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THE QUIET DINER

Good food, so-so service at Greek taverna

12:06 AM April 03, 2014

We visited a Greek restaurant at SM Aura Premier more than a month ago. It was not perfect but OK—the food was delicious and the service average. On another visit more than a week ago, lunch was still good, but staff service was really bad.

Greka Kouzina

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(Greek Kitchen)

2/L, SM Aura; tel. 9643354.

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Its blurb says the Greeks are passionate about their food, that the kitchen is a communal place, much like how it is here in the Philippines. Kouzina is meant to be a place where authentic Greek food can be enjoyed.

Dining area: Done like a typical Greek tavern we see in movies and photos. There is an arc at the end where the bar service is done. Colored bottles adorn one side. Acoustics is good. Lighting is muted.

Service: This is where the restaurant needs a lot of improvements. Orders are taken, but they come very slowly from the kitchen.

Staff: The service team of young men and women in apple-green T-shirts must be given ample training in attending to diners. Some may be hard of hearing or simply distracted. It was the wrong salad that was first served. The chicken wings we ordered must have been forgotten by the kitchen chefs, or the wait staff failed to jut down the order. It came after much following up and when everyone was halfway done with lunch.

An observation was that the staff have mastered the “art” of avoiding the eyes and calls of guests. Not even your waving hand is acknowledged.

Suggested orders: Most of the dishes have yogurt, nearly a staple in Greek cuisine. The refreshing starters are a must: hummus made of chickpeas with roasted garlic and tahini, and tatziki, a cucumber and yogurt dip. These are served with pita bread.

When we ordered the salad, the server was apparently confused or not listening. The order was for Greek Caesar Salad but what was served was different.

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Do not miss the excellent Ami Lemonato Roast Lamb, roasted for five hours and whose meat falls off the bone. This dish is served with three dips including mint jelly. This is A-1!

But the big letdown was when the kitchen staff apparently forgot to do the Crispy Chicken.

The Baklava, which combines pistachio, walnuts and cashews with yogurt, was the perfect dessert. The coffee, as in Greece, was very strong.

Service and government charges are added to the bill. Senior cards are honored.

Rating

1 Spoon

(The rating reflected very poor service despite the delicious food.)

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TAGS: Ami Lemonato Roast Lamb, Baklava, chickpeas with roasted garlic, Food, Greek cuisine, Greek Food, Greek Kitchen, Greek Restaurant, Greka Kouzina, hummus, Poor Service, SM Aura Premier, tahini, tatziki
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