Sold on the Souvlaki
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Although widely known as the birthplace of democracy and the Olympic Games, Greece also is recognized for its scrumptious lamb dishes — from small souvlaki (skewered kebabs) to spit-roasted whole lamb.
The abundance of lamb in the European country is just one reason why the dish is so common there, says Greek Marina co-owner Tarek Guirguis.
“It is a traditional meat in Greece,” he says. “It tastes a bit different, but we grow up eating it. In Greece, we love lamb.”
One of the most authentic ways to serve lamb is as souvlaki. Called kandaulos in ancient Greece, souvlaki was originally served along with other meat and pita bread. More recently, however, souvlaki began to be sold more conveniently by street vendors on a stick or wrapped in pita bread.
Today, souvlaki — which can be prepared with a variety of meats — is a staple in nearly all Greek restaurants, including Greek Marina in Hawaii Kai.
Served for lunch and dinner, Lamb Souvlaki ($13.95/15.95) comes with chicken, beef, shrimp or in combination.
“I started making my souvlaki dishes about 22 years ago. You cannot open a Greek restaurant without souvlaki. People come in and expect to see it on the menu,” Guriguis says.
At Greek Marina, the lamb is cubed and then marinated in salt, pepper, garlic, olive oil, cumin, red pepper and a variety of other Greek spices. The meat is then skewered and barbecued. After barbecuing, the tender lamb is served on warm pita bread dressed with tomato and tzatziki, a Greek topping made from yogurt and spiced with grated cucumber and mild garlic. A tossed salad and rice come with the dish.
- Koko Marina Center
- 7192 Kalanianaole Highway E-126
- Honolulu, HI 96825
- (808) 396-8441
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- Monday – Sunday
- 4 p.m. – 9 p.m.
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