Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kouzina, Southbank

Shop MR3, Midlevel, Southgate Arts and Leisure Precinct
3 Southgate Avenue, Southbank, Victoria 3006

Last Friday night my friend Lu and I decided to be cultured and see Bell Shakespeares' production of King Lear at the Playhouse.  The plan of attack was to meet at 5:45pm, grab a lovely dinner at Kouzina (we'd both been craving greek food, and I had a 25% off voucher to use - the Entertainment Book is a god send!), then catch the play at 7:30pm.  Unfortunately the night didn't go according to plan...

At 5:50pm Lu told me she was stuck in traffic, and to go and grab our table, which I did.  Upon my arrival at the restaurant I was delighted to find they had a "Sex And The City 2" promotion running for the month of June, where you had a choice of 4 different variations of the cosmpolitan (the Carrie was a classic, then there was a lychee version, a french martini version, and a vanilla vodka version) for $5 each.  Hello bargain!  Sitting on my own in a restaurant is never my favourite thing to do, so I eagerly ordered one to help settle myself a little.  Sadly from there on the dinner became a bit of a disaster.  Lu showed up an hour and 10 mins later, by which time I had consumed 3 of these drinks, had ordered, and had watched the table full of food get cold in front of me.  At 7:10pm Lu finally arrived, and we rushed through our meal in 10 mins in order to catch the beginning of the play.  It was a shame, as the dishes we had were really yummy.

Grilled kefalograviera cheese with green olive kebab, flambĂ©ed with ‘Metaxa’

First up was the Flaming Saganaki (not so flaming by the time Lu arrived) - I've never seen a piece of cheese on fire before, and it was pretty cool to watch ;)  By the time we got to the saganaki it was fairly cold but still delicious.  I scoffed the 3 green olives while waiting for my friend and they were really nice and juicy.

For dips, we ordered (well I took charge of the ordering while Lu was on her way...) the Melitzanosalata which was a fairly standard Eggplant dip.  The warmed pieces of Pita were a great accompaniment and very moreish, although they were slightly oily.  The serving was on the small size, but as our meal was rushed anyway, this wasn't really noticed.

We ordered 3 more dishes -

(from L - R)

Tiropita 9.50
‘Cretan’ style filo pastry rolls filled with fresh mizithra cheese, topped with thyme honey, toasted sesame and poppy seeds

Gigandes 8.50
Lima beans baked with roma tomatoes, shallots and fresh dill

Harissa & feta green beans 8.50

I ordered the Tiropita as I knew Lu wasn't the biggest fan of the Spankapoitas we had at Hellenic Republic a few months ago.  This was a mix between a sweet and a savoury dish, which was lovely.  The slightly salty cheese contrasted nicely with the honey and seeds, and it was a good pick.  Highlights of the meal were definitely the Gigandes and the green beans though.  I didn't know what Harissa was when I ordered the beans, and was slightly surprised to find the beans had a massive chilli kick.  My friend Mr. Google informed me later that Harissa is a hot chilli paste commonly used in North African cuisine, and it was an incredible addition to the green beans, which I usually find quite dull.  The creaminess of the feta contrasted nicely and it is definitely a dish that I will be seeking out in the future.  The Gigandes were also incredibly moreish.  I love beans of any kind, and the mixture of tomatoes and dill really complimented them.  The dill was quite overpowering, but its a flavour I can never get enough of, so I had no complaints.

Kouzina is definitely a place I plan to return to.  Although I felt quite pitiful sitting at the table on my own for all that time, the staff were so friendly and sympathetic, and continually asked if there was anything they could get me to make the wait a little more bearable.  The 5 small dishes were enough for us as a main meal, but due to the rushed nature of our eating, I could imagine that 1 or 2 more wouldn't go astray if we could have taken our time.  Kouzina's location at Southgate is fantastic, and even though I was seated inside in the warmth, I can imagine that the balcony would be perfect for dinner on a balmy summer evening.


Anonymous said...

Glad to hear of your pleasant experience at Kouzina Southgate, Christine! We're happy to hear you enjoyed the food you ordered, however I must apologize for the meals being left on the table instead of kept warm for you. To make up for this, I would love to send you a $50 Kouzina Gift Kard for you and Lu to come back and enjoy a nice HOT meal on us ;) Please send me an email at '' with your contact details.
Kind regards
Tiffany Carter
Marketing Manager
Kouzina Modern Greek and Meze Bar

Lisa (bakebikeblog) said...

Oh what lovely dishes! I am a BIG fan of harissa too!!!

mangocheeks said...

I was recently in the Greek part of Cyrpus and got an opportunity to taste some vegetairan dishes so it was good to read this and see what else is on offer. Just a Shame your friend turned up late and that you did not get to enjoy the experience so much as you had wished. Hopefully the next time will be better.

Lula said...

HAHA that friend Lu must be a real jerk ;P
lol..... great blog missy! :D
How nice is Kouzina?!
The next day I saw the same restaurant at Watergardens... it will take me only 6 mins to get there, promise haha ;P