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THE FOOD REVIEW: It’s party time at The Greek Table in Donnington!

THE FOOD REVIEW: John Garvey reviews Greek Night at The Greek Table, The Castle, Donnington

‘CLOSE your eyes and open your ears… you’re in Greece!’

Or so goes the blurb for the hugely popular ‘Greek nights’ at The Greek Table in Donnington.

Even with eyes open, the bright, vibrant sea blue and white decor of this converted pub makes entering it like stepping through a portal to a taverna on the Aegean coast.

The Greek Table
The Greek Table

Tripadvisor gives it an impressive four-and-a-half stars out of five.

So we decided to see if it lived up to the hype.

A bit of background first; according to the website: “The Greek Table opened its doors in Newbury in May 2022.

“It is the creation of George Zeus, a multi award winning chef and, through this menu, he expresses his love and passion for Greek and Cypriot cuisine.”

Even the unfiltered olive oil in the kitchen hails from “our family-owned olive trees in Cyprus”.

The main menu offers traditional dishes such as the ‘landlord’s special’ – moussaka with tzatziki and salad (£19.50) and kleftiko with slow cooked (16 hours!) lamb shoulder with Cyprus potatoes (£23.50).

There are marinated, grilled meats, fish and shellfish dishes galore and a dazzling array of creative vegetarian options on the extensive menu.

But we had heard good things about the celebrated Greek nights, which get booked up in advance pretty quickly.

We weren’t disappointed, to say the least.

For £33 per person (minimum of two) you get a spectacular mezze feast plus live music.

This started with an array of ‘cold mezze’ which included home-made hummus, house taramasalata – worth a visit in itself – and various colourful salads, all bursting with flavour and freshness.

And all drizzled in that grassy, fruity olive oil.

No sooner had these been enthusiastically sampled and cleared away, than the hot selection arrived.

This included a wonderfully light spanakopita, homemade pork and beef meatballs in a rich tomato sauce, grilled halloumi and squid chunks.

Oh, the squid chunks!

These were not the usual rubbery rings rescued from the depths of a freezer and resuscitated but juicy, tender, delicious morsels covered in light, crisp breadcrumbs which melted in the mouth.

And, just when we thought we couldn’t eat any more, the next dish arrived.

This was a simple plate of marinated pork, skewered and smokily chargrilled to perfection, served on a bed of skinny fries, with a chunk of tender grilled lamb to keep it company.

After all this, we were simply too full to contemplate dessert but hardier souls can choose from traditional Greek options such as baklava or kaitavi (both £6) or a range of ice creams and sorbets (all £5.50) or triple chocolate brownie (£6).

The place was packed with lively groups of people clearly having a great time and there was traditional Greek music performed live.

The bazouki player did the rounds, adding to the party atmosphere.

There is dancing after dining for those who don’t have to rise early next day.

If you’re looking for intimate chat and a romantic evening for two, then maybe choose another night at The Greek Table.

But for a party night out to remember with family and friends, Greek night is hard to beat.

Just remember to book in advance.

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