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Greeking out! We try out Greco Pi in Wan Chai

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Apart from the ever-popular Souvla and recently revamped Santorini (formerly Rick’s), Greek food, in comparison to other cuisines, is still rather under-represented in this city. There is, however, one Greek place that few people know about, yet it has been around longer than the others, and that is Greco Pi (as in π).

I must have walked past Greco Pi a number of times when visiting other restaurants in Brim 28, but never paid it much attention. It’s literally just a hole-in-the-wall takeaway joint, with a few tables and chairs to enjoy some al fresco dining (if, unlike on my visit, it is not raining). It is by no means a place to linger over a long meal; dishes come fast on paper plates and the turnaround time is quick, particularly during the lunch rush.

Greco Pi was opened by two Greek guys back in 2011. Although Chef Yiannis Alifragkis has since taken a step back from the kitchen, the food is still authentic, with most ingredients imported directly from Greece.

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The signature dish at Greco Pi is the souvlaki – a warm pita wrapped around a tender chicken or pork skewer, French fries and salad. Having given up all things wheat for Lent, this was off limits for me, so I tried instead the Souvlaki Kalamaki chicken and pork skewers, without the pita. The meat had been marinated with a special Greek recipe that featured oregano amongst other herbs and spices. Although both were tasty, my favourite was the chicken, as the pork was a little too chewy.

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Dips of hummus and tzatziki (both normally served with pita bread) were delicious and had a homemade quality to them. I particularly enjoyed the tzatziki – instead of it being watery and mild, as is often the case, this version was wonderfully creamy and packed a strong garlicky punch to it.

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I was told that the lamb pilaf, which is currently only on the specials menu, will soon be making its way onto the actual menu. I sincerely hope this is the case, as it was without a doubt the best dish I tried. The lamb, which had clearly been slow-cooked for hours on a low heat, was incredibly tender, falling apart at the slightest touch, and carried a delicious cinnamon-heavy spice that was instantly pleasing.

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A side of grilled feta cheese, drizzled in olive oil (both the cheese and the oil imported from Greece) was simple yet tasty, the slight char from the grill adding an interesting flavour that made the usual saltiness less pronounced.

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We also tried a small serving of feta fries and Kalamata olives, which were both deliciously moreish. The chips were perfectly crispy, sprinkled generously with flakes of salty feta. The olives meanwhile had a very distinctive and rather strong flavour that transports you straight to the Mediterranean.

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To finish, I couldn’t resist a bowl of Greek yoghurt with honey and almonds. The yoghurt was decadently creamy, yet somehow light and fresh, sweetened by a generous drizzle of Greek honey – somehow just the fact that the ingredients are authentically Greek made them seem healthier… wishful thinking perhaps!

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Prices at Greco Pi are very reasonable. A souvlaki will cost you between $62 and $68, whilst, at lunchtime, between $75 and $90 will also include a soft drink and fries. As I said before, if you’re looking for somewhere to enjoy a Greek feast that goes on for hours, Greco Pi is not the answer; but for somewhere to grab a quick authentic taste of Greece without the fuss or high price tags, Greco Pi is a lovely alternative, particularly as the weather starts to behave.

Greco Pi, Shop 13, 1/F, Block C, Causeway Centre (next to Sun Hung Kai Centre), 28 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, 3101 0782, www.grecopi.com

Check out more from Ale on her fab blog, The Dim Sum Diaries!

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