I’ve been salivating over the thought of Greek roast lamb ever since I read the Sawabonga magazine on a flight to Joburg. I haven’t been to Jozi since 2009. Yeah…that’s the power of food. Once it’s in your imagination it can be hard to let go!
I’ve been meaning to attempt the recipe because it really was simple but my memory failed me, lamb’s expensive, it takes time and and and. So when friends suggested a greek restaurant for dinner I was IN!
We visited Maria’s Greek Restaurant tucked away in Dunkley Square. There are lots of little squares squished within the old streets of central Cape Town so many a restaurant can go unnoticed. This was the case with Maria’s.
Maria’s is a small, quaint but warm establishment. The staff kindly greeted us and offered us a drink. After delivering, they proceeded to show us the menu which was written out on chalk boards. Now if this had been in a restaurant that seated a hundred, this would really have irritated me. But because Maria’s is such a small and family-feeling type restaurant, probably seats about 40, I was happy to read the board. In fact, I thought it was rather fun and me being me, didn’t rush to quickly pick. I examined it thoroughly and it ALL looked so good!
I found the service friendly and personable. They waitress remembered what I drank and offered me the same – I love it when they do that. Both the waiter and the owner/manager (not sure which, if both) kindly explained the dishes of which I had no previous knowledge so that I could choose more carefully. This did, of course, lead to my big dilema – do I choose the roasted greek lamb or go with the array of tapas type dishes? Again, me being me and not wanting to miss out on anything tasty, I chose the tapas, however, I chose the pita bread filled with roasted lamb, double win 😉
They served two pitas filled with tzatsiki, chopped salad and slow roasted Greek lamb. It was actually a huge portion, very deceptive. As greedy as I am, I can honestly vouch that this offering would serve the hungriest of us all.
My pitas were served with rosemary chips – wow! Best chips I’ve had in years! PERFECTLY salted, herby rosemary elevating the flavour profile and cooked until golden, crispy brown. I’d go back just for a plate of chips!
I’ve also only started eating falafel in the last 2 years. I didn’t grow up in a town with varied cuisine so I missed out on a lot of these treasures. When I saw the falafel then I had to give them a go. Deep fried to perfection and they contained shredded spinach if my memory serves me correctly. Over all they were excellent, I’d have falafels and chips in the future 😉
I’d like to visit Maria’s again as I really enjoyed the meal. The falafals were excellent, the lamb was tender and tasty but it didn’t quite nail the flavour profile I was after (lemon, garlicky – this is a different profile). I guess I’ll have to give that recipe a bash after all 😉
Find Maria’s in Dunkley Square off Hatfield road in the Gardens side of the city bowl.