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Simul

Ipsilantou 63, Athens, 115 21, Greece

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Simul has been running since 2016, in a quiet residential street that was formerly the site of a French bistro. The dining room is down a few steps from street level, divided into two sections, with a few outside tables in addition. The head chef is Nikos ThomasThe wine list annoyingly did not list vintages, but had references such as Tsepelos Madineia at €24 for a bottle that you can find in the high street for €13, Domaine Louis Moreau Chablis at €44 compared to its retail price of about €22, and at Deutz Brut NV champagne €90 for a wine that will set you back €42 in the shops. We drank an enjoyable and refreshing Vasaltis Assyrtiko at €48.

Bread was made from scratch in the kitchen, including some pleasant focaccia and white bread, as well as sesame seed bread with pleasant texture (13/20).  Squid came with green beans, parsley, coconut milk and chorizo chutney. The cephalopod was a touch on the chewy side, though certainly edible, and the coconut and chutney were a nice accompaniment. However the top chefs of Japan will not be too nervous about the competition here on how to cook squid (12/20). A salad of creamy bulgur wheat, grilled feta cheese cubes, cooked cherry tomatoes and two deep fried quail eggs was pleasant enough, the tomatoes having nice flavour (12/20).

Sea bream was the special of the day, and was a generous chunk of fish that was sadly a bit overcooked, served with thinly sliced fennel, fennel puree and a triangle of grilled pitta bread (12/20). Linguine with shiitake mushrooms and lime had quite good pasta, the mushrooms unexceptional but the lime providing freshness (13/20).

For dessert we were both surprised by a very capable strawberry millefeuille, with delicate pastry and good strawberries. The dessert stage of a meal is often made by a different chef, and can be either much better or worse than the savoury dishes, and this was certainly the case here (15/20).

Coffee was decent. The bill came to €67 (£58) a head with one of the better wines on the list but just one dessert to share. A typical cost per head for three courses sharing a modest bottle might be around £50. Service was reasonable, though a bit inattentive at times, especially given this was a pretty quiet night and there were almost as many waiters as guests. Overall, our dinner at Simul was a pleasant enough and fairly inexpensive meal, though the dessert we tried was of an altogether higher level than the savoury dishes.

 

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