Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Kouzina - Lunchtime Mezedes

Location: Level 2, Westfield Doncaster, 619 Doncaster Road, Doncaster (also one at Southgate)
Link: www.kouzina.com.au
Cuisine: Greek

The lunchtime menu at Kouzina seems to sport more mezedes (tapas style dishes) than mains, and feeling like a variety of food, we decided to order a few to nibble on.

Mini lamb kebabs with tzatziki and onions

From the 'mezedes from the land' list, we decided on the mini lamb kebabs. I assumed (and would have preferred) that this would be kebabs of threaded with gyros (Greek spit roast lamb). I was rather disappointed when the kebabs were loaded with large chunks of lamb. The meat itself was quite well flavoured and went very nicely when smothered with tzatziki, but was a little on the overcooked side (especially given the thickness of it). The onions gave a good contrasting bite.

Mixed dips with pita bread

From top: eggplant dip, feta cheese, caviar, roasted peppers, tzatziki, olives, feta and capsicum dip

J was craving the caviar dip from our last Greek feast at Stalactites so we ordered the mixed dips as the first of our 'mezedes vegetarian'. We were very surprised at the number of dips that were on the dish - especially at the extras (roasted peppers, feta cheese and olives) that accompanied the dish. The eggplant dip was a little odd tasting, and the feta and capsicum was a little too salty (due to the feta I believe) but the caviar and tzatziki were smooth, creamy and very tasty indeed. I also particularly liked the roasted peppers which were nice and sweet.

Kalamarika - Salt and pepper calamari, ouzo aioli

From the 'mezedes from the sea' list, these were very nicely flavoured, but lacked crunch. The crumbs on the outside were a little soft and tasted like the oil hadn't been properly dripped out before they served them. The lemon and dipping sauce went very well with the salt and pepper already on the crumbs.

Spanakopita - Yufka filo pastry rolls with spinach and feta, served with walnut-pepper coulis
We needed one more dish and I saw this on the 'mezedes vegetarian' list and immediately thought 'Masterchef!' One of our best choices as it came out looking exactly like a miniature version of Alex Lloyd's version on Masterchef. Cutting into it, there was plenty of the spinach and feta inside the spiral shaped pastry. Perfectly crispy on the outside and nicely flavoured on the inside. I want some more now!

~Service and Atmosphere~
We went for lunch on a Thursday and thus it was very quiet - we nearly had the whole restaurant to ourselves. There are some very nice window seats which would look very nice at night. We had one waitress serve us for the entire meal, and she was pretty helpful when we were ordering, and was very friendly. Dishes came out as they were prepared, with most out in a reasonable time, except for the spanakopita (although that was well-worth the wait!).

A little pricier than we were expecting to spend (each mezedes was around $8 - $12) but for the experience, it was well worth it.

Overall Impression: 9/10
Kouzina - Doncaster on Urbanspoon

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