Across Athens, street corners are buzzing with vendors selling souvlaki, the perfect quick bite, impeccable street food. Owner, Dino Vlachos, saw a gap in the Joburg food scene: South Africa’s take-away industry had become synonymous with cheap fast food and he sought to change that. He believed all it would take was quality ingredients and the personal touch.
From a single stall at Maboneng’s Market on Main, Soul Souvlaki has expanded to encompass six flagship stores, each distinctive and unique. Whilst most franchises push for uniformity, Soul Souvlaki celebrates individuality. There’s no centralised kitchen, meaning every dish is freshly-prepared to order and their friendly counter service lends itself to a faster, more efficient dining experience.
Soul Souvlaki is known for its integrity and authenticity: Greek street food at its best. It is all about the food, created with the fresh ingredients, made to order.
Each of Soul Souvlaki's venue features a one-page menu, offering guests simple yet delicious Greek-style street food. They use traditional Greek recipes that have been given a little twist to compliment the South African palate.
The emphasis in the Soul Souvlaki kitchens is on cooking with passion, by feel rather than by measurement. There’s no centralised kitchen, and that’s the point: the beauty of home-cooking lies in the slight imperfections, in being handmade.
As the name suggests, their souvlaki is renowned. Here, you can expect to indulge in marinated pieces of chicken and lamb, grilled to perfection on skewers, and served alongside fresh and vibrant Aegean slaw or rolled in artisanal warm pitas with tzatziki, rocket, tomato, red onion and chilli. They have other specialities up their sleeves too, which includes grilled bifteki, skinny lamb chops, and their famed grilled chilli feta parcels. A new favourite among their diners recently is their range of vegetarian and vegan items.
As for something to end your delicious meal on a sweet note, their dessert selection includes baklava, saragli, chocolate melomakarona and kourabiedes, all artisanally and lovingly made by a local Greek Mama and hand-delivered to each of their stores daily.
Their coffee grounds are imported from Greece and are prepared in traditional brikis (AKA copper pots) over an open flame to produce the ultimate rich and refined Greek coffee. A must-try are their frappés: coffee and milk, whipped to perfection, sweetened to your liking and poured over ice.
All their drinks come in glass bottles because it just tastes better. Their beers are craft, as are all of their juices and ice teas available in store. Be sure to try one of their Greek imported beers, perfect for a refreshing drink on those hot days. They believe in small batch brewing, cold pressing and supporting small businesses.
For more information about Soul Souvlaki, visit soulsouvlaki.co.za.
You can contact each of the Soul Souvlaki restaurants with the contact details below: