OFF-MENU with Josh

Tsiakkos & Charcoal, 5 Marylands Rd, London W9 2DU

Not many people know about this
neighbourhood gem in Maida Vale, which is definitely part of its attraction, so
this recommendation is somewhat counter-productive.

Tsiakkos & Charcoal is a
stripped-back, no-frills, family-run Greek institution that barely looks like a
restaurant from the outside, but is bursting with character from within.

Run by Zen, whose always there, and his
small team of dedicated lads who seem to be working more for the fun of it and
to help out, than for the money – it has a charm unlike any other restaurant
I’ve managed to find in the city.

The food is simple but always delicious.
The burnt pork and kleftico has a devoted following from those in the know,
achieving almost legendary status. But the mezze are also always on-point and
shouldn’t be missed, especially the hummus, taramasalata and grilled halloumi.

It has a conservatory tacked on to the
back that is perfect for lazy summer nights. And it’s BYO. So that’s a win-win.