J and I disagree on many things (food and wine related mainly, but also legal matters during the brief time we actually worked together a bazillion years ago when I use to regularly forget her name, occasionally calling her Jenny – not what J stands for, apparently 🤷♀️ – and insisting that her birthday was in May, which for some reason she seems to think is in an entirely different month🙄) and I freely admit it isn’t easy being right almost all the time.
A new thing for us to disagree (and for me to be right) about is how to pronounce the Greek word “gyro”. J insists it is ‘giro” whereas I insist it is “yeerroh” (a little bit like “hero” with a rolling of the R, hence my usual cringe title). In her defence, J cited her experience of eating out in Corfu as evidence to support her pronounciation, with my retort to that being “Is that the Corfu kebab house in Rhyl?”. My defence of my position was the actual Greek language.
This difference of opinion stemmed from a lunch time visit to the Athenian Tree, a Greek restaurant in Canton, Cardiff.
Sort of hidden away under the Purple Poppadum, it is a bit tardis like. The small facade hides a quite substantial interior space.
The lunch time menu there includes a selection of (at first blush) very reasonably priced items.
Nothing above £5.50 is a rare menu indeed in this day and age and I for one welcome it.
After J contemplated ordering an “unemployment benefits cheque“, I suggested to her that “She might want to (just maybe), I don’t know, go with something actually on the menu?”. This was met with a rolling of the eyes and a two word expletive beginning and ending with an “f”.
Misprounciations aside, we managed to place our order (J went for a wrap, fearing otherwise our server would point her in the direction of the nearest post office, whilst I was complimented on my excellent pronunciation when making my gyro order – OK that may not be 100% true 😁).
I settled on a classic pork gyro, which was a handsome looking beast and a big bugger.
Good quantity of good quality shaved pork meat (ideally I would have liked it a touch crispier on the edges, if I were a picky bugger and oh I am, I really am), decent chips, good salad veg. (crisp lettuce, zippy onions and juicy tomatoes that actually tasted of something) and a tangy, garlic rich, tzatziki all sat within a tightly rolled, substantial yet light and fluffy, pitta.
Not very beard friendly this, with me getting tzatziki all over my face much to J’s amusement. I declined the photo op.
More than enough to fill me up for lunch and some, it was a bit of a bargain.
J went for the chicken skewer wrap,
Picture doesn’t really do it justice but hidden in there were a generous portion of tender, juicy chunks of chicken with a touch of char.
J rated my gyro and her chicken skewer wrap better than those she had had previously at the Cathays Post office (well the Hellenic Eatery – this place’s sister restaurant apparently) on the other side of town.
If you don’t fancy the gyro/wrap menu, the al a carte looks good, with all the usual suspects on there.
A chap in the place at the same time as us had a dish off it and it was proper huge! As such, whilst the al a carte ramps up the price, it looks equally good value.
The wine list is fulsome, with a very clear focus on the rich variety of wines that Greece has to offer (still very underrated, but coming on in leaps and bounds in terms of people discovering its undoubted wine charms).
Mark ups seem pretty fair with the top priced wine, in the reds, in the form of the Skouras Megan Oenos retailing at £25+ and on the list here at £49.95. At the lower end the red and whites all seem pretty fairly priced. £25 for a Robola from Cephelonia (the co-operative produced one retails at £16 plus over here) at first blush looks a bit of a bargain.
Beer prices seem pretty reasonable too.
As it was a weekday lunch, we reluctantly shied away from the booze and had Greek soft drinks.
I rather enjoyed my vimto-eque sour cherry number (£2.20)
Nice to have stuff other than the usual soda suspects.
Sign of the times that a bargain lunch has creeped over the £5 mark, but for an eat-in meal of the quality and quantity of the gyros/wraps here (at £5.50 a pop) this has got to be one of Cardiff’s best value sit in lunches on offer at the moment. Parking is pretty easy (Grey Street car park never seems to be full and you get 2 hours free, the closer Severn Road pay and display tends to be a tad more challenging to get a space in in my experience).
Like the look of the al a carte menu and the wine list, so an evening visit is definitely in the cards (on top of further lunch time ones).
Address: 185 Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, CF11 9AF