Many like me out there I know do not have a good impression of Greek food. Especially if you’ve only been trying out those that are NOT from Greece.
When I walked in to Blu Kouzina, I didn’t have high expectations at first. But boy, did this place change my whole perception of Greek food. I suggest that if you’ve had bad Greek food experience elsewhere, do give Blu Kouzina a try and I’m quite certain that it will change your mind.
I’m not sure how a typical Greek restaurant would look like, but judging by pictures I’ve seen online of places like Santorini, this interior did kind of transport me to a Mediterranean seaside for that one night.
Previously located in Bukit Timah, this family-owned restaurant is nothing short of quaint and you can feel a warm and comfortable vibe just being here. And you know what they say about mothers always cooking up the most comforting food!
To start the evening, we decided to try out a glass of Greek wine – Skouras St. George Agorgitiko ($16.80 per glass/$78.80 per bottle). We were told that most Greek wines are full-bodied and organic. This is pretty strong wine, I must say.
Being curious with all the Greek goodies imported here, we also decided to try a popular Greek soda – EPSA Orangeade ($4.80). I thought it was quite refreshing but didn’t carry any interesting flavours. In fact, it kind of tasted like Orangina. But then again, our main focus here isn’t on the drinks.
We also tried an interesting Greek Ice Mountain Tea ($5.80). This was indeed different. It had hints of chamomile tea taste with a zesty lemon touch. I’m not entirely sure what sort of tea is used in this drink, but I liked it.
For appetisers, or meze as they say in Greek, we had the Saganaki & Figs ($19.80). Made up of fried Kefalotiri psito cheese and hand-made fig sauce, this was one of my favourite dishes here. It’s sort of like a Halloumi, another popular Greek dish.
The fig sauce was a really nice touch to the dish, giving it a sweet note. Apparently, the chef and owner of the restaurant used to travel a lot, and this fig sauce was inspired by her times living in South Africa.
Next we had had some cold meze that comprises some dipping to be eaten with Pita Bread ($3.90). We got three different types of dipping (left to right) – Melitzanosalata ($16.80), Hummus ($15.80) and Taramosalata ($16.80).
Among the lot, the Taramosalata was my favourite, made up of white cod roe caviar, lemon and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). It surprisingly didn’t have the typical taste of fish roe (which I’m not a fan of), instead it had a simpler and less overpowering flavour. The Hummus made up of tahini, chickpea and EVOO was classic but did not stand out much. I can however say that the ingredients used to make this hummus are indeed of high quality.
The Melizanosalata was something entirely different, a combination of smoked eggplant, feta, herbs and EVOO. I typically do not like eggplants on its own but this was very delicious and was a good combination of flavours.
One thing to note here is that typical Greek restaurants are all about sourcing the best and the highest quality ingredients. I was also told that most Greek dishes do not have more than five ingredients in them. To make up for the lack of ingredients, the most top-notch ones will be used in order to not complicate the flavour of the dish.
The menu here at Blu Kouzina is not likely to change much, but the amazing people here are always on the lookout for better quality ingredients to use.
When I heard about this, I was very surprised because everything tasted so full of flavour and seemed like it was a blend of several (much more than five) ingredients.
This was especially apparent when we were served the Meat Platter Small ($50.8), which includes 2 Keftedes, 1 Kalamaki, 1 Bifteki and 2 Lamb chops. Apparently, on the evening I was there the restaurant was not serving their lamb chops, instead it was replaced with 2 lamb kebabs.
Everything on this plate seemed like it took a lot of ingredients to make but using all the best ingredients really made everything taste so much better.
If I had to pick a favourite in this platter, it would’ve been the lamb kebab, which was so tender and had a slight spice to it. Just amazing. The rest on the platter are just as great, take my word for it!
Somehow, when I imagine sitting in a nice cafe in the Mediterranean, I always thought of myself eating some fish. The fishes here fly... not swim. Well, that's because in order to maintain the authenticity of the food, the fish used here are all flown in from Greece.
So I got the Sardines Shara ($29.80) to satisfy my fantasy and they were nicely grilled and simply sprinkled with lemon and EVOO. Such a simple dish made so amazing just because of the quality ingredients used.
The same goes for the Xtapodi Shara ($39.80), which was grilled octopus with vinegar and EVOO. I’ve never really had octopus with vinegar before but this was very appetising. I liked how the octopus was grilled nicely such that it didn’t come out too chewy, but was soft and easy to bite into.
And for my favourite course of every meal, dessert! I have officially added Greek desserts to my list of favourite desserts. I had quite a nasty experience once in a Greek restaurant elsewhere that served me baklava that was too sweet and too clumpy.
But the Baklava ($6.80 per piece) here was just amazing. The walnuts in the filling was just amazing, not grinded to finely so that it had a nice crunch to it. Wrapped with a filo pastry and topped with a special homemade syrup.
However, nothing prepared me for this dessert that won my heart (and sweet tooth) for the evening. The Bougatsa ($13.80) is just a simple filo pastry with semolina cream filling topped with powdered icing sugar and cinnamon.
Fair warning, the filling comes piping hot! So don’t try to put the whole thing in your mouth! I was warned about this before being served, but after taking the first bite, the sheer awesomeness of this dish made me forget about what was told to me and went in for my second bite quickly. Hence, burning my tongue.
All I can say is that this is possibly THE BEST Greek food I’ve ever had outside of Greece.