Latest opening: INO

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

INO Greek restaurant Soho

Related tags INO Greek cuisine OPSO Soho Wine

The team behind Marylebone's OPSO and Athens restaurant Funky Gourmet have channeled the Greek taverna to deliver an irreverent eating experience.

What:​ A tightly-proportioned Greek counter restaurant cum wine bar in the space that was once home to Pittabun. INO - or INO Gastrobar, to give it its full title​ - is billed as a live fire restaurant inspired by the ‘dining culture of the classic taverna’ with a menu that makes good use of a ‘psistaria’ charcoal grill. The operational setup brings to mind the likes of Barrafina, Kiln and The Palomar, with a narrow kitchen with counter seating the focal point of the restaurant, which is on Newburgh Street just off Soho's Carnaby Street. That's not to say it's derivative, however, with INO successfully capturing the fun, convivial atmosphere of a taverna (there was sadly no plate smashing on our visit, however). 

Who:​ INO is run by the team behind Marylebone’s OPSO, which opened in 2014, and two-Michelin-star Athens restaurant Funky Gourmet. The group launched the very casual Pittabun at the Newburgh street site in 2018 but have now upped the ante with a restaurant that’s more gastronomically ambitious, albeit in a low-key and relatively pocket-friendly way. Modern Greek Food Group is run by chefs Georgianna Hiliadaki and Nick Roussos and their front of house counterpart Argyro Hiliadaki. All three are currently on site dancing round each other in the - frankly - ridiculously tiny space because their Athens flagship is in the process of being moved to the Athens Hilton hotel. Pittabun, incidentally, lives on as a virtual delivery brand. 

The food:​ The small plates menu is tight with around 20 savoury dishes and two sweets. Sensibly and unlike many other small plates places, it’s arranged in roughly the order it should be tackled. Key dishes from the first half of the menu include taramas (whipped cod’s roe) with slow-cooked egg yolk, bottarga and pitta bread; fava stifado (puree) with onions and eel; and an olive oil flatbread-based taco with octopus, smoked tomato and onion. Dishes from the latter half of the menu are typically cooked on the grill, and include beef kebabs in caul fat with tzatziki; wagyu beef shortrib chops with citrus bitters and oregano; and spiced chicken, smoked Greek yoghurt and tomato and coriander salsa. INO also makes an incredible Greek salad with imported, candy-sweet tomatoes and a barrel-aged feta that manages to be simultaneously creamy and bitingly acidic. 

To drink:​ Like the food menu, the liquid side of INO is necessarily condensed - the place really is tiny - but is none the worst for it. Presented on a single side of A5, the menu leads with a trio of barrel-aged cocktails (negroni, whisky sour, cacao au rum) and three regular ones (a G&T infused with mastic, an Athens spritz and a lemonjito, a take on a mojito). But most of its real estate is given over to a small but perfectly formed selection of exclusively Greek wines (the word ino is derived from an ancient Greek word for wine). Despite the low-key nature of the venue it’s all serious stuff, with prices starting at £45 a bottle for still wines and topping out at £118. Some of Greece’s best producers are featured - including Sigalas, Gaia and Alpha Estate - and mark-ups are restrained. 

And another thing:​ If ever there was a restaurant in which to shake off a case of post-lockdown malaise INO is it. Masked staff aside it's as if the pandemic never happened, and the experience is all the better for it. Yamas! 

Related topics Fine Dining

Related news

Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more