Love Thy Neighbour Bree Street
A Greek feast of fire bursting with flavours of the Mediterranean.
Ever watched the antics of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, wishing you too could be a part of a big, entertaining family that feeds you delicious food non-stop? Well, you’re in for a treat, you can get a little taste of that exact experience at Love Thy Neighbour on Bree Street.
The restaurant has changed faces a few times (was &Union, then became Weinhaus & Biergarten) causing some confusion, but Love Thy Neighbour looks set to stay and we couldn’t be happier. In the kitchen (and at the fire) is chef Nick Charalambous; he brings his Cypriot heritage to the fore with a menu of delicious Greek feasting that you won’t want to end.
The restaurant is one of those unique spaces that suits both warm and cool weather.
Seating is available indoors but the courtyard is where you want to be. On colder days it’s warmed by the recently-built outdoor cooking fireplaces and in summer, it’ll receive copious amounts of African sunshine. This, combined with the heavenly aromas of roasting meats and veggies, will mean you can break that piggy bank you were using to save for your holiday to Greece and just head to Bree Street instead. Yay!
The menu is full of Greek heritage food with a contemporary twist; it takes much-loved favourites and elevates them, while still maintaining a rustic, family-style feel.
All produce is responsibly and locally sourced, so if it’s not in season, you won’t find it on the menu.
The tapas style serving of the dishes allows you to order a few different things to snack on while you enjoy a chilled glass of vino or a craft beer. There are so many amazing things to choose from, the only really sensible thing to do would be to go many times until you’ve tried them all.
We just loved the creamy taramasalata with preserved lemon, scooped up with warm pita bread.
Served alongside this were roasted olives with orange, not seemingly a combo you think would work but it’s heavenly. A fava bean dip also accompanied, topped with fire roasted shallots, thyme and sprinkled with nigella seeds.
For a vegetarian, the menu is full of loads of tasty options; an absolute must-have are the aubergine fries, served with whipped feta, a touch of sweetness from date molasses and dusted with sesame seeds.
The Haloumi Saganaki is another mouth watering dish – perfectly pan-fried haloumi cheese with pumpkin preserve and a subtle nuttiness and crunch from a walnut salsa.
When we initially arrived at the restaurant, we could not help but be drawn to the fires, where amazing looking cabbages were artfully strung up just above the open coals, charring to perfection for at least 7 hours. These were then served as wedges with tahini, muhamarra (hot pepper dip) and sprinkled with dukkah. Not only is the dish a photographer’s dream but a foodie’s dream too. Packed with charr-y flavour it was the perfect mouthful topped with all the delicious dips. The kind of dish you want to go on and on.
Cooking with fire is at the centre of the flavour profile of most of the dishes, including yummy Greek style skewers (souvla) of chicken and pork, which slowly rotate over the open fire and are served with tzatziki. The concept lends itself so well to South African culture and the two are a happy marriage.
For dessert, (we know, where can you possibly fit it?) make space for traditional Loukoumades – Greek doughnuts drizzled with orange blossom syrup.
Love Thy Neighbour has filled two gaps that have been missing in Cape Town for a while – firstly they’ve taken Greek food out of its shroud of late night greasy souvlaki and put it up there with some of the tastiest we’ve eaten recently. It has also re-created a chilled meeting space in a much-loved spot.
Love Thy Neighbour is ideal for a laid back drink with friends; they serve honest-to-goodness tasty food with all the flavour of fire. We love it.