Greek food and I have always had a special relationship. Rewind to my early twenties; I took many trips to the beautiful islands and even one fond visit to the mainland and capital, Athens – indulgently eating my way through each destination. I think it’s the freshness and simplicity of the cooking style, the mezze, the fish, the tender meats and salads, which puts Greek food up there as a cuisine I enjoy endlessly. So, when I was invited to try the award-winning street food spot, Athenian – in White City – it was a quick yes. I was keen to discover how this casual eatery had bagged itself Restaurant of the Year and Best Editions Restaurant second annual UK Deliveroo Restaurant Awards.
Part of the bustling hub that makes up a whole host of restaurants, cafes and bars surrounding Westfield, London, The Athenian is the place to go for a shopping fuel pit-stop or a post shop bite to eat. The menu focuses on the classic gyros (shavings of meat marinated in herbs, lemon juice and olive oil) and souvlaki (skewers of grilled meat and halloumi marinated in Greek herbs) with a selection of salads and street style bites, alongside Hellenic craft beers, wines and speciality soft drinks. Dishes are priced reasonably, between £5 to £9.50, and the portions are generous and filling. Everyone is catered for at The Athenian, with plant-based and vegan options to choose from, too.
A friend and I (pre-Westfield splurge) dropped by at Athenian to fuel up on pork souvlaki boxes: tender grilled meat, halloumi, salad, fries and pita alongside a smoky aubergine dip. We also tried the courgette fritters with a pot of tzatziki, washed down with a tasty sour cherry drink.
The venue is casual, with seats inside and out, the ordering system is done digitally through screens, and the menu is super easy to navigate. When it comes to the food itself, it did not disappoint. Everything tasted deliciously fresh, and the authentic ingredients (imported directly from Greece) were apparent, to say the least. Everything worked well together, and although it was more than adequately filling, I could have eaten another portion just out of sheer greed.
The Athenian, Unit 5, White City Place, 191 Wood Ln, London W12 7TU