Our verdict on Greek food at Kalimera in Crouch End
- Credit: Caitlin Caprio/Kalimera
Running a successful food truck, and running a successful restaurant, are two entirely different beasts. Kalimera has nailed both.
Launched as Greek street food at Hoxton market in 2015, the business founded by former banker Télémaque Argyriou moved into its first permanent site in Crouch End this summer.
Greek food often doesn’t land in the UK. It feels like a rich but easy-going cuisine that isn’t done justice over here.
Kalimera, however, seems to buck the trend. Admittedly there is no sun in Tottenham Lane, but there’s plenty of the big hitters – tzatziki, saganaki, souvlaki, moussaka, olive oil.
For starters we have the pistachio pan-fried feta with chilli honey and baba ganoush, alongside a beautiful prawn saganaki sitting in a deep tomato and pepper sauce.
For mains we have a chicken souvlaki platter with roast potatoes, dill tzatziki, spicy hummus and pita bread – not forgetting a moussaka from the high heavens.
For dessert we tuck into mastic ice cream and sour cherries. The pick of the cocktails comes in a gin with mandarin, lemon sherbet and basil.
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Beyond the dishes, the décor – slick yellows, whites and greens – is enough to make you feel like you’ve stepped into an establishment with taste.
But not so much that it comes at the expense of atmosphere, and conversation. There’s a buzz about the place which feels laid back.
Télémaque is friendly, without being forceful. He guides us through his picks of the menu. His family in Laconia, southern Greece, have cultivated olive trees for 200 years, the fruits of which are about to turn up on our plates. So naturally, we trust him.
A passion for Greece and its culinary heritage clearly runs through Kalimera. Take a closer look around the restaurant – its name meaning good morning in Greek – and some of the products are sourced from neighbouring Crouch End shops. A nice touch.
Aside from the food, I get the distinct impression that Télémaque is a man who knows – or should know – how to run a business. Born in Athens, he spent 17 years at BNP Paribas where he climbed the ranks covering roles across London, Paris and New York.
The owner will need all that banking acumen to survive the cruelty of Covid. But as for a new food truck-turned-restaurant, it’s a seriously impressive start.
Kalimera is at 43 Topsfield Parade, Tottenham Lane, N8 8PT. For more information visit https://www.kalimera.london/