and lahanosalata (Greek cabbage slaw) is a tad fatty for our liking but is packed with complex flavours. Even better is the tantalising crab souva, encasing deep-fried soft shell crab, coriander, mint, onion and mele mayo and achieving outstanding balance in terms of tastes. The subsequent grilled chicken steak with tzatziki sauce, however, does not warrant the price tag of HK$255, as the poultry is on the rough side and rather salty especially on the caramelised fringes. The Cypriot salata, the signature grain salad of the restaurant, is a fabulous melange of grains, pulses, nuts, currants, honey, cumin, fresh herbs, yogurt and pomegranate, showcasing a cascade of pleasing textures, with the addition of the pomegranates bringing about a hint of much needed sweetness to counter off the tanginess of the yogurt dressing. The only gripe that we have is that the dish is quite filling so we suggest offering a smaller portion for diners to choose from. To round off the meal, we went with the Golden Greek Time, a cheeky twist on the Australian dessert Golden Gaytime, which features vanilla and chocolate ice cream thickened with mastic and deep-fried in honey cornflakes, and is paired with honeycomb and salted caramel. While we relished the sweetness and the slight stringiness of the homemade ice cream, we did have reservations in matching the dessert with the honeycomb and the salted caramel.
The wine menu encompasses a broad range of wines geographically including selections from Greece, with by the glass or bottle options. However, bottle options are on the expensive side and range from HK$325 all the way to HK$3,500. The sauvignon blanc from Greyrock at Hawke's Bay in New Zealand we ordered had a nice floral fragrance and a slight fruity flavour with a lingering finish.
Waiters are friendly and eager to please. They are willing to recommend dishes and can explain the dishes in great detail, possibly due to the fact that the menu uses quite a lot of Greek terms and can be difficult to decipher by oneself.
A filling dinner with a glass of wine per person costs around HK$1,000. Given the Central location and the quality of the exotic food, we found the price utterly acceptable.