You might not expect it, but Dubai has a thriving Greek food scene these days. Dig a little deeper and perhaps it’s not surprising - the two both share plenty of sun, sea and sand, and the rustic, ingredient-led seafood delights of Greek cuisine match up well to Dubai’s abundance of great seafood. At Philotimos, chefs Spero Panagakis and Alexander Stumpf look to combine high quality local produce with an essence of the Mediterranean.
‘The similarity between the Greek and Arab culture became clearer and clearer as we were building the concept,’ says Stumpf, ‘from the sharing style to the love of simple, perfectly seasoned, family-friendly dishes.’
The two chefs made a name for themselves at BB Social - an award-winning Asian restaurant in the DIFC. At Philotimos (which translates as ‘love of honour’) the pair want to shine a light on authentic Greek cooking, whilst simultaneously supporting farms and producers in the UAE.
On the menu you’ll find a wide array of traditional cold mezze dishes - tzatziki, taramasalata, tirokafteri and the like - as well as hot mezze dishes such as lamb meatballs, zucchini fritters, calamari and spanakopita. For those in the market for something larger and more substantial, Philotimos specialises in grilled meat and fish dishes, from gyros and souvlaki to burgers, whole grilled fish, mixed grills and chargrilled octopus. There are plenty of options for vegetarians and vegans too, including tomatoes stuffed with herb rice, and crispy dolmades.
Philotimos has plenty on offer on the drinks front too. There are signature cocktails including the likes of a Greek Paloma (grapefruit juice, honey, lemon, tonic water) and the eponymous Philotimos (pineapple juice, ginger, lemon, ginger beer, olive oil, oregano) as well as mocktails, teas, coffees and more.