I have to admit that I do rather enjoy writing the odd review of places that I’ve eaten in. Me and good old Trip Advisor go back a long way. Not for me though a few written lines praising, or sometimes griping, about an eaterie, hells no, I’m one of those reviewers that you have to click on the words “read more” to access a lengthy review that I’m afraid my English teacher would have written put big red crosses over chunks of it with statements in the margins such as “You are waffling!”
I could happily be gainfully employed as a food critic. A travel cum food critic would be even better but that’s just one of my fanciful daydreams. Never mind though, I can at least pretend to be one, and what better way to do so than be a member of my WI supper group and review the restaurants we get to eat in. Our supper group has a theme. Every month for a year we visit a different restaurant in Swindon serving twelve different cuisines from across the globe. Not easy in Swindon where the restaurant scene isn’t exactly exciting, but I hasten to add is slowly getting better. The good people of Swindon are blessed with a Wagamama and a Carluccios these days! Anyway, without further ado here is my first North Swindon WI Supper Club review!
Kali Oreksi…We’ve arrived in Greece!
Out of the twelve countries that we had chosen to visit on our culinary journey, this was one that I was most looking forward to visiting. I’d heard great things about The Greek Olive and the reviews on Trip Advisor have been full of praise for this excellent family run restaurant. In fact it’s so good that it’s been the number one place to eat in Swindon for ages.
We arrived at 7pm to a restaurant that was already pretty full and the atmosphere was buzzing. The restaurant was a little bigger than I thought it was going to be from seeing it from the outside, but it had a lovely friendly vibe and decoration wise it was homely with a few Greek inspired murals and pictures. Although the food was definitely of the kind you would find in a Greek tavern, I didn’t feel as though I had been transported to Greece. Saying that though, the background music was very much of the Zorba the Greek kind which, to be honest, I really liked. There were candles on the tables, but as darkness fell they remained unlit which was a bit of a shame. If you pop candles on tables, please light them!
There are so many chain restaurants on the scene at the moment and it’s refreshing to discover a little independant gem where their customers are really valued and looking after them well is top priority. From the moment we walked through the door we received nothing but friendly, attentive service. So friendly that our waiter got his phone out to show us which Pokémon he’d found!
The food at The Greek Olive is excellent. The chef has over 20 years’ experience of running his own restaurant in Kos, and prides himself in only serving homemade authentic food using much of his ingredients that come all the way from Greece.
I started off with Horiatiko Loukaniko, a delicious grilled spiced Greek sausage which came with a mustard mayonnaise and salad. It was juicy and succulent. Definitely a winner. I could have chosen from a long list of hot or cold starters, all authentically Greek of course. Starters range from £3.95 to £6.45. For my main I had a delicious slice of moussaka which came with chips and salad, but I could have had roast potatoes or rice instead. Make sure you are hungry before you arrive as the portions are enormous! Other choices on the menu were Kleftiko, Stifado, Soutzoukakia, beef Stamnas, souvlaki, various fish dishes and for vegetarians, a meat free moussaka, stuffed peppers and haloumi and vegetable kebabs. The main courses range from £11.95 to £18.95.
We were toying with the idea of having one of the yummy sounding Greek desserts, when suddenly plates of baklava and cream arrived at our table which was a really lovely surprise. Despite being almost fit to burst at this point, I somehow managed to find space for it. Most of us drank soft drinks but I had a huge glass of white wine for less than £5. Nothing special, but perfectly drinkable.
Celebrating your birthday at The Greek Olive seems to be very popular judging by how many birthday cakes alight with ice fountains came out of the kitchen, greeted every time with a burst of applause from everyone. It’s definitely a great place to go to with a group of friends for a fun evening out. If you are lucky you might, like me, get given an ouzo shot to drink down after chinking glasses with a handsome waiter with cheers of yamas!
The Greek Olive
141 Faringdon Road
Swindon SN1 5DL
Closed Mondays. Open otherwise for lunch and dinner
Booking in advance essential
Nearest parking… The west car park at the Outlet Village is a five minute walk away.