The authentic Greek cheese 'better than halloumi' you can only find in one place

I've officially spoiled myself off halloumi forever because I've found something even better.

Greek restaurant Laro's is far from a hidden gem. The first takeaway opened on Bold Street in 2021 and within three years, four more locations were founded around the city centre.

I never had the chance to visit but its reputation within the Greek community has not gone unnoticed. An Athenian acquaintance has recommended Laro's for years but I've never given it a chance. Following a trip to Cyprus where I consumed my body weight in halloumi, I was scolded for doing so and urged again to finally visit Laro's for "the real thing."

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Many people believe halloumi is Greek but it's not, it's Cypriot. Greek salads featuring halloumi have done wonders for popular belief. Greece boasts what is generally considered the superior, authentic version - talagani. I'd never heard of it until recently but this was finally my reason to give Laro's a try as it's the only venue in the city that sells it.

I called into the Bold Street venue for a box. The menu was interesting, featuring everything from gyros wraps to souvlaki skewer boxes, Greek salads and even an entire vegan menu which took me by surprise. Regardless, I was there for talagani.

Seven talagani sticks sat atop thick seasoned chips and were accompanied by a full pitta. A small salad made up a corner of the box and I was glad it tasted fresh and not reminiscent of the kind you can encounter behind a kebab shop glass counter at 3am.

The pitta was lightly toasted and still warm in the box. It tore apart without much effort thanks to its fluffy texture and paired well with the accompanying tzatziki dip. The chips were morish and quite heavy though I didn't have many of them. I was too occupied with the main event.

The talagani had years of coaxing to live up to and they certainly did. The coat was slightly crispy, breaking easily to reveal a soft creamy texture. The cheese was almost juicy with the right combination of salty undertones. Halloumi really does pale in comparison to what Greeks will tell you is the superior dairy product. I wish I was hungrier at the time because I could have shovelled them away endlessly. Even now I'm considering calling in for another box.

The food in general was great so it's a credit to Laro's for delivering the promise of authentic cuisine. I'm ashamed to have waited this long despite the word on the street. If you want to spoil yourself off halloumi forever and you're fine with only one business in Liverpool selling its successor, then get down Laros's for a box of talagani.

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