Greeka Kouzina : Greek Food and Great Friends, What A Match.
When in Manila, you will never run out of new places to explore, new activities to try out and new restaurants and flavors to discover and I felt rather lucky that I recently got to try Greeka Kouzina, a greek restaurant that has been all the rave when it first opened it’s doors in San Juan.
What I love about being a photographer is that my schedule permits me to have some of my weekdays off, which is great because that means I don’t have to dine out during the weekend rush. When I recently needed a night out to just take a breather from the crazy wedding season, I asked a few of my photographer friends to dine with me at this place that I was already hearing about. I’ve seen a lot of people rave about their first branch in San Juan so when I found out that Greeka Kouzina had a newly opened branch at the SM Aura, I knew I had to go and visit.
Despite the fact that it was a weekday and quite late for dinner, too (we arrived at 8:30pm), the place was packed, so it was a good thing we already had a table reserved – something you might want to consider before dining there as well. Just seeing a lot of people with lots of delicious looking meals on their tables made me so excited to try their dishes, Stat! There were also a few other dishes that I saw from the other tables that intrigued me and I knew I had to try.
Greeka Kouzina – Level 2 SM Aura
I took these photos just before the mall closed so there were only a few of us left. These lights hanging from the ceiling are really quite beautiful and I loved how relaxed and homey the place felt. Even if it was packed with diners when we first came in, it didn’t really bother me as there was enough space in between tables so it didn’t feel too overcrowded.
Spanakopita (Spanish Pie 295PHP)
We started dinner with the Spanakopita which is (as the description in the menu says,) a Spanish pie made with this light, 98% fat-free phyllo dough baked with spinach, feta and greek herbs. It was served hot so you could appreciate the fresh spinach more. The feta cheese and the phyllo dough was cooked right because it was a bit toasted and had that bit of a crunch when you bite into it. Personally, I would have liked to have more of that feta cheese placed in that serving but overall, this appetizer would be a good and quite healthy start to your meal.
Grilled Chicken Souvlaki Salad (450PHP)
The Souvlaki Salad was served in a generous proportion — it was a mix of fresh lettuce, raisins, nuts and finally, lots of feta cheese :) you could certainly share this with one or two other persons and feel that that’s quite enough between the 3 of you.
The salmon came highly recommended by one of my friends who loves Greeka Kouzina, so we ordered that before we tried the meat dishes that Greeka Kouzina is actually more popular for. The salmon was topped with fresh greens and came in with Avgolemono sauce which is kind of a creamy sauce with a lemony taste. You will certainly love the crunchiness of the vegetables with the tenderness of the fish and when you combine that with a little bit of the the sauce, then you’ve got all these flavors and textures that really go well with one another. This dish is really good, so I wouldn’t recommend sharing it unless you’ve got other dishes coming in that are all for sharing, too.
For the meat dishes, you may choose the side dishes that will go with these main dishes, so we chose to have the Yemistes, the Watercress Pasta, and the Pastitsio. We all quite enjoyed the Yemistes more than the other two side dishes but I felt we didn’t go wrong with any of these side dishes. You definitely have to try the Yemistes with a small portion of the sweet pepper that it was put it, the sweetness along with the crunch of the pepper makes the rice a bit more interesting. The Pastitsio, although clearly smaller in serving size is rather filling because of the ground beef and the cheese. But do make sure you leave more room for the meat dishes as they are really worth it.
Pastitsio (180PHP180PHP as an la carte dish or it would be included as a side dish when you order the meat dishes)
Watercress Pasta (180PHP as an la carte dish or it would be included as a side dish when you order the meat dishes)
Yemistes ( 180PHP as an la carte dish or it would be included as a side dish when you order the meat dishes)