Thursday, 9 May 2019

Souvlike, City Road, Cardiff

Souvlike joins Maria’s and Hellenic Eatery in serving up a good value menu. The success of street food stars Meat & Greek- always one of the busiest queues at any street food event since they started up almost five years ago- now means you can’t move for decent Greek food in Cardiff. We are not quite at the point where we are swamped with souvlaki or foundering under feta, but if you yearn for gyros you certainly have more options than a few years back. 

It's a fairly 'no frills' kind of place, this. Decor is serviceable and creature comforts are limited, most of the cooking happening over flame in the window. 

'It’ll be 12 minutes' sounds like the well-drilled routine of a business which has everything down pat. 
They must be doing something right: they already have regulars who are warmly greeted and it’s not hard to see why. It's the kind of place which you can imagine is busy via the usual online services, and so it proves;  the pace never drops and delivery bags are filled then whisked away by riders in a busy dance.

Pork gyros is a substantial handful, shaved pork and salad topped with what Sainsbury’s would list as ‘crispy potato slices’ but my daughter calls the more whimsical ‘Circle chips’. Generously spiked with smoked paprika, these are the 'house fries' and appear elsewhere.

With the orders arriving in quick succession, the grill becomes a complicated waltz to keep everything just right, a reminder that simple food like this takes some real skill to get right, and is easy to ruin with inattention. Tzatziki is herby and thick; another sauce reminds me of the Golden Arches, tangy and creamy and ideal for these plates.

All meats have picked up a decent bit of flavour from the grill. Best of the lot is the lamb, which is right in that herby-juicy-smoky sweet spot. It's a simple plate, as with the chicken grill, but every element is ticked off rather well and makes for a hearty plate full.

 Chicken salad follows the same template. It does exactly what you need it to; taste fresh and varied enough to avoid boredom. This isn't complicated stuff, though easy enough to get wrong.

You won’t find many of the ‘Tits’n’Teeth’ ‘influencers’ sexily Instagramming these plastic trays, or tweeting out hashtags about this #lifechangingchicken or #cleaneating. ('#mouthgasmic' should be enough to see you struck down with salmonella, says Bite Your Brum; if you use ‘#foodgasm’ you deserve diphtheria or listeria. One of the ‘erias’ anyway. Not wisteria.) Mercifully, that sort will tend to latch onto the latest city-centre chain to offer them a ‘#prfriendly’ treat, leaving the truly interesting little places to the rest of us. On a road where it is impossible not to find something interesting to eat, Souvlike will feed you well. 

171 City Rd, 
CF24 3JB 

029 2048 1629

Every day, 12.00-23.00; Sundays 12.30-23.00

Delivery via Uber Eats.

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