My Big Fat Greek Kouzina
I’ve been craving for Greek cuisine for months, and would like to try somewhere new in town other than Cyma. Fortunately I found a gem ~ My Big Fat Greek Kouzina ~ that sells authentic Greek dishes for a fraction of the price in popular food bazaars such as the Salcedo Market.
My Big Fat Greeka Kouzina is a concept created by a couple: Ayse, who is a Turkish, certified pastry chef and Yiannis, a Greek foodie. Seeing the demand here in Manila, together, they launched a fusion of Greek and Turkish cuisine, where they occasionally join bazaars and also plan to eventually launch their restaurant soon. (I look forward to this new restaurant very much!)
They have a menu that’s very simple Greek and Turkish dishes that are familiar to the locals in town.
There’s quite a commotion in their stall, since I am pretty sure everyone is tired of the usual cuisines around the metro and are looking for something new and exotic. I think this is the primary reason why people like Greek and Turkish food. It’s rare to find Turkish food in the city. So far, I have only come across a Turkish selling Beef and Chicken Shawarma and nothing more. There is certainly market demand for these Mediterranean cuisines.
I got myself my favorite Moussaka dish, that’s reminiscent of lasagna except its embedded with sliced potatoes, ground beef and eggplant instead. Potatoes are not traditionally included, and zucchinis are usually embedded along with the eggplants. I was wondering why there were sliced potatoes ~ but it’s probably to reduce the cost to a minimum.
Go easy with their Moussaka as while the serving size is quite small, it is heavy on the stomach because of the creamy Mornay sauce (Bechamel with Gruyere cheese) on top. Moussaka is popular in Balkan and Mediterranean cuisines, and varies from one country to another, including Greece and Turkey.
Mezes or Mezzes
They have a wide variety of Greek “mezes” or “mezzes”, or small selections of small dishes: Tabouleh, Greek Feta Cheese Salad, Hummus and Babaganush. Mezes is borrowed from the Turkish word “meze” meaning “taste”; and even more borrowed from Persian word “mazze” meaning “to taste”. Since I wanted “to taste” every little bit, I got myself the “Salad Plate” which comprises a sampler of all of these mezes, glazed with olive oil.
A 100g of each mezes is enough to make you feel full. Though you should know that while these are healthy since its mostly vegetables, it’s packed with calories so you might want to think about sharing a plate and eat lesser portions.
My Big Fat Greek Kouzina “Mezes”, Salad Plate: Hummus, Tabouleh, Babaganush, Greek Feta Cheese Salad with Pita bread on the side
For those of you who aren’t familiar with these Greek mezes, let me give you a rundown of its ingredients:
1. Hummus – Chickpeas, Tachini, Garlic, Lemon and Olive Oil
2. Tabouleh – Parsley, Tomatoes, Bulgur and Olive Oil
3. Babaganush – Eggplants, Tachini and Olive Oil
4. Greek Feta Cheese Salad – Tomatoes, Cucumber, Onions, Capers, Olives, Olive Oil and Greek Feta Cheese
As you can see, it’s heavy on olive oil plus there’s the pita bread so I’m pretty sure it’s going to make you feel full afterwards.
I like mixing all of these and topping it on my pita bread. I get the creamy, velvety, babaganush which is my favorite among three; the coarse textures of the chickpeas in hummus, and the fresh parsley of tabouleh that cleanses my palette so I can dive in for more flavors. The Feta Cheese adds richness to the plate. I just like cheese.
One criticism I have is that the Hummus is not chilled. And in a hot summer day, where the mezes are displayed under the heat of the sun, these should be covered. A slight contamination to something as delicate as the hummus can affect its taste. A single drop of water to the Hummus can cause it to become sour. Similarly the Tabouleh and Babaganush should be covered, away from external factors to retain its freshness.
My Big Fat Greek Kouzina also serves Australian Lamb and Wagyu Beef Souvlakis on pita bread. Souvlakis, which come from the Greek word “souvla” meaning skewer, are small pieces of meat and vegetables in a skewer. My Big Fat Greek Kouzina’s Beef Souvlaki is first placed on the pita bread, then drizzled with Tzatziki sauce and garnished with slices of onions and tomatoes. A good Persian friend of mine mentioned that while they say it’s “Kebab”, it’s not Kebab because Kebabs originated from the Middle East but are later adopted in Balkan peninsula.
Australian Lamb and Wagyu Beef Souvlaki
Tzatziki is a Greek condiment made especially for gyros or kebabs, made of sheep or goat’s yogurt with diced cucumbers, garlic, salt, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley. I can’t quite confirm if this Greek Tzatziki or Turkish Cacik, which are both sisters in the Mediterranean cuisine, but the latter being less thicker yogurt.
I got myself the Beef Souvlaki. While I asked them to make it spicy, I didn’t taste the spiciness. Or probably blame me for my high tolerance for spicy foods. Also I find the pita bread too thick. However I like the Tzatziki sauce. It’s very rich and a good compliment to the beef skewer.
Wagyu Beef Souvlaki in Pita Bread
For dessert, they have Turkish Baklavas. I love salty Baklavas but this one is sweeter with honey, syrup, pistacchios and walnuts embedded layer after layer of Phyllo pastry. You should know though, the Baklavas are high also in caloric content. You might want to go easy on this or share with your friend. One piece of Baklava has around 350 calories, since it’s Phyllo pastry, paper-thin sheets of unleavened flour dough ~ you would realize that there’s a lot of butter involved.
It’s so buttery and sweet. And each bite just absorbs all of the honey combined with the crispness of the pistacchios. I know I should eat this as a whole, but I separated and ate the baklava layer by layer. It’s ultimately a rich experience.
Well, I’ve gone Greek with My Big Fat Greek Kouzina! I hope you learned a lot from this blog post. I personally researched this beforehand before I wrote this blog post, and it made me appreciate eating Turkish and Greek delicacies. I’m always looking out for exotic eats, so let me know if there’s any place you find!
Stay Connected with MY BIG FAT GREEK KOUZINA!
Location: Salcedo Market, Salcedo Village, Makati City; BF Homes, Paranaque
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My Big Fat Greek Kouzina Rating:
|Taste and Originality:||( 4 / 5)|
|Customer Experience:||( 3 / 5)|
|Value for Money:||( 3 / 5)|
|Brick and Mortar:||( 2.5 / 5)|
|Average:||(3.1 / 5)|