Greek cuisine. One of the many cuisines out there which I have never tried before. And I am really glad to find Blu Kouzina. Consequently, I thought to myself why didn’t I find this authentic Greek restaurant much sooner?
Opened in late 2010, (at the time of this post) Blu Kouzina was, and still probably is, the one and only Greek restaurant in Singapore which serves really authentic Greek cuisine right along the long stretch of Bukit Timah Road.
Sporting a blue and white Mediterranean decor, Blu Kouzina is definitely one of the most cozy and inviting restaurants I have stepped into. Upon arrival I was welcomed by the General Manager of the restaurant, Mr. George Kokkinis who is an absolute friendly and personable gentleman. I was ushered into the restaurant with much care to my reserved table located on the second level of the restaurant.
It’s worth noting that there are outdoor and indoor seatings available. I personally quite like the outdoor setting given its sheltered and enclosed design. It gives out a very unique, “by-the-beach” feel. I think it would definitely be a cool spot to spend a relaxing evening away.
Greek cuisine, being a Mediterranean cuisine as well, has its fair bit of influence from other European cuisines and having travelled to Europe for a couple of times it wasn’t that hard for me to spot the similarities.
The first thing you would notice after seating down at the table would be the bottle of olive oil resting neatly on the table.
Olive oil plays a big part in Greek cuisine actually. And where does olive oil come from? Its basically the fats of the fruit from the olive trees and is considered Extra Virgin. There are three main types of olive oil – Extra Virgin, Virgin and Olive Oil and what makes these type set apart would be the acidity level of the oil. As a rule of thumb, the lower the acidity the better the quality. Of course, the overall aroma, flavour and strength of the oil are factors to consider also. In fact, all the dishes served in Blu Kouzina are prepared using organic extra-virgin oil which is imported directly from Greece from a family-owned Olive Grove Estate in Messinia. Blu Kouzina is also owned by the same owners of the estate so you can be pretty sure that the quality of the olive oil used in this restaurant is absolutely second to none. In fact, at the time of writing, the restaurant is preparing to import the second batch of olives to Singapore all the way from the Olive Estate in Messinia and this is scheduled to be done every two years!
I flipped through the menu and what came to me were the unfamiliar words. Thankfully, George and his team of staff know that it was my first visit to Blu Kouzina and they patiently walked through with me the menu and recommended a few dishes worth trying for. At this point I could easily appreciate the team’s attention to their customers’ needs already.
The food menu is categorized as such:
- Mezedes (some appetizers and other dishes which are ideal for sharing)
- Soupa (quite simply, Soup of the Day)
- Salata (Salad)
- Magirefta (Casseroles aka Baked Deep Dishes)
- Kreatika (Meat-based mains such as Beef, Lamb Chops, Meatballs)
- Glika (I would categorize these as pastries and desserts)
- Psarika (Seafood, with offerings such as sea bream, prawns and squids)
- Kotopoulo (Chicken-based mains)
- Elaiolado (bottled house-made olive oil available for purchase)
All in all, there are more than 50 various types of items to choose from and honestly, for someone like me who have never tried Greek cuisine, it ain’t easy deciding. Let’s see what are the orders for the day!
Ever since my last trip to Porto trying out the Grilled Trout over there, I have been yearning to try something similar back home in Singapore but without any success. Blu Kouzina brought back hope and finally I can dig into some really decent grilled fish. Absolutely fresh and well-executed by the grill chef, the Grilled Bream might be a bit too expensive for daily indulgence but it certainly is worth the try once in a while. To be fair though, this 400g bream is pretty huge but if you love fish alot, I am sure you are able finish the entire serving on your own.
I say, weekends would be the best time to try out the fish dishes here because the sea breams, sea bass and sardines are all imported to the restaurant directly from Greece every Friday! I guess this is the cheapest way to pure and authentic Greek food without spending a fortune to travel, no?
I would also recommend seafood lovers to go for the Seafood Platter with Sea Bream (400gm) / Sea Bass (1kg) which comes with Grilled Squid, 3 Jump Prawns for $98.80 and $143.80 respectively. Trust me, you will drool when you see the platter! The squids and prawns are all from our local markets but I was told that it would be possible for future deliveries to be imported from Greece as well!
