Eat Here: Meraki, FitzroviaBy Gemma Perlin
It was one of those last absurd October nights where you didn’t quite need a jacket when myself and Editor-in-Chief of AT, Angelica Malin, wearily ambled with our backpacks weighing around 8kg, multiple gym bags and utterly ravenous, into Meraki off Charlotte Street. They bundled our bags off to the cloakroom and we had one of the best London meals I’ve had in the last year.
Meraki: The Lowdown
Meraki is a new tavern-styled restaurant in the foodie paradise of Fitzrovia. The restaurant has been set up by Arjun and Peter Waney, the Indian brothers who are behind notorious restaurants like Zuma, Roka, La Petite Maison, and The Arts Club to name but a few. Meraki loosely translates as ‘the love and soul someone puts into their work.’ And this isn’t just about love and soul, as the team definitely know what they are doing. From the people who welcome you at the door to the knowledgeable staff, the restaurant is exceptionally well run.
Meraki: The Food
There’s a quirkiness to the menu, and is far more than your standard Greek offering of koftes and dips. There’s ingredients you wouldn’t normally expect to find on a Greek menu; from goat’s cheese in a tomato salad to the delicate yet moreish ox cheek pasta. Think of it as a modern take on traditional taverna fare. Start with the meze, break bread (specifically pitta bread) together with an array and hot and cold starts. We had the best taramasalata of our lives here: it was emotional and a different entity to anything you could find on the supermarket shelves.
After the meze, have a palate cleanser with ‘a Greek like ceviche’ of prawn, orange, chilli, lime and tomato and team it with the Santorini cherry tomato salad, before heading into the meaty part of the meal.
The charcoal grilled lamb chops are melt-in-the-mouth and make a comforting combination with the smoky taste of baked aubergine and the garlicky tang of the hummus they rest on. If your companion is a lamb fan, opt for the celebration leg of lamb for two or if you prefer fishy fun go for the salt crusted sea bass with a thyme lemon olive oil dressing. The seabass is best accompanied with a side of carrots with dill and orange zest.
There is a dedicated cocktail bar with citrus fruits direct from the island of Naxos, and my companion told me they have a fine selection of Greek wines.
Meraki: The Verdict
Meraki is inspired by the Aegean islands, and it genuinely feels like a slice of cosmopolitan Greek life in this prime Fitzrovia location with its open kitchen and sophisticated feel. It’s not cheap, so perhaps not for a casual Greek meal but a great date place or for a special occasion. We left the pearls of Greek music behind, as we headed back to Oxford Circus reunited with our backpacks, with hummus in our bellies feeling nourished and relaxed from our Meraki experience.
80-82 Great Titchfield St, Fitzrovia, London W1W 7QT
For more information on Meraki, see here.