I’ve been unsuccessfully hunting for decent Greek food in Dubai for years with no success. Then a few months ago I was driving along Jumeirah Beach Road when Zeus threw a Iightning bolt down from Olympus and illuminated a tiny store front sign, and the words “El Greco” flashed before my eyes. It looked like a souvlaki (shish kebab) joint. I excitedly reported the news to Samer when I got home.
A few days later I went looking for it but I couldn’t remember exactly where I had seen it. I drove that strip at least twice with no luck. A week later I brought Samer along with me to look for it while I kept my eyes on the road. He seemed skeptical but decided to amuse me. After a couple of drives along the strip – still nothing. He decided that it was all just a hallucination on my part and that I needed to stop obsessing and get over it. Even I began to think that he was right and that I had just imagined the whole thing. I forgot about it and moved on. Then last week I was doing something random on Facebook when low and behold, I stumbled on the El Greco FB page proudly publicizing “Souvlaki in Dubai”. I’m not sure how the first Greek greasy spoon in Dubai came to be named by a Mexican – nonetheless, like Odysseus to the sirens – I was drawn to it.
According to the site it’s located across from Mercatto Mall. Tadaaah!
We were in the neighbourhood the other day and decided to have a look. The place is essentially a counter without seating and all of 8 x 6 feet. The menu is simple: chicken kebab or gyro, greek salad, french fries. We weren’t sure how this was going to go so chose to take it slow. We ordered one chicken souvlaki on a pita each with the works (tzatziki, onions, tomatoes, fries). We waited in the car while they cooked it to order. About 10 minutes later the guy delivered it to our window.
We raced home like Hermes with his winged sandals, and despite a 15 minute drive to the house, when we unwrapped the food it had remained surprisingly hot and looking absolutely perfect. It was delicious! The tzatziki was spot on, the pita was the ideal texture and the onion-tomato-sauce combo perfectly complimented the tender chicken pieces. All I have to say is that I’m going back for the bougatsa and frappé next week.
We have been blessed by the Gods twice this week. First we found an awesome pizza delivery joint and now the chicken souvlaki. We should probably play the lottery.
Update since our visit: El Greco launched a new menu in the last week with an expanded selection of food and slightly higher price point. Chicken souvlaki is now 12 dhs.