Love London

There's a glamorous slice of Greece nestled on the edge of Chinatown which you would be forgiven for walking past if you didn’t know it was there. I too walked past it once or twice for actually locating the place I was to dine and despite in the overly questioning doorman not believing I had a reservation, it was worth it for what lay within.

Hovarda’ is a term used in both Turkish and Greek, playfully referencing a generous host with a free spirit. The Rupert Street restaurant is a luxurious space encompassing a first floor cocktail bar and ground floor restaurant, with elegant interiors, a dazzling open kitchen and counter dining overlooking open fire grills. Its style is reflected in its audience; visiting on a Friday evening it was packed to the rafters with date nights and languorous diners, as much there for the ‘gram as for the menu. It looks great but unlike many of its counterparts that end up style over substance, it also has a menu that delivers.

The daily changing menu focuses on Aegean flavours with an emphasis on seafood. While the price point perhaps erring towards a special occasion with some of the dishes at least, it also has a very reasonable pre-theatre menu at £25 for two courses or £30 for three. Sing down to à la carte however, there are treats to be had.

Start your feast with some of its signature mezze. The star of the show is the saganaki, precious strands of crisp pastry enrobing aged feta and drizzled with zataar honey and sumac. To be honest, you could have a dozen of them and be done such is their deliciousness. A crisp Greek salad with barrel-aged feta and cretan rusk and the roasted aubergine with tsalafouti, sheep’s milk, cream cheese, honey and sumac instantly transported us to a sunny Aegean beach with their flavours. The most perfectly formed pair of pork chops arrived for the main, huge chunks of tender meat that were almost too much, accompanied with crisp roast potatoes and an enormous carrot roasted sweet and tender beyond recognition. Your Sunday roast this is not. Leave space for dessert - if the saganaki wasn’t enough, the pistachio kataifi with its pistachio cream, caramelised nuts and cardamom syrup was a delight, washed down of course with a crisp glass of Greek wine.

This is a spot that risks being overshadowed by its own style, but the food delivers. Delicious, hearty and flavourful Aegean cuisine that will have you yearning for a beachside taverna.


Posted Date
Feb 6, 2024 in Love London by Laurel