Fitzrovia, London

Savouring a chilled flute of Tselepos Amalia, an elegant sparkling wine from the Peloponnese, in the olive-hued mezzanine level of new 80-cover Ampéli, anyone would be forgiven for wondering what they’d been playing at drinking prosecco all these years. Bursting with notes of pear and white peach, it is proof that there’s room, even on gastronomically crowded Charlotte Street, for a space that evokes the modern, wine-focused restaurants of Athens. Sharing plates – josper-smoked aubergine, served with smooth tahini and walnuts grown under the warm sun; tomato and goat’s cheese fritters with pickled okra tempura – are testament to the talents of head chef Oren Goldfeld (ex-Nopi). Grilled lamb chops with baharat and skordalia (garlic purée), meanwhile, taste exactly as yiayia would serve them, were one luckily enough to have a Greek grandmother, that is. The highlight? The loukoumades. A tumble of deep-fried, tea syrup-drenched balls, they taste as good as, if not better than, the ones sold on cardboard trays at Greek festivals, cooked by floury-cheeked old couples who’ve had decades of practice.

Words by Julie Alpine

Photo by Steven Joyce

This review was taken from the April 2020 issue of Food and Travel.

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