Everyone knows that you’re spoilt for choice on Osborne Road, Southsea. Whatever type of cuisine takes your fancy, the culinary connoisseurs who have set up shop there cater for everyone.
Whether its a spicy curry, cheese fondue or a meaty burger, you can always find something to satisfy your hunger.
But after a trip to Steki, the Greek restaurant on Osborne Road, the only food you will desire for days after is grilled meat, roasted vegetables and pitta bread.
Upon arrival, the restaurant was empty, which is not the most positive sign for an eatery. However, within 15 minutes of our arrival tables started filling up – despite it being a dull Monday evening.
We notice straight away the fresh feel of the place. And the waiting staff are very attentive and friendly, ensuring their customers are comfortably seated.
The menu is extensive, to say the least.
With five starter sections (hot and cold meze, salads, dips), a variety of main courses and an array of drinks, it takes a fair amount of time to choose just two items.
From hot meze to cold meze, and grilled meat to seafood, Steki’s menu ticks all the boxes.
However, nearly all of the dishes are meat based, so perhaps this isn’t be the best place for vegetarians to eat.
But since this is a Greek restaurant, you should not expect anything less than traditional meat and rice dishes.
We want our experience to be as authentic as possible so we order the house wine.
It is served a traditional jug, a full litre, and I think it's fair to say that the Greek house wine is definitely an acquired taste.
For starters, I decide to go for tzatziki – a dip made of natural yogurt, cucumber and mint. As I’m not that hungry, I think this is the safest bet for a light starter – but how wrong I am.
My friend orders classic meatballs, which are well done but still succulent. When my starter arrives, the plate is filled to the brim, accompanied by four chunky slices of pitta bread.
It is refreshing and tasty but there is too much to finish. Steki doesn’t shy away from big portions.
The starters are fairly priced, with the massive tzatziki dish £4 and the meatballs £5.
For the portion sizes, it is good value for money.
Service is quick and with a smile, as it seems like no time has passed before our main courses are presented in front of us.
I decide on the mpifteki gemisto – a classic Greek meatball stuffed with tomatoes and feta cheese, served with chips, pitta bread and salad. It looks like a burger but the meat is well-cooked, salty and oozing with the filling.
My friend has chicken souvlaki, which looks and tastes like chicken kebab meat, served with rice and pitta bread. Although it is nice and tasty, it wasn’t as special as he initially hopes.
Translated into English, Steki means ‘where people meet habitually’.
With the calming ambience, draping olive vines and warm lighting, it is definitely a friendly, clean and welcoming place to be – easily transporting you to a taverna in rural Greece.
We are left full to bursting with a surplus of chips, rice and pitta bread, so sadly dessert is not an option.
But as our plates are cleared, we are presented with shots of ouzo – the traditional Greek aniseed-flavoured spirit.
After leaving Steki’s, I feel completely satisfied. The food is not expensive, the waiting staff are welcoming and I feel fully immersed in the Greek ‘experience’.
Sadly, there was no plate smashing… maybe next time.
Steki, Osborne Road, Southsea
Ratings out of five: