Mar 19 2014

Ergon

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I was invited to a blogger event at Ergon, to go there taste their food and learn a bit more about the restaurant. I usually never go to these type of events, as I don’t want to go across London on a weekday for some event that starts at 8pm and also because I would just rather have a meal with my friends, and this was the first one that I attended as I was curious about this restaurant and also because it was so close to where I live. But I enjoyed this evening so much and had such a great modern Greek meal and met so many interesting people that I am so glad I came here.
 
Ergon began in 2004 as a family business in Thessaloniki (where I have been!) Greece as a supplier and seller of great Greek produce. In 2008 their first product (honey) under the brand name Ergon was created. A year later they started selling Ergon olives, followed by traditional pasta with sheep milk from Sofades Karditsa, Wild Porcini mushrooms and the Wild Truffle from Pindos Mountains. This continued and the owners of Ergon (2 brothers) worked with producers across Greece to produce and supply premium ingredients (sourced from small, independent, honest producers, every product coming from a different source) under the Ergon brand. In the restaurant (and in my pictures below) you can see the variety of ingredients they sell in their London shop which is truly impressive and so tempting. I wanted to buy so many of these things and the olive oil and pasta look truly good so I will be coming back to buy some of this produce for my new pantry.
 
In 2011 Ergon not only became a supplier of products but they also opened their first Greek Delicatessen store at the center of Thessaloniki to promote their products and in March 2012 the first combined (grocery and restaurant) store launched in Thessaloniki’s city Center. Now Ergon has 6 restaurants across Greece and on 15th November last year opened their first international store/ restaurant in Marylebone (and they plan to go to Belgium and US next). Their main chef is Dimitris Skarmoutsos (a Greek celebrity chef who was a judge at Greek Master Chef and who has worked at many great restaurants around the world), who has created dishes from “new Greek cuisine” for Ergon’s restaurants, and all the dishes I did try were very good, still Greek but with such a modern refreshing twist you were just amazed.
 
Ergon means “vocation” and the owners think “everyone should be doing what he knows to do best, what he was taught and loves doing”, which apparently is their rationale expressed throughout their products. I arrived at Ergon at 7pm and was presented with a cocktail of ouzu. I can’t remember what they had added but I hate ouzu with a passion and this cocktail actually made it drinkable, so I was very impressed.
 
You can see all the dishes that we were given to share and taste. We started with some bread (ok) and Taramosalata cod roe dip as well as a “Fava beans puree with cured pork “siglino“ from Mani, caramelized onions and truffle olive oil”. The fava beans puree was seriously good, it reminded me a bit of hummus with lamb, but obviously was different and actually better. The cured pork was delicious and the truffle oil added a nice flavour to the dish. Next we had “Greek tomato salad with basil oil and feta cheese cream”. It was very interesting and creative to use feta cream cheese instead of actual feta cheese and the salad was very good, good crunchy, fresh vegetables and cream cheese but that tastes like feta.
 
Next came various parcels. I love rice and meat stuffed vine leaves, as this is something you also eat in Central Asia and I love this food, and here at Ergon the “Ntolmadakia stuffed vineleaves with rice and herbs served with mint yoghurt” were very nice. But the most impressive things were “Cheese pies filled with soft cheese from kozani, peppers and fresh oregano” as well as “Pastries filled with pastourma, served with tomato marmalade and yoghurt”, both extremely good, nice soft pastry and a delicious filling. “Grilled squid with black tzatziki, tomato marmalade and spicy oil” was very fresh and looked amazing. The tzatziki had been dyed black with squid ink.
 
One of my favourite dishes of the whole night, if not the most favourite one was “Homemade gyros, pita bread and spicy yogurt”. I love these type of gyros dishes and this was literally one of the best I have ever had. The meat was not greasy, the flavours were delicious, I just could not stop eating it. “Pasta with homemade feta cheese pesto and walnuts” was also seriously good and it amazed me how they had made something so simple taste so delicious. The two last savoury courses were a “Chicken souvlaki marinated in yoghurt coriander and cumin served with Cretan rice pilaf” as well as a “slow cooked lamb shank (12h) with majoram served with orzo pasta. I loved this pasta and once again could not stop eating it. The lamb was very good as well, very soft and I also lied the chicken and the rice. The food was just very unusual, not your typical meze but very very tasty.
 
Our desserts were “Baklavas”-fyllo pastry, nut and syrup sweet with dark chocolate” that had a great strong peanut butter taste, very intense and delicious, very good dessert, and a Greek coffee cheesecake which was good but I liked it less than the dessert before.
 
I had a great night at Ergon. I met people from different walks of life I would have never met otherwise and I had very good food. I am very happy Ergon is located so close to where I live as I can come here more often for food and for their luxurious products. This is a seriously good addition to the London food scene. I don’t know any similar modern Greek restaurant in London, most restaurants serve traditional Greek food and this is a breath of fresh air. 
 
Date: 19/ 03/ 14
Location: Marylebone
Price: I did not pay

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4.00

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Ergon
16 Picton Place W1U 1BP
London
United Kingdom
GB
Ergon Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 4