All reader reviews by Andy

The Real Greek (Bankside)

On Thursday evening of last week my girlfriend and I were in the London South Bank area at around 9pm looking for somewhere to eat. Each restaurant we passed was utterly chock-full, with waiting times of up to an hour. We remembered passing the Real Greek on a sunny day in the summer and remarking at the time, when diners were sat outside, on how lovely it looked and so we decided now to try it. Peculiarly as we approached it was possible to see through the windows and it was quite noticable that in comparison to the other places we had tried, the Real Greek appeared decidedly empty.

When we entered it was quite obvious immediately why this particular bankside establishment was lacking in clientele. We were both instantly struck by the cold, uninspring, bleak and joyless interior design which seemed to be - quite bizarrely - influenced by 1950's American diner cliche's. Tall perching tables and high stools, red leatherette benches and patches of stainless steel flooring reminded one of a railway station burger bar rather than anything remotely associated with Greece. With our hunger increasing and despite a growing hesitation we took one of the many lonely, unoccupied tables toward the rear of the room, to avoid the draught of the main entrance door, where the disagreeable atmosphere was further enhanced by innappropriatley loud music coming from a speaker located only a few feet away and positioned, because of the high stool, directly at ear height! Unlike expected restaurant ambience background music this speaker was promoting cheap nightclub dance music, which was so bankrupt of any pleasure giving quality and delivered at such thundering volume, that the speaker itself seemed to be protesting by adding a sickening distortion to its output!

I must state that the waiting staff were quite innocent of any addition to the by now almost unbearable environment which had been created and I managed to bellow a drinks order loud enough to be heard and understood over the complaints of the tortured speaker. While the waiter fetched the order it became absolutely neccessary to move table, as conversation was totally out of the question, and I could barely hear myself complaining! Having relocated table we perused the menu as our drinks were delivered. Unfortunately, by now the dreary, melancholic, dispiriting ambience had so affected our mood that neither of us had the faintest desire to stay a moment longer than was neccessary to bolt down our drink! It is no exaggeration to say that the two of us experienced a complete sense of outright and comprehensive relief to exit the premises into a cold and windy night.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007
Overall rating 1 stars
Food 0 | Service 2 | Atmosphere 0 | Value for money 0

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