Public Café was recommended to me by a Greek friend I recently visited Gaia with. Like me, he occasionally works out of an office in JLT and, he explained, this cosy café in Cluster T (funnily, there are two branches in JLT) is his go-to comfort zone when in the area. The interior of Public Café is indeed cosy. It’s also very popular. I was lucky to find a free table when I ventured in for lunch. First things first, this isn’t a hardcore Greek restaurant. It’s a café owned by a Greek which also serves Greek food. This is the impression I got…after I inquired which part of Greece Spaghetti Bolognese (which is on the menu) was from.
Predictably, I started with their Greek salad before moving on to one of their daily dishes, a mince with peas which was a dead-ringer for Keema Matar (see picture). I also ordered one of their signature dishes, the slow-cooked lamb. So, I’m sitting there among all these trendy manager type suits; you know, the type which wears above-ankle super-skinny trousers and formal shoes without socks. I’m eating this food thinking, Tassos my dear Greek friend, what part of this do you come back for every day? It’s good but really? is it something to come back for every day? I think a big, fat Greek NOT. The salad was boring, and the lamb still needed an hour of slow cooking.
Service was good though; the Filipino boys who work there are well-versed, well-trained and make up in efficiency whatever they may lack in overall friendliness. I didn’t dislike Public Café. What I think happened was that Tassos built up my expectations too much. In fact, I will happily go back. This time with Tassos so he shows me what keeps taking him back.
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Xerxes physically dines at, or orders from, each and every venue he reviews. He pays in full for whatever he and his companions eat, drink, take away or occasionally throw at each other. Xerxes accepts no money, gifts, discounts or free meals in return for reviews or favouritism. What you have read was NOT influenced in any way by the venue. Join me on Instagram @ravenousxerxes or email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.