THE SNOW was swirling on the pavements of the mean city and it seemed spring would never arrive. Toots and I were chilled to the bone and, walking along with our hands jammed in our pockets, we fell on a tried and tested chat to cheer ourselves up – where would we take a vacation when the next bag of greenbacks showed up?

Like a sign from the Greek gods, a welcoming joint emerged from the gloom. Mezzidakia. The very name promised sunshine, bright blue seas and happy evenings breaking plates, Zorba-style.

The place was quiet but the welcome was as sunny as a Mediterranean morning and we settled in for a look at the menu. Enough with the plate-breaking gags, this was Eastern Med cooking with an intriguing dash of Persian and Turkish dishes. We were thawing out nicely.

This tapas thing is all the rage just now, and our friendly waiter explained we should order lots of different dishes and they’d come as they were ready. “Let’s just do it, Tec,” sighed Blondie, who was hungry and liked the look of everything.

Turned out the joint wasn’t long open and issues with the drinks licence meant the wine arrived in little bottles, like on an airplane. Between that and the tapas plates, I was feeling like Gulliver in the land of Lilliput. But in no time, the food started to arrive. As always, we were soon overwhelmed by the stacks of little plates but to be fair, it was a varied and fascinating selection, arriving with delicious baskets of Greek bread. The Greek salad was the business, with a good block of herby feta and a well-judged dressing. The houmous was velvety and garlicky and we loved the Kalamarakia, tender deep-fried squid.

Oh, here comes some more. By now we’d forgotten what we’d ordered, but turned out it was some amazing grilled and spicy lamb chops with a tzatziki-style dipping sauce. Me and Toots had a small fight over the last of those. She won. The chicken souvlaki was a similar char-grilled hit. I hated the mussels, because they had an aniseed dressing, but that’s just me, the Moll hoovered up every scrap. Sides of skinny fries and Persian rice were more-ish, the latter coming studded with gleaming pomegranate seeds.

The only disappointment was the moussaka, of all things, a small puck of mince and savoury custard that tasted of very little.

The stack of tiny wine bottles was getting embarrassing so I ordered as coffee and Toots got a Coke as we chose a dessert. Warning: this part of the world caters for the seriously sweet of tooth. The baklava, filo pastry soaked in honey and sprinkled with nuts, was divine, but I kept my dentist on speed dial. Toots was more restrained with the yoghurt ice-cream, but it was more decadent than it sounds. Truly, a feast fit for Zeus.


Price - Three stars

Atmosphere - Three stars

Service - Three stars

Bill breakdown


Greek salad £4.95

Kalamarakia £6.95

Houmous £3.95


Lamb chops £9.95

Moussaka £4.95

Chicken Souvlaki £5.95

Lipsi Mussels £4.95


Skinny fries £1.95

Persian Rice £2.95


Baklava Cake £5.95

Yoghurt Ice Cream £3.30


2 small bottles red wine £11.95

Coke £1.40

Americano Coffee £1.95

Total £71.10

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