Midweek brunch at Acropolis

Review: A great-value feast of authentic Greek small plates

DETAILS: Dhs99 (soft drinks), Dhs120 (two house beverage). Wed 7pm-11pm. The Village, Le Méridien Abu Dhabi, Al Zahiya (02 644 6666).

By the time you’ve navigated the infuriating roadworks in Al Zahiya and worked out how, and where, to park in the almost Mad Max-style surroundings of Le Méridien you will be ready for a good feed.

Billed as an evening brunch, the Wednesday evening deal at Acropolis isn’t really that, but for fans of Greek food, or those with memories of holidays to Aegean islands, you’ll still want to check it out.

The restaurant is towards the back of The Village, the quaint cluster of venues outside Le Méridien, which we love. It’s an unpretentious, atmospheric area catering for mostly Europeans on holiday, as well as us residents that are all too aware of
its charms.

Wednesday nights in winter mean there’s live music in the garden, which you’ll hear if you sit at the tables outside Acropolis, but we’re inside, where there’s traditional and popular Greek songs playing. It helps create a nice atmosphere in an otherwise empty venue.

To say the vibe is low-key would be overstating things. There’s no sign of any promotions on as we approach the restaurant, and at first the staff seem surprised we’re asking about it. However, if the beginning is underwhelming, things soon pick up once we take a seat.

The staff are excellent from the off and explain what’s on offer succinctly – there are around 15 hot and cold mezze on the menu at Acropolis and for Dhs99 each we can have all of them as many time as we like, with unlimited soft drinks. For just Dhs21 more they’ll throw two house beverages in as well. If that’s not good value, we don’t know what is.

The restaurant itself is something of a veteran of the dining scene in Abu Dhabi, and you can tell. While there’s nothing wrong with it, it’s a long way from the glitz and glamour of the city’s newer openings. It suits the venue down to the ground, though, and looking around the dining room, it really does have the essence of the kind of places we remember from holidays to Corfu and Rhodes (before Greek holidays meant yachts and models in beach clubs in Santorini or Mykonos).

Food is excellent and typically no-frills. Our picks are the courgette fritters, cabbage rolls stuffed with minced beef, and prawns in tomato sauce with feta. The tzaziki and grilled pitta bread is as good as you’d find in Greece. It’s no coincidence that the first proper Greek restaurant in town is still doing the business.

It may not really be a brunch, but it is worth your time.

The bottom line
Proper Greek food at a great price.

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