DINER TEC @ Yiamas Greek Taverna

THE Moll was laden down with armfuls of shopping bags, what with it being near Christmas and all.

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I'd met her after a long day in the office and the only thing on my mind was my grumbling stomach.

But Toots had other plans – as always – and she was set on going for a spin before we dined. And when I say spin, I don't mean in my Buick.

She had bumped into her good pal and they were off for a turn on the ice rink in George Square. I duly followed, the hunger eating at my energy.

Collar up, hat down, I sunk into a plastic seat and downed a warming cup of mulled wine.

The two rosy-cheeked gals soon came off the ice and, finally, the Moll and I headed for the nearest eaterie.

We settled on Yiamas, a cosy little Greek taverna in Bath Street.

Although it's just a hop, skip and a jump away from the city's bustling shops, it's easy to miss. But inside it's light, bright and airy.

The mulled vino had tickled me and I went straight for the very reasonably priced wine list. We plumped for a bottle of crisp white.

The Moll, giddy from her ice ride, was flirting with the waiter- or was he unleashing his Ionian charms on The Moll?

"What does 'Yiamas' mean?" she asked, bright eyes twinkling.

"It's Greek for cheers," the dark-haired, attractive waiter smiled back.

I let them get on with the small talk while I decided on our starters. The meze selection caught my eye.

We went for three dips, which came with warm pitta bread.The terokaftere – feta cheese, mayonnaise and cayenne pepper – was strong yet tasty.

The melitzanosalata, made with roasted aubergine, garlic and parsley, was sharp and delicious. It was hands down our favourite.

And the hummous had just the right amount of olive oil.

As we watched the world go by we snacked on crusty bread and olives.

Toots was feeling the chill in the air and pulled her white fur round her shoulders.

I warned her it was because of the ice-skating, but to tell you the truth I would have liked the heating to be turned up a few notches.

The main courses were sure to heat us up. The chunks of tender meat in my beef kokkinisto melted on my tongue. It came with vegetables and homemade chips and I gobbled the whole lot up.

The Moll's stuffed tomato and pepper was also a winner.

The bright coloured vegetables were filled with rice and a super tasty tomato and herb salsa, while the traditional oven-baked potatoes alongside were slightly overdone but their crispy jackets still tasted beautiful.

We savoured every mouthful and licked our plates clean.

Despite our greediness we decided it would be a sin to not eat dessert when there were clearly such great chefs on site.

The waiter – yes, the charmer who The Moll was still eyeing up – rolled off around six choices but we both picked a Greek favourite.

When the baklava landed in front of us I gasped. This was a larger portion than I'd ever encountered.

I cut through the flaky layers of filo to reveal crushed nuts, fruit, and tantalising tang of cinnamon and cloves.

The Moll, who was delighted with her festive evening, shrieked.

"This is Christmas on a plate," she announced.

The few customers that were dining glanced round, smiling.

And let's face it, if The Moll's convinced then this gem is certainly no Greek tragedy. Trust me, I'm a Tec...

YIAMAS GREEK TAVERNA

16-20 BATH STREET, GLASGOW

TEL: 0141 353 1386

Food *** Atmosphere ** Service ***

OUR MEAL:

MEZE (choice of three dips and pitta bread) £9.95

We had: Terokaftere, melitzanosalata and hoummus

MAINS

Beef kokkinisto £11.45

Stuffed tomato and pepper £8.95

DESSERTS

Baklava x 2 £3.95 each

DRINKS

White wine £13.30

Coffee £1.80

Cappuccino £2.30

TOTAL: £55.65

Food and drink

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