It's 7 o'clock on a Saturday night, Parramatta. Stephen and I are starving, but we feel like something a little different to what the plethora of Italian restaurants have to offer. After walking up and down Church St, bickering over menus, we turn a corner and find Kouzina Greco.
We enter the restaurant, but the inside tables are completely booked and we are led outside with apologies. Luckily it's unseasonably warm, and they fire up the outdoor heater. The waitress is friendly and knowledgeable, and promptly reels off the specials. We order, and in no time at all have our entree:
The spanakopita (oven baked ricotta and spinach triangles) comes out piping hot, and we have to tear them open to cool down. The cheese is creamy, the spinach giving it a salty edge that really works. The pastry is the hero of this dish, light, crispy and flakey.
Within minutes of finishing our entree, the mains are brought to our table. Stephen has one of the specials, wagyu beef meat balls in a tomato sauce, over linguini, while I decide to try the lamb casserole.
Stephen's main was epic; the beef was so juicy and tender, he didn't touch his knife for the entire meal. The tomato sauce was slightly tart yet sweet, and the linguini was cooked to aldente perfection. When it was time to swap plates, he almost wouldn't give it to me.
I had a standard casserole experience, with fall-off-the-bone lamb, soft carrots and beans, and baked potatoes in a tomato salsa: good, but not outstanding, as the tough, overdone parts on the outside of the meat let this dish down.
We were given a 20 minute respite, and complimentary turkish delight (it was gone before I could take a photo) before our dessert was presented.
The loukoumades were delightful! Light, fluffy puffs of honey dough topped with icing sugar, cinnamon and honey, they're even better when they cool and form a crispy shell.
The Vanilla Bean Creme Brulee had a beautiful flavor and lovely, creamy texture, but there was no crust of suger - seems like it was done, then put in the fridge, which softened it. The dish was saved by the home-made vanilla icecream it was served with though - a clear winner.
On a Saturday night, when you're in Parramatta, it's so easy to pick a place that'll disappoint, but we got lucky with Kouzina Greco, and Stephen's already planning the next time we go.
16 Phillip St
Parramatta, NSW 2150
Tel: (02) 9687-3669