Food review: Sheffield's Meraki restaurant transports diners to a sunny escape

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There are a few Greek restaurants on Abbeydale Road – with Greek Village and Atipico Street Food a stone’s throw away from Meraki - but none have an ambiance as special.

On a cold and wet Thursday evening in January, pulling open the sliding doors – which I find a nice quirk – and stepping into family-run Meraki was just like stepping into Greece, without the three and a half hour flight.

Everything, such as the vines running up the walls, the bright and fresh flowers on every table, traditional music and warm lighting transported me back to when I was holidaying in Athens pre-pandemic.

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We were immediately greeted by a friendly waitress who took us to our table and placed wood-backed menus on it.

I opened it and read the introductory page which said: “Meraki: a word that modern Greeks often use to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself – your soul, creativity, or love – in your work. When you love doing something, anything, so much that you put something of yourself into it.”

All the classic dishes were on offer and freshly prepared daily including moussaka, keftedes and souvlaki.

I chose the lamb kleftiko (succulent lamb slow cooked in white wine and herbs which was described as Meraki’s favourite) my dining partner went for pork pita gyros (grilled pork with tzatziki, tomatoes and onions in two pita wraps served with chips and a side salad) and we had a side of pita bread.

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For drinks, I had the quintessential Greek beer Mythos (the only time I ever choose to drink beer is when it’s Mythos, being more of a spirits and cocktails person) and my dining partner had a coke, which came in a glass bottle, although they later took my Mythos to pose for a picture.

Sheffield's Meraki restaurant transports diners to a sunny escape.Sheffield's Meraki restaurant transports diners to a sunny escape.
Sheffield's Meraki restaurant transports diners to a sunny escape.

It wasn’t long before our food arrived, artistically arranged on the plates.

The lamb was tender and the rice had a buttery flavour to it. My dining partner’s gyros had a big dollop of fresh tzatziki and a generous side of seasoned fries – which all got a big thumbs up.

For dessert, I had a Greek coffee and we shared a cake of the day which again, was very pleasingly presented. The cake soaked up the syrup and was a mouth-watering match with the rich ice cream.

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The bill came to a total of £59.80 for two mains, a side, a dessert, coffee, two beers and a soft drink. It was a little expensive but it was a great treat.

Inside the restaurant.Inside the restaurant.
Inside the restaurant.

To sum up our experience, I would have to agree with the couple a table away who told the waitress how they were drawn in by the lovely décor, could have eaten the food all day long and will most certainly be back.

In this era when a pandemic threatens to scupper travel plans it is reassuring to know there is a place right here in Sheffield where you can be transported to a sunnier destination without even packing a bag.