86B Prospect Road,
South Australia 5082
Monday – closed
Tuesday to Thursday 5.30 pm – 9.00 pm
Friday and Saturday 5.00 pm – 10.00 pm
Sunday Lunch 12 noon -2.30 pm and Dinner 5.00 pm – 9.00 pm
Public Holidays +15% surcharge
email : firstname.lastname@example.org
facebook – website mezemazi.com
RESERVATIONS : 61 8 8269 2777 – bookings on-line
BYO : accepted $20 corkage per 750ml bottle
CHEF : Miko Marinos
RESTAURANT MANAGER : Con Mendis
AO 26 MARCH 2023
When MEZI·MAZI first opened some years ago I went along in search of not just some half decent authentic Greek cuisine, but also a review. My meal ended badly with me making the mistake when I was asked what I thought, I uncharacteristically answered the question. The then owner was offended, didn’t want to charge me and the whole thing was awkward. Luckily he didn’t have a clue that my intention/hope had been to get a restaurant review, but his reaction was a reminder that mainly when you are asked what you think about a meal it is best to remain silent.
Friends, even Greek friends who are normally highly critical of Greek restaurants, kept telling me MEZI·MAZI was worth a look. and I kept ignoring them until I heard it had changed hands some time ago. Then my friend Amrik Singh [Jasmin Indian Restaurant] insisted that I would like it. More than like it I loved it as it dragged up so many happy memories of my time living in Greece and my few weeks in Cyprus.
YOU COULD EQUALLY FIND THIS SIMPLE, OH, SO GREEK DECOR IN GREECE, UNCOMFORTABLE CHAIRS AND TINY TABLES PACKED INTO THE SPACE. BUT, AT A GLANCE THERE IS NO OTHER CULTURE THAT WOULD THAT WOULD BE SO EASILY IDENTIFIED.
TAKE THE TIME TO LOOK AT THE WONDERFUL BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOS THAT DEFINE CYPRIOT IMMIGRANTS HERITAGE.
We were five diners, two were regulars and already had their favourites and ordered the FETA FILO..pan fried feta cheese wrapped in filo and drizzled with honey and sesame. The filo was soft, the honey had none of the delicious bitterness of some Greek honeys and the sesame seeds hadn’t been roasted. You can get a pretty close approximation of the honey of Critti by placing loads of plain stalky thyme in good quality Australian honey and roasted sesame seeds are an altered state. None the less it remains a favourite with one of our number who, thinks my opinion is rubbish and deeply resented giving us a taste.
For some inexplicable reason the next thing we received were the OVEN BAKED PATATES which were disappointing and nothing followed for a short while.
They were packed and under pressure sometimes things that shouldn’t just slip through do. From the specials board he CHARGRILL OCTOPUS with fava was perfect….moist tender slices of octopus on a bed of fava bean purée, a scattering of marinated red onion and parsley. Then the CYPRIOT SALAD…Quinoa, lentils, nuts, currants, red onion, parsley topped with a cumin-honey yoghurt….so good we immediately ordered a second to stop a fight breaking out at our table. A complex concoction of deliciousness that was both textural and super tasty with balanced flavours.
Next CHICKEN LIVERS…Pan-fried chicken livers ‘tigania’ style with white wine and lemon…absolute simple perfection followed immediately by more perfection in the best squid dish I have had in a restaurant since David Swain [Fino and Fino Vino] cooked at The Star of Greece, probably at least 20 years ago. KALAMARI…Flour dusted calamari served with lemon pepper aioli. A generous portion, perfectly cooked, perfectly tender and enough aioli that one didn’t need to fight over it.
FETA FILO..pan fried feta cheese wrapped in filo and drizzled with honey and sesame
CHAR GRILLED OCTOPUS..with fava
CYPRIOT SALAD..Quinoa, lentils, nuts, currants, red onion, parsley topped with a cumin-honey yoghurt
CHICKEN LIVERS..Pan-fried chicken livers ‘tigania’ style with white wine and lemon
KALAMARI..Flour dusted calamari served with lemon pepper aioli
ZUCCHINI FRITTERS…Zucchini, herbs, feta, mint yoghurt and mizithra cheese
LAMB SHOULDER…Slow cooked pulled lamb shoulder with oven baked patates
LAMB CUTLETS……Chargrilled lamb cutlets served with oven baked patates and Tzatziki
For a cuisine that can appear to be focused on the carnivore the Greek kitchen has some delicious vegetable dishes most of which are rarely seen in Greek restaurants. PEAS & BROADBEANS…Potato, carrot, dill, lemon was a stunner, and even given that both broad beans and peas were out of season and the product must have been frozen it delivered a memory of a similar dish eaten in Greece.
