Edinburgh restaurant review: Kuzina fuses traditional Greek fine dining with contemporary flair

The welcoming New Town restaurant serves high end Greek food with organic ingredients packed full of exquisite flavours
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Selecting a restaurant in Edinburgh can be tough going, with the variety and volume of superb restaurants. But dotted across the Capital are some restaurants that remove the choice paradox, quickly becoming regular haunts. My opinion is that Kuzina is one of those restaurants.

Located in the heart of the New Town, Kuzina is a cosy and welcoming restaurant that offers unique fine dining whilst maintaining a relaxed feel. From the lime washed walls, quaint furnishings and friendly service, the space balances rustic atmosphere with elegance and comfort.

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Even before starters are ordered, the passion for food and culinary expertise by the chefs quickly becomes evident when bread is served at the table. With thyme and oregano running through the dough, Kuzina’s white sourdough is something to behold, with boiled trahanas – a traditional Greek delicacy made from flour and fermented yogurt – producing a lingering taste beautifully complemented by their aromatic agourelaio (first press) olive oil.

Kuzina can be found in Edinburgh's New Town at 8 Howe StreetKuzina can be found in Edinburgh's New Town at 8 Howe Street
Kuzina can be found in Edinburgh's New Town at 8 Howe Street

After being greeted by head chef, Konstantinos Sakellariou, I took his recommendation of the artichoke starter, not something I would have ordered if left to my own devices. And I’m thankful I did.

The marinated artichokes are chargrilled to produce a heavenly smokey flavour and tossed with a pesto sauce, lemon zest and olive oil. Cretan graviera cheese (similar to gruyere), beautifully presented skordalia (garlic dip made with almonds) and wild garlic paste which Konstantinos foraged himself make for a unique dish that leaves a lasting memory.

With the starter being one of the most delightful dishes I’d had in several years, I felt it was wise to stick with Konstantinos’ recommendations. With gorgeous garlic flavours from the starters still resonating in my mouth, I was soon tucking into a stunning rustic dish of braised lamb shoulder with wild fennel orzo. Cooked to perfection and accompanied by a lamb jus and sun dried tomato pesto, the main was a hearty meal with the delicate intricacies and beauty of a Michelin star dish.

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Not overly familiar with Greek cuisine, I discovered during my experience at Kuzina that something has been missing from my life. That something is Ekmek Kataifi. Luxurious Kaimaki ice cream is housed in a Kataifi nest (shredded phyllo) creating a glorious crispy dessert. Topped with a pistachio ganache, forest berry compote and caramelised pistachio, this is a dessert I would thoroughly recommend.

Speaking to chef Konstantinos at the end of the evening he said: “I am very proud to showcase the ingredients of my homeland in a more modern way and show how Greek food has evolved. In Greece they say ‘first you eat with your eyes and then your mouth’ which is something we always find to be true. When food is presented in an attractive way then you get excited about eating it.”

He added: “And if eating it has you in awe with what we have done here then the restaurant has succeeded in its mission.”

I can confidently say Konstantinos and the rest of the team at Kuzina have succeeded in their endeavour. Kuzina balances Michelin star food with a laid back atmosphere. In addition to the collective aromas produced from each stunning dish, the thought behind every ingredient and colourful aesthetic on each plate make me sure it’s a place which will become a regular haunt for many.

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