During my visit the Chick Pea Soup was the soup of the day. This is one soup that I have never tried before at all. First impression was that it was really, really oily. It doesn’t look very appetizing either but I gave the soup a good stir and took a sip anyway. What hit my tastebuds was the very light, unique taste that came from the generous amount of olive oil, dill and chick peas. Don’t let the unappealing looks fool you. This is one great bowl of traditional Greek soup. In fact, the layer of olive oil helps keep the soup piping hot for quite a while! One bowl is good enough for two to share and I should also let you know that Chick Peas are a very very good source of protein!
The Talagani Saganak is not something that can be found on the standard menu and I was glad to have this recommended by the staff of the restaurant. At first glance, this rounded, beatifully crafted “patty” looks like a well-grilled piece of chicken fillet. In fact, it tastes alot like meat too due to it’s very firm texture but I was so, so wrong!
The Talagani is actually a piece of hand-made cheese made from sheep’s milk and originates from Messenia. Best served either grilled, fried or on it’s own, the Talagani cheese is quite rich in flavour and one should eat this with olive oil for the best experience.
Who needs the Thousand Island dressing when you can get equally great salad with just olive oil and feta cheese? What you get in this huge plate of traditional Greek salad is a combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, fresh olives with green pepper, all of which topped with a huge serving feta cheese before finishing the dressing with extra virgin olive oil and organic vinegar.
The feta cheese is a type of traditional Greek cheese with just a hint of saltiness in terms of taste. This is easily one of the best salads I’ve tried, so much so that I couldn’t stop eating throughout the meal. The serving’s huge too and can be shared with at least 2-3 pax.
Pitas are round, flat wheat bread which is widely consumed in the Mediterranean region and that, of course, include Greece. I don’t usually eat wraps but I am absolutely convinced that the Pitas here are absolutely baked to perfection. The thickness is just nice and comes with a slightly burnt and crusty taste on the outside. It also has a slightly chewy texture. Within the wrap is where all the goodness is – a generous serving of beef kalamaki (beef cubes grilled on a skewer) surrounded with fresh tomatoes and red paprikas. Along side the wrap is a good serving of fries. The beef cubes are really well grilled and really juicy and tender. I guess it all boils down to the chef’s skills! Even the menu helped to remind diners that it’s a must to eat this dish all wrapped up for the best wrap indulgence.
If pitas are not your type of food, go for their Paidakia stin Sxara (Grilled Lamb Chops) ($28.80) or Meatballs ($15.80) which are equally worth the try as well.
Baklava is a walnut-filled filo pastry which contains lots and lots of chopped nuts and combined with oh-so-sticky-sweet syrup. This dessert can easily satisfy the sweet-tooth in you. I chose to have a serving of chocolate ice cream to pair with the Baklava and boy, is this one of the best combination of desserts! The chocolate ice cream comes with tons of chocolate chips too. It’s a sinful indulgence but I couldn’t care less anymore. It is that good!
This 24% liqueur is undeniably strong but at the same time really refreshing. A very popular alcohol beverage in Italy, Blu Kouzina has it albeit in Greek style! I don’t drink much alcohol but what I do know is that this yellow, liquid courage does certainly help warm the stomach and (I hope) aids digestion!
I am really, really glad that we can have such extraordinary Greek restaurant on our tiny little island and I ask myself why didn’t I find this place much, much earlier? So did Blu Kouzina exceeds my expectations towards Greek cuisine? In a word, yes. And by miles for that matter. No doubt the prices are considered to be on the steep side but in my opinion, it’s a whole lot cheaper than travelling to Greece to have a taste of their authentic, local food. You can now own a piece of the Greek culture without making your wallet bleed. I can only say that I totally love Greek cuisine now and will definitely be back.
Ratings: 5.0 foodiedoos out of 5.0
Lunch Fri – Sun from 12pm – 2.30pm
Dinner Tue – Sun 6pm – 10pm
Closed on Mondays