Words: Nicola Carmonez
Thursday 05 November 2015
reading time: min, words

As a long-standing Greek meze and tapas restaurant situated on Thurland Street, this charming and stylish venue is ideal for generous nibbling plates between friends, couples or larger groups.

We didn’t waste any time ordering our feast, made up of: halloumi and lounza (£5.95), kalamari (£6.95), monkfish wrapped in pancetta (£7.95), chicken kapama (£5.85), lamb tagine (£5.95), aubergines and zucchini (£5.20), falafel (£4.95), with a side of Greek flat bread (£2.35). We ordered our courses to arrive together, which worked out well as we were left to taste and talk. Separating your courses is an option, but given the style of the restaurant, I would suggest doing as we did.

The lamb tagine was cooked beautifully. The meat was tender and the sauce was layered with chunks of apricot and raisins. The gravy doubled up as the perfect dipping sauce for the freshly baked, still warm flat bread. Certainly a dish I’d recommend.

A favourite of mine was most definitely the lightly battered aubergines and zucchini. Dusted ever-so-softly in a crispy flour batter, the freshness of the vegetables complemented the coating and was a proper winner. My dining partner championed the monkfish wrapped in pancetta, noting its juicy centre and strong, salty flavouring.

We rounded off the meal with a classic tapas dish of fresh churros with nutty chocolate dipping sauce and an espresso coffee each. Despite being completely full, we managed to fit in a whole portion between us. Traditionally, churros can be the sickliest element of any dessert menu, with their deep fried doughnut recipe and their sweet dipping sauce, but I found Yamas’s recipe to be well-balanced, with light, crispy textures and flavours just right.

There was a large group of friends and family that came in during our meal. They were warmly welcomed and escorted to the first floor where there is room for large, special occasion bookings. A nice surprise to a seemingly small restaurant.

Overall, the food was divine, the portions were healthy and the wine topped it off. As a lover of garlic mayonnaise, I feel like the consistency of the aioli could have been thicker but, if the aioli is my only moan, then they’re doing something right. Nicola Carmonez

5 Thurland Street, NG1 3DR. 0115 950 1000. Yamas website

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