Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kouzina Greco

Hubby and I went out to dinner last Saturday night to celebrate Valentine's day. Hubby let me decide the cuisine and I for some reason had a craving to eat Mediterranean food, in particular Greek food. So I set about looking for a Greek restaurant that was available for us to have dinner. A few places that I wanted to go to were booked out but there was a booking available at Kouzina Greco so we decided to dine here.

Kouzina Greco strikes me as simple and unpretentious. I found the staff friendly and welcoming on our arrival, and I enjoyed eating in the relaxing, laid back atmosphere. It's the perfect place for a romantic dinner or catching up with a group of friends!

Saturday night in bustling Parramatta on Valentine's Day was cold and raining. But walking into Kouzina Greco was warm and inviting. Hubby and I couldn't wait to eat some authentic and comforting Greek food!

Cabbage rolls (cabbage leaves filled with mince and rice with avgolemoni sauce) $16

For entree we ordered the cabbage rolls and prawn saganaki. My first impression when the cabbage rolls were presented to me were, that's way too big for an entree! If I hadn't been sharing it with hubby, I think I would've been full on just entree itself! Having said that, the entree was delicious. The cabbage rolls had minced meat and rice rolled inside a cabbage leaf and it was served with a lemony sauce.

Prawn Saganaki (Sizzling pot flamed with white wine, fresh tomato, feta cheese and shallots) $20

The prawn saganaki was also delicious. There was a wonderful aroma coming out of the sizzling pot when the waiter set this dish before us and the flavours of perfectly cooked prawns infused with wine and tomatoes bursting into our mouths as we savoured every mouthful.

Kleftiko (slow roasted lamb with fresh herbs, lemon, olive oil and roasted potatoes) $27

For main I chose the Kleftiko, a slow roasted lamb with fresh herbs, lemon, olive oil and roasted potatoes. This dish for me was the highlight of the night. The lamb was juicy, succulent and most importantly just fell right off the bone as I dug into it. The more I ate this lamb, the more I didn't want to share it with hubby :P

Lamb Souvlaki served with tzatziki and Greek pita bread and a finely diced salad of continental parsley, tomato and onion $27

Now, you can't go to a Greek restaurant without trying souvlaki and so hubby chose to get lamb souvlaki. (You could choose between lamb and chicken)

The meat had a nice barbecued flavour and was tender and juicy. There was also a generous serving of lamb- great for my carnivorous husband. He thoroughly enjoyed it :) The tzatziki was also nice with just the right amount of garlic. I don't like it when the garlic is overpowering.

Loukoumades (Honey puffs topped with icing sugar, cinnamon and honey) $12

Hubby was so full from entree and main that he couldn't squeeze in dessert. I on the other hand really wanted to try at least one Greek dessert off the menu, despite the fact that I too was very full! So in the end, we decided to get one dessert to share between the two of us. But trying to choose which dessert to share was a difficult task since there were a few I wanted to try including Creme Brulee (I know it's not Greek but I love creme brulee), Baklava ice cream and Milopita (baked pastry filled with caramelised apple and cinnamon with vanilla ice cream). In the end, we chose the Loukoumades, a traditional Greek dessert of honey puffs topped with icing sugar, cinnamon and honey. There was a 20 minutes waiting time for this dessert, but that suited us fine since we needed some time to digest.

20 minutes later, our loukoumades arrive and I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't just a fried piece of dough- I had been expecting it to taste similar to a doughnut- but instead I got this light, airy, slightly sticky and chewy dough that had been drenched in honey.  The dough texture reminded me of the dim sum- ham sui gok (savoury fried mochi dumpling). The loukomades were quite nice and yummy and I was glad to have ended the evening with a satisfying Greek treat.

Overall, hubby and I had an enjoyable experience at Kouzina Greco. The courses were well staggered, food was fresh, flavourful and generous- we walked away feeling full and satisfied, in fact we struggled walking back to the car! The place was packed all night and bookings are a must on a Saturday night, so that speaks volumes in itself. The price was slightly more than what we would have expected to pay for the meal but hey, it was a special occasion, so what the heck?

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