Meals for $25 or less: Mythic Grill - Fresh flavour where you can find it

Recently I decided to support Food Fusion, a 10-day charity event that happened in London from February 18 to 28. Twenty-two restaurants in and around London donated a portion of their sales during these 10 days to Heart-Links, an organization in London that raises money to support health, nutrition, food access and income education for those less fortunate in Peru.

Many of the 22 restaurants created a three-course prix fixe menu for the event, giving restaurant-goers a few choices in each course. I decided to try out the Mythic Grill, a small Greek restaurant located on Albert Street off Richmond Row. Mythic Grill offered a three-course lunch menu for $20, as well as a three-course dinner menu for $25. I decided to check out the lunch menu.

From the outside, the Mythic Grill looks quite posh. I've always witnessed people enjoying drinks on a lovely patio during the summer, but was curious to see what they had inside for their winter customers. Inside, the Mythic Grill transforms itself into a tiny, eclectic, poorly furnished bistro. The decor is Greek in nature but very randomly placed, and the furnishings look faded and discoloured. The walls are all hand-painted with fun decorations, including maps of Greece and a “Zeus” corner booth. My companion even commented that it looked like Mythic Grill could be a great candidate for the show Restaurant Makeover.

Meals for $25 or less

The air was extremely cold, and even though there was no one else in the restaurant, the server sat us by the window. Despite this, the server was extremely friendly and accommodating, bringing us water when we ran low and checking to see how we liked each course.

My first course was the spanakopita - a spinach mixture inside a crispy phyllo triangle and topped with feta. The dish only consisted of two triangles, which I was a bit upset about at first, but they turned out to be filling enough. The flavour was muted from this dish. The spinach mixture was very plain, missing a certain zing that I had expected it to have. The phyllo was crisp and wonderful, and the feta was by far the best part of this dish, allowing for the only morsel of flavour I could find. The feta seemed of good quality, too.

My companion's choice was the calamari served with tzatziki, which blew the spanakopita out of the water in flavour. The calamari was fresh tasting, nicely seasoned and not the slightest bit fishy. The tzatziki, a creamy cucumber and garlic sauce, was a perfect compliment to the squid. The only criticism I have for that dish was that the outer breading could have been a bit crispier, but besides that I was very jealous of my companion's first dish.

And I was jealous of his second course too. He had a lightly flavoured lamb burger on pita bread with tzatziki that tasted of summer BBQ.

I ordered the mousaka - a layered dish with eggplant, ground beef, sliced potatoes and “béchamel” sauce. I found this to be very interesting. The eggplant was cooked perfectly, as there was no characteristic bitter taste present. I love eggplant and this was melt in your mouth. Unfortunately, the other flavour perplexed me. They weren't bad, I just wasn't sure if they complimented each other very well. There was a noticeable lack of ground beef, the potatoes made an interesting texture contribution, and the béchamel flavour seemed almost like mayonnaise. There was another flavour that I couldn't quite distinguish, and I believe could have been nutmeg or clove. The dish was served with a piece of perfect garlic baguette toast, and a generous helping of authentic “lettuce-less” Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, black olives and oregano and oil dressing.

After these dishes I was pretty full, however I had just enough room to enjoy dessert. Both of our desserts were to die for. I had a pomegranate cheesecake, topped with fresh pomegranate seeds and a dollop of house-made cinnamon whipped cream. The flavour was wonderfully balanced, not too sweet or tart, and was a great treat for someone who loves cheesecake. My companion had a large portion of baklava, a pastry layered with crisp phyllo, chopped nuts and soaked in butter and sweet syrup, served warm with the cinnamon whipped cream. Both dishes were so satisfying that we were both torn between sharing our own for a bite of the other's.

I believe that Mythic Grill could be a great summer spot for a BBQ lunch or dinner and delightful dessert. I would suggest going in the summer, though, so you could make use of their patio instead of sitting inside.