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The Stolen Lamb Restaurant Reviewed

Deanna Thomas tries it bandit style in the 'burbs

Written by . Published on June 4th 2013.


The Stolen Lamb Restaurant Reviewed
 

IT’S not difficult to find hummus in Wilmslow. In fact you’re probably never more than 20 feet away from it at any point. But we’re not talking about the organic, vegan stuff you get in Chorlton or West Didsbury, Wilmslow has more authentic Middle Eastern hummus than a belly dancer can shake a bejewelled navel at.

Kleftico or Stolen Lamb is a corker of a dish, it has to be since they named the restaurant after it. 

There’s Armenian hummus from Heddys and Lebanese hummus from Sahara, which is why I wasn’t exactly first in the queue when a new Cypriot restaurant opened on Grove Street last year.

My parents went and I should have known from the glint in my mother’s eyes that The Stolen Lamb was better than good. It’s not very often she gets to find a gem of a restaurant before I do, so she couldn’t wait to tell me. My mum’s not what you’d call a trendy restaurant ‘collector’; she likes good food, in generous portion sizes, carefully cooked in a comfortable environment without paying a fortune – pretty much what we all hope for from a restaurant.

Stolen Lamb DoorwayStolen Lamb DoorwayChef George Hadjiyiannis heads up the kitchen with help from various family members (mostly also called George). Dishes are a combination of much loved and well tested traditional Cypriot family recipes, modern cooking styles and the presentation skills George picked up working for top restaurants such as the Hilton and Burj Al Arab in Dubai.

First time diners who want to get an overall sense of the place can order the Spring Mezze Menu (£30 for 3 x 3-dish courses) or the Symposium menu (5 courses £45/matching wine option £70). There’s also a dedicated vegetarian menu. The wine list features the best of the Aegean with a great range of excellent Greek red, whites and rosés in amongst the regular classics.

Whilst dipping deliciously comforting homemade halloumi bread in Greek XVO we ordered from the ‘Piata’ menu, the seasonal ‘a la carte’ which is confidently short.

Sesame Sheeps CheeseSesame Sheeps CheeseGeorge’s paternal grandfather (also George) was well known for producing goat’s milk to make the Cypriot Halloumi so I started with sheep cheese coated in sesame seeds with sweet onions, spicy spinach and black bean hummus (£7.95) – actually the only hummus on the menu. It was really good. The cheese was substantial and ticked every ‘good recipe requirement box’ with complementary textures, flavours and various other positive food-based adjectives.

No envious glances from me then towards my husband’s equally excellent starter, the mighty meaty Zalatina (£7.50) a fritter packed with slow cooked wild boar served on an apple salad with rounds of homemade brawn. They’re not afraid of using the ‘less popular’ cuts of meat occasionally, but rest reassured if you’ve never eaten ox tongue or brawn, you’re in the hands of experts.

Zalatina

Zalatina

Kleftico or Stolen Lamb is a corker of a dish, it has to be since they named the restaurant after it. 

Apparently bandits cooked this in the mountains when they wanted to eat well but didn’t want any delicious aromas giving away their hideout. They improvised by making a fire in a sealed pit in which they buried a lamb and some foraged herbs. By the time they returned from a busy day’s banditising, the lamb had been slow cooking with nowhere for the sweet aromatic juices to escape but back into the meat, rendering it soft, sweet and delicious. Rather than disturbing the branch of Laura Ashley below by digging a pit through their ceiling, George uses a traditional wood fired clay oven and a coal fired BBQ to create a similar effect.

Kleftiko

Kleftiko

For main, I chose Bakalarios (main picture, top of the page); perfectly roasted cod, smoked bean and loukaniko cassoulet topped with crispy calamari and a couple of testicular looking (but no less delicious for it) wild boar stuffed squid (£15.95) ‘Zalatina’, ‘Kleftico’, ‘Bakalarios’, ‘Galatoboureko’ - It’s almost impossible to read these dish names out loud without shouting ‘Gladiators READY?’

Desserts very good at The Stolen Lamb.

My husband, ‘not a dessert person’ has now fallen head over heels for Galatoboureko - a brûléed rosewater and vanilla semolina pudding, caramelized figs and toasted pistachio nuts. I originally wanted Kati Oreo, a Greek biscuit cheesecake served with Kahlua milkshake (desserts £6.95) but George came out and said he didn’t think it was set enough.

GalatobourekoGalatobourekoChefs take note – he didn’t send another George, he came out himself to tell us, and he brought me something else instead that was so delicious it made my eyes roll 180° into my head and back. A warm white chocolate rice pudding with sharp summer berry compote, one of the two things George’s mother (also George) makes for the restaurant.

Our meal was so good, we actually decided to go again the following week. If you want a genuine piece of glorious Cypriot sunshine nearer to home, make like a Centaur and get yourselves to The Stolen Lamb in Wilmslow. Ask for George – someone’ll come.

You can follow Deanna Thomas on Twitter @DeannaThomas 

ALL SCORED CONFIDENTIAL REVIEWS ARE IMPARTIAL AND PAID FOR BY THE MAGAZINE.  

The Stolen Lamb,  70a Grove St, Wilmslow, SK9 1DS. 01625 419 571. info@stolenlamb.com Twitter @Stolenlamb

Rating: 14.75/20 

Food 7.75/10 
Ambience 3/5
Service 4/5

PLEASE NOTE: Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20, we get carried away.

Moussaka - Not As We Know ItMoussaka - Not As We Know It

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10 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

GordoJune 4th 2013.

I met George (the chef) last week, he was a good bloke. On the basis of that and this revue, I'm going

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

review

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

retard

Don GatelyJune 7th 2013.

Gordo - we know all your judgements are based on how good a bloke the chef/owner is - you could at least pretend to be objective about the food though

GordoJune 25th 2013.

Mr. Gately, you might pay attention and notice that this rather excellent review was written by Deanna Thomas, one of our favourite bloggers. I haven't met you, but I would lay odds on whether or not you are a good bloke.

EmJune 4th 2013.

I went for my birthday in January and it was amazing. Best new (for me) restaurant I've been to in ages. So friendly, unlike a lot of city centre places. I actually think the rating in this review is a little harsh but that's just my opinion. Anyway, go - you won't regret it. Beautiful Greek food but not as we know it.

pollolocoJune 5th 2013.

went with friends last month...on the basis that he absolutely cremated my red mullet fillets, I won't be going back.

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

very mediocre

WendyJune 6th 2013.

We sampled Stolen Lamb at the Tatton Park Foodie Festival recently were we exchanged our voucher for a plate of food...tiny portion size not enough salad garnish and when we queried this we were blown out by 'George' ...not interested. Wish had used my voucher at the Moroccan food outlet next door to Stolen Lamb pop up restaurant tent. Generous appetising portions. We were really put of by food and staff attitude and on that basis would not visit the restaurant. If i had to pay for the measly offering they provided I would have been gutted ! Had to visit other stalls to fill up with their samples as still hungry !

salJune 7th 2013.

Best Greek Restaurant in UK. It gets better each time. this is a very special restaurant

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Latest Rants

Raj Patel

Shhh. This is right next to my office. A gem of a place for a tasty (& healthy) lunch. Don't tell…

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Anonymous

I think that was meant as a suggestion rather than referring to this location.

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It's nowhere near Kro or the gardens... Check the address...

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Pita Pit and KRO next door, plus a view of the scrotes on the gardens? That's the perfect combo.

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