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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Solera – a gem in Discovery Bay

IMG_4279I’m in a taxi and the driver is careening onto Connaught Road like a mad man. My IPhone clock strikes 8pm – and my heart sinks. I’ve missed it, I know I’ve missed it. Still, the driver continues, clear in his purpose and adamant to fulfill it. We hit a light, we hit another light – my eyes dart between the clock and the road. “Time to do those sprints!!!”, my friend SN texts me, “I’ll hold it as long as I can!”.

We screech to a halt in front of Pier 3, I throw a $50 note at this amazing man who has managed to get me here on time, and tell him to keep the change. My brown 4-inch heeled boots strike the pavement HARD – people must have heard me coming from a mile away. CLOP CLOP CLOP CLOP, I doot my Octopus Card, fly past the barrier, SN is at the ready throw the ferry steward in the water in case I don’t make it. But I’ve made it! I stop with a panting finish onboard the ferry – we are on out way to Discovery Bay!

IMG_4278Our destination: a girls dinner at Solera, a new Spanish Tapas restaurant located in DB Plaza. At first sight, it is obvious that they have tried everything to make this place as Spanish as possible, to the point where they go overboard just a tad. However, the result is that after a while, you could actually start feeling like you’ve been transported to a restaurant in Spain, and the feeling grew on us.

Once we started eating the food, the illusion became complete.

Iberico Cold Cut Selection (served with tomato bread)

Ibérico Cold Cut Selection (served with tomato bread) HK$250

We started off with an Iberico cold cut selection, served with a very flavorful tomato bread. Whilst it was a lovely platter, it doesn’t really serve to show the “edge” that this restaurant has with the rest of its food.

Pan y Tomate

Pan y Tomate (also offered separately on the menu at HK$20)

Solera tries to offer a slightly different interpretation of traditional tapas dishes, and they hit the spot with this one – their version of Heuvos Estrellados, a simple dish of fried potatoes, fried egg and Iberico Ham. The saltiness of the cube-cut-then-fried Iberico ham  is juxtaposed by the sweet onion confit, and using fried potato crisps instead of larger pieces adds a wonderful crunch. The egg coats the whole dish with rich creaminess, and it is so deliciously moreish.

Organic Egg Slow Cooked at 63° served with Ibérico Ham on Onion Confit anf Fried Potato

Organic Egg Slow Cooked at 63° served with Ibérico Ham on Onion Confit and Fried Potato HK$120

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