Independent Greek restaurant Lemoni is the latest to join the Oracle Riverside in Reading. Formerly a pop-up Bacardi Bar and Jamie Oliver’s Italian, this new addition is perfectly positioned on the banks of the River Kennet, with outdoor seating for guests to relax and enjoy those picturesque river views.
The dome-shaped restaurant offers 180-degree views across Reading. Floor to ceiling windows allow natural light to illuminate the interiors and create a visually and aesthetically pleasing venue. Take your pick from window seats overlooking the water, or tables closer to the bar. There is also another level upstairs which can cater for special occasions.
The seating layout allows a comfortable amount of space between tables, as well as a separate bar area for those seeking a cocktail or two. Neutral tones have been used throughout, with white tables and green and grey chairs. This refreshing and earthy style is reflected in the furnishings, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for diners.
A selection of wine is available on the drinks menu, as well as a range of Greek coffees. Cocktails are £11.95 each which is a little pricey for Reading, although a happy hour is available every day with two for the price of one. Try a classic signature cocktail or the Lemoni Gin Fizz with zesty citrus flavours.
I chose a Virgin Mojito Mocktail at £6.95 which is a cheeky take on the alcoholic version. Lemon, soda and mint leaves create a refreshing and light summer drink. In fact, it was so enjoyable that I happily drunk two!
When it comes to Greek food, I always like to order a few items to start with. A generous portion of fried calamari soon arrived, with lightly crisp batter, served with a wedge of lemon. The only thing missing was the sauce that was meant to accompany it.
The Loukaniko, an authentic Greek sausage, was well seasoned and served with a piece of tomato and thinly sliced sweet onion.
A velvety, thick Greek yoghurt complete with small chunks of cucumber, a pinch of garlic and extra virgin olive oil resulted in a light and authentic-tasting Tzatziki.
The homemade hummus was smooth and creamy in consistency and made up of chickpeas and tahini, seasoned with lemon juice, and olive oil. A suggestion would be to add a small teaspoon of chickpeas for decoration and garnish.
Pitta bread for me is a must. Lightly toasted and covered in herbs and salt crystals, the texture was soft and slightly chewy with a pocket inside. The only criticism I had was the cost. At £1.50 for 2 pieces of pitta bread, I felt it was slightly overpriced in comparison to other Greek restaurants I have dined at in London.
The final dish I tried was the baked Feta cheese. This flaky filo pastry contained soft cheese and was served with sesame seeds and drizzled with honey. Simply delicious; this is definitely a starter everyone should order.
I opted for the Lemoni Casserole which arrived piping hot. Tender succulent beef medallions were served in a rich, flavourful tomato sauce. This dish was presented on a bed of homemade creamy potato puree. Hearty and nutritious, this main is one I would recommend from the A La Carte menu.
No Greek feast is complete without a traditional Greek Salad. A large piece of feta cheese, chunks of tomato, cucumber slices as well as peppers and radish made this a nutritious and healthy dinner option.
If you are searching for a traditional Greek dessert, then the Lemoni Loukoumades are worth a sample. Freshly made doughnuts with three flavours available: honey and crushed walnuts, chocolate spread or sugar with cinnamon. Served piping hot and soft in texture, these doughnuts were different to anything I had tasted before. One request would be an extra jug of chocolate sauce to drizzle over.
This riverside Greek restaurant has an extensive A la Carte menu, as well as alternative menus for lunch and mezzedakia. Freshly prepared dishes with subtle flavours of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine are served from the kitchen to your table of choice. The cocktail happy hour on offer is a nice addition to Reading and I think the bar will appeal to most.
Lemoni: The Overview
The food I sampled was of good quality and flavour however, I do think some of the menu choices could benefit from small improvements and perhaps some price adjustments too.
When restaurants open, they do need lots of support from the local community. Constructive feedback goes a long way, and I hope that my opinions and suggestions will be helpful to the restaurant owner of Lemoni and its staff.
The restaurant scene in Reading is becoming increasingly popular and it is nice to see an independent restaurant setting up home in the town centre. I wish Lemoni all the best for the future and look forward to returning later in the year.
If you are keen on looking for other restaurants locally to eat then why not check out my other restaurant reviews.[AD – This meal was gifted]
* There was no obligation to post. All opinions are of course my own *