A taste of what’s to come, at Souvla

W-Day (that would be Wedding Day) is around the corner, and PB and I are trying our best to eat well and take care of our bodies! So when we went to Souvla for dinner, that unfortunately meant no tasty, moist, tender meat from the grill or the oven. No baklava and no souvlakas. However, a Greek Salad would do just the trick!

Have you ever wondered why Greece is the only country that has a salad named after it? You would never come across an American Salad (burger bits, pulled pork, pumpkin and corn perhaps?), or an English salad (mushy peas, Sunday roast leftovers, asparagus and sausages?), or even a French or a Spanish Salad (I once asked for a salad in a restaurant in Granada, and they – quite literally – brought me a head of iceberg lettuce on a plate). But a Greek Salad is a perfect composition – and I was hoping that Souvla would have some nice salads to brighten up my fatty-meat-avoiding diet.

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Our cocktails, the Sangria and the Souvla Sour (approx. HK$100 each)

We started off with some cocktails –  the Souvla Sour was recommended to me and made with fresh passion fruit, which I’m always a sucker for. It was a nice flavour-change from the Pisco Sour that I love, which they serve at sister restaurant, Chicha.

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A beautiful way to serve haloumi – wonderfully flavoured, salty cheese, grilled with caramelised fennel (very tasty!), lemon and a bed of fresh dill and parsley (approx. HK$125)

Souvla really wowed us with their salads.  This haloumi dish was definitely my favourite of the evening, with this king of unmeltable cheeses stacked on caramelised fennel, and served with dill and parsley. The freshness of the herbs is really refreshing, and packed with flavour. Not chopped, mixed and dressed, but flavour direct from the source.

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A gorgeous and appealing dish of salmon cured in ouzo, with beets, marouri cheese and dill (approx. HK$125)

This dish was just so bright and beautiful!  Us homo sapiens are programmed to be attracted to brightly coloured foods, because they are the most nutrient-rich. Well, some can also be poisonous, go figure. But, you are hard-wired to love this dish. The ouzo-curing creates a flavour which I’m not entirely convinced with yet – the aftertaste was … interesting. But topped with brightly coloured beets and a creamy manouri cheese, it’s definitely a winner.

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The popular Cypriot Salata – a tasty combination of textures and flavours. (Approx. HK$75)

My eyes made a beeline for this, how could you possibly get more healthy than pulses, grains, nuts and currents, topped with honey, yoghurt and pomegranate?? The hard crunch of the grains, the sweetness of the currents, the occasional and pleasantly surprising POP from the pomegranate, and the creamy yoghurt to tie it all together – I’ll be ordering it again and again.

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Our Mini Gyros – chicken and pork (approx. HK$55 each)

Next up, the mini gyros, served in a cute takeaway box and wrapped with evil eye paper – the first thing that stands out is the pita, so fluffy!!! These would be a perfect meal on the go if you’re standing on the street in LKF but have more sense than to eat something from Ebeneezers. You can order them up on the phone and go to collect them when they’re ready!

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Breakfast at Blue Bar

Buffet breakfasts are usually reserved for holidays – that sort of indulgence is just too tempting for a regular day. When I was younger, I could never seem to help myself when standing in front of a vast selection of food, where everything just looks so good, and you say to yourself, “well, I’ll just try a little bit of everything…”.

I’ve gotten a little better since then. I’ve learned to appreciate quality over quantity of course, but also always try to employ a method to control myself …

Wear a tight dress.

One can never eat too much when wearing a tight dress!

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As a birthday treat for a friend who loves breakfast, I took her to the Blue Bar at the Four Seasons Hotel today for their breakfast buffet. As I live in Hong Kong, I have not had the opportunity to try many breakfast buffets here, and thus cannot testify that it is better than any other. What I can say is that they have a limited but tasteful choice of hot and cold options, as well as a choice of freshly cooked eggs (scrambled, fried, boiled, poached, or an omelette), and coffee/tea is included.

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You can choose from a selection of Asian and Western foods –  a self-serve congee station, prawn dumplings, and fried udon noodles. Or blueberry pancakes with vanilla cream and jam, crispy bacon and pork sausages (the cooked ham had a very funny taste and texture – not my cup of tea).  Some cold cuts and smoked salmon with toast, baguette or English muffins. A selection of cereals, muesli and fruit. And the most glorious selection of pastries – I have never had such a carb-laden buffet breakfast!

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They were all so beautiful and I couldn’t help myself! The almond croissant was not as fluffy as I would have liked. It was not filled with frangipane as they sometimes are (and those are always my favorite), but it was covered in slivered almonds and dusted with icing sugar, making it a nice treat! I only had half of it to make room for the pear tart – the most beautiful pear tart I have tasted (which did have frangipane in it, yay!), moist, not too sweet, with a crumbly pastry. Also on offer was a Gugelhopf – a bundt shaped yeast cake traditionally containing raisins, almonds and cherry brandy, and usually enjoyed with coffee. One day, I’ll try to make it with this recipe.

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