PEAS & BROADBEANS…Potato, carrot, dill, lemon
We did question our waitress about the HORTA…(limited availability) Steeped greens, lemon, olive oil. The question was, were the greens chicory? This is another classic Greek vegetarian dish that is rarely seen on menus even though local chicory is widely available in season. The chicory is usually washed and chopped up roughly and boiled in salted water with plenty of olive oil, drained well, it is served with nothing more than EVO, a lemon wedge and sometimes a little chopped red onion. We did not realise that we had forgotten to order the HORTA until we were almost finished our meal…so next time!
KOKINISTO BEEF…Slow cooked beef shoulder, red sauce, cinnamon, eggplant,
makarounes pasta, mizithra cheese
ZUCCHINI FRITTERS…Zucchini, herbs, feta, mint yoghurt and mizithra cheese…tasty enough to convince a zucchini detester they were actually an edible vegetable. LAMB SHOULDER…Slow cooked pulled lamb shoulder with oven baked patates just didn’t deliver the picture I had in my head. None of the crispy rendered salty fat and the pulled meat had been moistened with what seemed to be a yoghurt based dressing and came with a floury watery gravy. It has to be said that the patates on the two large lamb plates redeemed their patates. LAMB CUTLETS…Chargrilled lamb cutlets served with oven baked patates and Tzatziki were just what they said, served ‘sketa’ they were excellent. Of all the large plates there was a standout dish so wonderfully tasty it brough back memories of the restaurants at the back of the Athens Meat Market, were cheap and often wasted cuts of meat and animal parts are turned into culinary wonders. KOKINISTO BEEF…Slow cooked beef shoulder, red sauce, cinnamon, eggplant, makarounes pasta, mizithra cheese…..heaven! [Pictured above] In a dish like this the pasta is in the sauce long enough to absorb the sauce, and whilst the Greek kitchen often cooks pasta to a level that is ridiculed by Italians this pasta was perfect.
HERE'S A THOUGHT
The guys who own MEZI·MAZI are Cypriot and what is never seen on menus in Adelaide [to my knowledge] is the Sheftalia that in Cyprus automatically comes with the turnip salad and the surprising match of a half bottle of Cypriot Brandy. Basically they are the Cypriot version of the French Crepinette. Chopped seasoned meat wrapped in caul fat and cooked over coals. Turnip is a very misunderstood vegetable, but salted, squeezed and dressed with EVO and vinegar, maybe a bit of chopped onion and a bit of chopped parsley or coriander turns the humble turnip into a surprisingly interesting dish. Their green tops are served as Horta, boiled with salt and olive oil, drained and served with nothing more than half a lemon and more EVO.
I have fond memories of being the only woman sitting in the smoke filled environment of a local Sheftalia house devouring these delicious morsels. It has to be said that the best chips I have ever eaten were also found in this humble environment. Cyprus is famous for its potatoes. Just dug potatoes, chipped and cooked in the proprietors own olive oil. This oil so good it would have easily been classified as EVO.
there is a lot to like @
There is a lot to like at MEZI·MAZI and I know that when I finally get a chance to return it will be impossible not to reorder the favourites…and this time I absolutely do not want to share my chosen small plates with anyone. My very own squid and chicken livers would be my idea of heaven. Shared, with perhaps three diners other dishes would be the Soutzoukakia, Peas and Broad Bean, Cypriot salad and next time we will remember to order the Horta if it’s available.
Why do I rate the food at MEZI·MAZI highly? Deeply rooted in traditional Greek cooking, with the exception of the lamb shoulder, nothing is processed to the point of being unrecognisable and no attempt has been made to garnish when garnishes would be inappropriate and add nothing to the dish anyway.
Our waitress was very young and very professional. She had no need to return to the kitchen to get answers to any of our many questions and gave us good advice as to how much food to order. It must be said that MEZI·MAZI is very, very noisy inside and we opted to sit outside as it was a beautiful late summer evening. Tables are small and you can lean in to hear each other, but with five people it’s a hard call. Again, our waitress, without the tiniest sign of annoyance helped us move outside, resettled us and smoothly went on to take our orders. Our vacated table was filled within minutes and the restaurant was operating at capacity.