Although I love Greek food, it has been a while since I have eaten any proper Greek food. However, a few weeks ago I was visiting my grandparents in Highgate, and was given the task of choosing the restaurant for the evening. I hadn’t been to Carob Tree, Highgate, London, for several years, I vaguely remembered it being quite good, so I went with that.
Carob Tree is located at the end of Highgate Road, opposite Parliament Hill Fields. Although it was converted from an old pub, the new restaurant has a more contemporary feel. Upon arrival, my grandparents and I were immediately shown to our table. Despite being a Tuesday evening, the restaurant was fairly packed and we were lucky to get a table. Once seated, I browsed through the menu. Carob Tree does an array of Greek dishes, ranging from salads to meat and fish, and you can order a mixture of different plates, as you would in a tapas bar. Some of the options include falafel, potato salad (Patatosalata), roasted aubergine with tomato, garlic olive oil and lemon (Melin Tzanosalata), and spinach and feta cheese filo pastries (Spanakopitta).
I initially contemplated ordering the halloumi and calamari dishes, I decided to go for a main course instead. I settled on the chicken shashlik, which is described as “marinated and charcoal grilled [chicken] with peppers, mushrooms and onion”, with rice as a side. My grandma and grandpa ordered the Grilled Dutch Calves Liver and moussaka, simultaneously. The friendly waiter told us that the food would take about 25 minutes. At first I wasn’t too fussed, but after 10 minutes or so I was feeling a little hungry so I ordered some bread. Thankfully it arrived within minutes.
Overall, I was impressed with the food at Carob Tree. It was just how I remembered. The bread came in the form of sliced pitta and was very tasty (though I did have to ask for oil), and my main course was delicious. It had just the right amount of chicken. The rice came in a separate bowl and there was quite a lot – I couldn’t eat it all! I was surprised when we were given a plate of ice cream and baklava after paying the bill. Though the ice cream was still very frozen, and difficult to cut, the baklava was superb. It was sweet, but not to the point of being sickly.
If you’re a fan of Greek food and want something authentic, I’d recommend Carob Tree. It is perfect for a date as the food is reasonably priced – most of the smaller dishes are around £5, while the majority of the main courses are under £15. While the restaurant is off-the-beaten-track for many students in London, it is worth a visit if you’re ever in the Highgate area. Carob Tree makes a nice change from the typical chain restaurants.