While Greek food is well represented in neighbouring Dubai, there’s only a couple of places for fans of the cuisine to go to sate their cravings in Abu Dhabi. But Argiris Tragoutsis, general manager of Eat Greek Kouzina and a Greek native, believes his home country’s food could be “the next big thing here”.
For one, the Mediterranean diet, including plenty of fish and vegetables, is considered one of the healthiest out there. “Our ingredients are fresh and the flavours are simple,” says Tragoutsis. Greece is also growing in popularity as a travel destination. Tragoutsis has seen many diners who’ve returned from a holiday in Santorini or another island with a taste for Greek food.
“They walk in with very high expectations and leave satisfied,” he says.
And that is the restaurant’s main mission – to deliver authentic food and flavours, which is why the restaurant imports a lot of ingredients from Greece, such as olive oil, pitta bread, cheese, vegetables and tarama, to make taramasalata.
As well as traditinal fare, they also have some quirkier options. This moussaka burger, for example, is a playful take on one of Greece’s best-known dishes. Sitting between a homemade bun is a beef patty, a slice of tomato, caramelised onion, grilled eggplant, béchamel sauce and a slice of potato. “When you bite into it,” confirms Tragoutsis, “it tastes exactly like moussaka”.
Eat Greek Kouzina has been open for just over a month, but already the feedback has been great. One customer in particular stands out for Tragoutsis. He recalls: “One Greek guest told us that he hadn’t been home in years and our food helped transport him back there... Hearing that was simply amazing.”
Dhs75. The Galleria, Al Maryah Island (02 309 2323).