Featured Restaurant: Mosfilo

2nd June 2017

308 Uxbridge Road • Hatch End • HA5 4HR • 020 8421 6821

Reviewed by Jill Glenn

With seating in grey and pale teal, walls in stone or painted in cool natural shades, plus murals of Greek seaside scenes, the spacious interior at Mosfilo feels very Mediterranean. The front is open to the street –very welcome on this warm evening – and the atmosphere is light and fresh.

A basket of hot pitta bread and a little dish of dressed olives, discs of carrot and tiny pieces of celery arrive promptly, along with advice on the wine – all Greek, and therefore largely unfamiliar. We pick the Entexnos: fruity and smooth and easy to drink, we’re told. And so it proves.

The menu is extensive, with ten cold and ten hot starters, easily assemblable into meze selections to suit any taste. We pick two from the cold, and three from the hot. They start arriving almost at once, and continue to turn up just as soon as each is ready –particularly lovely with the hot choices, as they are at the perfect eating temperature as soon as they arrive. The Taramosalata (cod roe dip blended with olive oil and lemon) is smooth and flavourful; the Gigandes (slow roasted giant beans in tomato and dill) are both giant and superb: very soft in their delicate tomato sauce and difficult to stop eating. These I return to every few mouthfuls, and when the starters are finally taken away I’m sorry to see that seven still remain uneaten on the plate.

The hot Lountza (chargrilled smoked loin of pork) is tender and moist, although it dries quickly, and tastes especially good with the Gigandes. The Garlic Mushrooms (button mushrooms fried with olive oil, lemon and garlic) are strong and substantial, and the Spanakopitta (fresh spinach with feta cheese, wrapped in filo pastry) are delicious: crispy on the outside with a meltingly creamy filling. I could eat more than my fair share of these.

My companion picks Chicken Souvlaki for her main course. Marinated and grilled on charcoal, it’s served with rice and a small side salad. It’s delicately done, nicely moist and the flavour derived from the cooking process is just evident.

I opt for Garides Saganaki (king prawns sautéed with tomato, peppers, garlic, olive oil and feta cheese). I’m not sure about the inclusion of the feta when I order the dish – and I’m still less sure when I start to eat it. However, that’s easily pushed to one side, and the prawns themselves are out of this world: hot, full of seaside flavour, and beautifully textured. I’d sell my soul for them.

They’re accompanied, oddly, by carrots and French beans, which, I’m sorry to say, are tasteless. A little salad would have hit the spot perfectly. There is, however, an unexpected highlight on the table. ‘Lovely rice’, we say, simultaneously, after the first mouthful. It’s well-seasoned and moist, and the grains are perfectly separated. I’d rather like a rice-cooking masterclass from the chef. Mine is never as good as this.

Portion sizes are generous. We are defeated by the very thought of dessert… even the Paklava, even the ice-cream in its beguiling flavours of pistachio and rosewater. We just about manage a couple of complimentary pieces of lemon Turkish Delight (‘We like to call it Greek Delight here,’ says our waiter with a smile), which cleanses and sweetens the palate after all those strong tastes that we have enjoyed.

The food is not elaborate here. Indeed, in some ways you could call it plain – everything is of itself, unfussy. But that’s all to the good. These are simple ingredients, presented with a light touch, and great flavours. What’s not to like?

STARTERS: £3.95-£7.95 • MAINS: £12.95-£21.95
DESSERTS: £4.95 • HOUSE WINE: £16.95

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