Harley Young dines at the Liverpool One restaurant a month after its opening

Located on Paradise Street opposite Urban Outfitters, The Real Greek is one of the newest foodie offerings to join Liverpool’s popular One shopping district. 

Due to its prime city centre location, even on a Monday afternoon the restaurant was bustling with people who had built up an appetite after spending the morning traipsing around shops. 

2024 02 26 The Real Greek Outside 2024 02 26 The Real Greek Inside

Probably just a bad bite though, right? I gave the wrap the benefit of the doubt and went in for seconds.

On entering The Real Greek, you’re greeted with a warm welcome and bright-and-airy, tasteful decor with a nod to traditional Greek hospitality. The restaurant, which spans across two floors, is well laid-out and has plenty of room to manoeuvre between tables. 

Dave and I took our seats and ordered a drink; a humble Coke Zero for me and a glass of The Real Greek’s own blonde beer - Alpha Omega - for him, which he described as crisp and refreshing. Just what was needed after mooching around town. 

To start, we ordered a trio of dishes. The Greek flatbread (which was served on its own without any dips but in plentiful supply), Greek olives (fleshy and full, though rather salty) and The Real Greek halloumi popcorn dressed with lemon and thyme-infused honey - probably the most enjoyable of the three dishes. The halloumi ‘popcorn’ was divided into bite-sized chunks and drizzled with a small amount of honey to cut through the saltiness of the cheese. I liked this one and hoped it was an indication of what was to come. 

2024 02 26 The Real Greek Halloumi Olives Flatbread
Halloumi popcorn with flatbread and olives in the background Image: Confidentials
2024 02 26 The Real Greek Olives
Olives Image: Confidentials
2024 02 26 The Real Greek Flatbread
Flatbread Image: Confidentials

For our mains, I chose a chicken Souvlaki wrap; flatbread filled with chips, fresh tomatoes, red onion, sweet paprika and seasoned chicken with a healthy dollop of tzatziki. Though it looked the part, the chicken was unfortunately dry and the light dusting of sweet paprika was more like an avalanche of the stuff, leaving me gasping for a gulp of my Coke. 

Probably just a bad bite though, right? I gave the wrap the benefit of the doubt and went in for seconds. This time, I was met with the opposite problem - a gobful of tzatziki and not much else. I really wanted to enjoy this as it sounded just like my type of dish on paper, but the execution just wasn’t right. 

2024 02 26 The Real Greek Chicken Souvlaki
My chicken Souvlaki wrap Image: Confidentials

Dave opted for the moussaka, described on the menu as ‘a classic Greek dish - hearty and rich’. However, the poor thing had been nuked within an inch of its life, causing the base of the baked dish to gel to the bottom of the plate, creating a hardened paste that really had me feeling for the KP who’d be chiselling it off shortly after. 

He powered through for a few more bites, giving the dish the opportunity to redeem itself, but unfortunately it fell flat, as did the flavours which there didn’t seem to be much of. 

2024 02 26 The Real Greek Moussaka
Dave's moussaka Image: Confidentials

By the time dessert arrived we were feeling pretty hungry. But, thankfully, the sweet finales were just the ticket. 

Dave chose the ‘Portokalopita’; a traditional orange cake made with layers of filo pastry baked with Greek yoghurt and soaked in orange syrup, served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side. Everything seemed in order apart from the filo pastry base which seemed to have been swapped for a sponge cake. Regardless of how it presented on the menu versus in real life, it was tasty and sweet - similar to a lemon drizzle cake but with more flavour. He polished it off and I helped him as the sweet, fruity smell had whet my appetite.

2024 02 26 The Real Greek Orange Cake
Portokalopita sans filo pastry Image: Confidentials

Despite changing my order from Greek filo custard pie (I was told it takes 15 minutes to make) to chocolate mousse cake at the last minute, I thoroughly enjoyed this lighter, fluffier take on the traditional choccy pud. Made with rich, dark chocolate, this dish wasn’t overly sweet or sickly and added just enough chocolatey goodness to leave me satisfied.

2024 02 26 The Real Greek Chocolate
Chocolate mousse cake Image: Confidentials

The team at The Real Greek Liverpool are so attentive, hardworking and ready to recommend dishes should you need them; the venue itself is pretty and pleasant; the menu is affordable - so affordable, in fact, that three courses and a drink each came to just over £60. But, ultimately, the food could be so much better. 

Perhaps these are just teething problems with the restaurant being in its infancy, but from a brand with 25 other sites across the UK, you’d expect them to have this nailed fairly quickly. If the menu was given the same tender love and care that the waiting staff give to customers, I’d have no doubts that The Real Greek Liverpool could become a lunch and dinner time hotspot in the city.

The Real Greek, 43 Paradise St, Liverpool L1 3EU

The scores

All scored reviews are unannounced, impartial, and ALWAYS paid for by Confidentials.com and completely independent of any commercial relationship. They are a first-person account of one visit by one, knowledgeable restaurant reviewer and don't represent the company as a whole.

If you want to see the receipt as proof this magazine paid for the meal then a copy will be available upon request. Or maybe ask the restaurant.

Venues are rated against the best examples of their type. What we mean by this is a restaurant which aspires to be fine dining is measured against other fine dining restaurants, a mid-range restaurant against other mid-range restaurants, a pizzeria against other pizzerias, a teashop against other teashops, a KFC against the contents of your bin. You get the message.

Given the above, this is how we score: 1-5: saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9: sigh and shake your head, 10-11: if you’re passing, 12-13: good, 14-15: very good, 16-17: excellent, 18-19: pure class, 20: nothing's that good is it?

  • Food 5.5/10

    Flatbread 5, olives 5, halloumi popcorn 7, chicken Souvlaki wrap 4, Moussaka 3, Portokalopita 8, Chocolate mousse cake 7

  • Ambience 3.5/5

  • Service 4/5