With their authentic tapas, Yamas has a reputation as the destination for Greek food in Nottingham. It’s not a style of cuisine we eat often and so we were looking forward to seeing if it lived up to the hype.
The first thing we noticed is how broad the menu is. They appear to serve every type of Greek dish imaginable which can be a little overwhelming. I’ve visited before in a large group where everyone ordered the mezze selection, which happily took any stress out of ordering but, on this occasion, we decided to A la carte that shit up. Once we spent a few minutes getting our head around the different choices, we had fun picking from the huge variety.
For starters, we opted for the sharing plate of pitta bread and Mediterranean dips, featuring cooling tzatziki, salty taramosalata, cheesy tirokafteri and the ever-dull hummous (as a hummous fan, Emily is outraged here).
They were massive servings which the feeble amount of pitta bread couldn’t quite deal with, leaving plenty to go with our main course. We were offered more pitta, but not wanting to fill up on bread before the main event (a rookie mistake), we passed in favour of saving them. The dips tasted delicious and homemade; we both claimed the fishy taramosalata as our favourite with the tzatziki as a close second.
For mains, we ordered the octopus (which I had been craving ever since Sexy Mamma Love Spaghetti), lamb souvlakia (after eyeballing a fellow diner’s plate) and Emily added spanakopita to make up for being served a disappointing version at Edin’s Natural Kitchen recently. A comparison with the ‘proper’ Greek version felt necessary to restore our faith in the dish.
The lamb souvlakia was predictably amazing. The meat was so tender and juicy (cooked pink, which is perfect for us) and when partnered with the tzatziki was absolute perfection. We were also surprised at the amount of meat served – no scrimping here.
The octopus came lathered in a tangy, warming tomato sauce and we praised whichever Greek god looks after the proper cooking of seafood – not rubbery at all. The portion was generous and the great cooking of the tender chunks of octopus made this dish very successful.
I personally don’t care much for spanakopita but Emily really likes it: filo pastry layered with spinach and feta cheese. It was probably the least enjoyed dish of the three, owing to it being considerably less sexy than the lamb or octopus and, well just a bit…sad. While the pastry was crisp and the spinach and feta were tasty, it just lacked that bit of oomph in flavour.
A meal for two with a bottle of wine came to £40, which we felt was good value. So overall, a really great meal in a place that we must walk past on a weekly basis without really considering visiting before. Our heads turn every time, now! Check it out – it’s a lot feta than you might think (boom boom).
Overall score: 8/10
Atmosphere and surroundings: 7/10
Emily & Stuart