I wrote a long intro. I liked it. It made me giggle. But with the amount of food I am about to take you through, a long intro wouldn’t be appreciated.
Spiro’s is an Authentic Greek restaurant in the heart of Hout Bay. Although I’m not normally one for travelling (originally from Durban, it’s engrained in me that anywhere more than a 15 minute drive is very, very far) Spiro’s has so many loyal fans on Twitter that I had to give it a try.
Once we found the place (I navigate Hout Bay as well as I do Czechoslovakia) I was very hungry. You walk from a balcony filled with lovely little tables, perfect for a lunch; in to a Café-style seated area; to the left is an enclosed dining room; and to the right a kiddies play area, complete with dress-up station, face painting, toys, movies, plus a safe, outdoor play area with a jungle gym. It is child-heaven! Just amazing. I thought that was the whole restaurant, but you walk through a set of double doors, into another in-door dining area with big, round tables. Another set of doors takes you to the second outdoor area and a very vibey bar, complete with DJ. The entire restaurant can hold about 200: 80 inside and 120 al fresco.
With a Naked Mexican in hand (ha, I made a joke), I sat for a good 25 minutes trying to decide which starter to have. The only way to end my troubles, was to have all 9 that I wanted.
The roasted red pepper, feta and chilli dip is absolutely delish. Roasted red peppers can make a dip very sweet – which isn’t my thang – but this one was had so much feta and just the right amount of chilli, it was amazing. The Taramasalata, which is always my thang, didn’t disappoint. There is no way to describe it, other than perfect.
Keftedes (meatballs seasoned with mint) were served with tzatziki, which for a nice change, wasn’t too garlicky. Score. The meatballs on their own were a little on the dry-side, but the tzatziki saved them.
So often Spanakopita, which is traditionally made with Ricotta cheese, is too creamy and you lose the flavour of the spinach. Once again, Spiros didn’t disappoint. The phyllo pastry was light, the spinach plentiful and the cheese, creamy but not overpowering.
Go get a pen and write this down: Prawns Kataifi. If you haven’t had them before, book right now and go try them tonight. Prawns wrapped in shredded phyllo pastry, deep friend and served with a dill-yogurt dip. Magical.
Tiropitakia, which I have always known to be cheese pastries, was served as more of a savoury cheese and phyllo baked “pudding” or kugel (the type you eat, not the type that you laugh at). It was very heavy and rich, a hearty starter perfect for winter. Not my fave, but not bad at all.
If anything, Spiro’s is famous for their crispy fried squid heads. If you are a health frea… I mean, health conscious, look away now. You know how the best bit about fried chicken, is the fried chicken skin? How it is crispy, but soft and juicy and flavourful. Well, this is like a little bowl of that happiness.
Finally, we had both deep fried and grilled haloumi cheese, so we could compare the two. The haloumi itself was of an exceptional quality, not chewy at all, but soft and delicious. Obviously anything deep-fried is going to be great, but I really liked the grilled variety. I think I may have used the guise of a “comparison” as an excuse to try both. And I would do it again.
It took us quite some time, but after a significant period of digestion, relaxation and mental prep work, we were ready for mains.
Their chicken Souvlaki is 2 chicken skewers, basted with Extra Virgin Olive oil and lemon juice, grilled on an open flame and then served with chips, salad and Tzatziki. The flavour was spot on, but sadly the chicken itself was very dry.
On the other hand, the Kleftiko was MINDBLOWING. A lamb shank, with tomatoes, feta, olives and herbs, wrapped in tin foil and slow cooked for 6 hours, served with roasted potatoes. The lamb melted off the bone, the gravy was phenomenal and the potatoes were seasoned beautifully. It was an amazing dish that I am craving, as I write about it.
You would think that we stopped there, but we didn’t. Spiro’s don’t serve traditional Baklava *gasp of horror*. They serve the deconstructed version. Phyllo, caramelised nuts, honey, the whole she-bang; crushed and then topped with vanilla ice cream. It was great.
This is going to be a strange explanation, but Spiro’s is like the El Burro of Hout Bay. It’s welcoming, the food is authentic and delicious, the owner knows all his patrons and if he doesn’t recognise someone, he makes an effort to introduce himself. Pretty much everyone who walked in, shook his hand, gave him a hug or slapped him fondly on the back. It kinda makes me wish that I lived in Hout Bay, something that no one/nothing, has ever been able to do. Spiro has a good, no great thing going and I will definitely be back for more.
PS: Oh gosh, I forgot that after Spiro saw us eyeing out the Filleto, he brought us a little portion to taste. Beef fillet basted in Extra Virgin Olive oil, lemon juice and oregano. It was so tender I almost inhaled it in one shot.
Directions to Spiro’s
30 Main Road