MORE THAN A MYTH

You know how there’s always that one restaurant that you hear about for so long – it’s on everyone’s insta stories, people are talking about it, it’s popping up all over social media – but you just never got around to visiting the place? The one that makes you want to roundhouse kick yourself in the face for waiting so long when you finally get there? That’s how we feel about Mythos Kouzina & Grill. Finally, FACT’s Shabana Adam took a seat for a quick trip to Greece…

Located in JLT at Armada BlueBay Hotel, Mythos Kouzina & Grill is a little piece of classy, vibrant dining in an otherwise loud and brash food scene. The unassuming restaurant even has a rather covert walkway leading to its entrance. Agreeable to the name, they have one of the most authentic Greek menus here, full to the brim with items for every dietary requirement and palate preference. The dining room is intimate yet inviting as natural light penetrates through the large windows throughout the outlet, there’s a part of the restaurant which doubles as a sunroom, giving the illusion of being outside and the tables and chairs are reminiscent of Greek tavernas where simplicity is key.

The ceiling is made up of light wood panelling and elegant lighting gives the whole place a street chic vibe. Our favourite part of the decor has to be the stunning, scattered floor tiles and ornament fruit bowls which allow Mythos Kouzina to be a wonderful choice for a romantic date or a nice meal out with friends – either in their spacious main room, or indeed on the front patio that is sure to draw the who’s who of Dubai’s elite food community. Regardless, a reservation is definitely recommended. Before we talk about the food, we want to talk about the service. It was phenomenal. There are really only a handful of restaurants in Dubai’s saturated market that truly understand the importance of service, and Mythos Kouzina is one of them. From the minute we walked in, right up to the point we left with happy full bellies, the staff were attentive, extremely polite, kept our table clean, and our glasses full. It’s a difficult thing to balance without being too intrusive on the guests, but the entire team was on the same page and we saw them put in consistent effort for each table around us. This is testament to the rapport that is integral – and showcased – throughout Mythos Kouzina. Of course, it only made the food better, not that it needed any help.

Mythos Kouzina’s menu is designed with the Greek way of eating in mind – a sharing concept, the dishes are all served in hearty portions right in the middle of the table for you to enjoy amongst friends and family. It’s important to note that the menu celebrates the very best of fresh, hand-selected produce alongside cooking methods that are pure, light and healthy. For appetisers, we started with Melitzanosalata (AED35), grilled eggplant tossed with tomato, onion, garlic and fine herbs, seasoned with red balsamic; hand cut Greek Fries (AED22) sprinkled with sea salt and oregano; Grilled Calamari (AED40) with lemon-olive oil sauce; and the ever-famous Leek Pies (AED37) with homemade filo and graviera cheese. We pretty much “mmmh” and “aaah” our way through the lot. Tip: use the delicious fries to scoop up the flavour-packed eggplant and another useful word of advice – you might not want to share the leek pies – they are golden pockets of perfection. The refreshing Santorini Salad (AED41) is just what you need on a humid Dubai afternoon. Packed with cherry tomatoes and capers, roasted capsicum and spring onion, served with toasted pita bread topped with graviera cheese, and sweet grape vinaigrette. It’s, to simply put it, the salad of dreams. Although, it was their Biftekia (AED72) Greek-style burgers made of beef and lamb, flavoured with herbs and served with sautéed potatoes that well and truly stole our hearts as the wonderfully seasoned meat was surprisingly light and still very satisfying.

The piece de resistance for us, undoubtedly, was the show-stopping Mousaka (AED69) made with minced lamb and beef, topped with béchamel sauce – a moreish main that melts-in-your-mouth instantaneously. The next round of applause is to spotlight the delectable cooked-overnight Beef Stifado (AED103) short ribs with shallots and red grape. Now, this is the dish that you brag about the next time you see your friends as the tender meat falls apart in front of your very eyes with a feathered touch of your fork. Just when we thought we couldn’t devour anything more, our sweet tooth betrayed us in the best way possible… ordering dessert.The Galaktobourekakia (say it fast) is crispy filo pastry rolls filled with vanilla custard served with homemade aromatic syrup (AED42) – it was the highlight of the entire meal. Crispy texture meets creamy filling for a gorgeous, subtle taste that would have us coming back to Mythos Kouzina for this alone. The Traditional Baklava (AED42) also holds it down for the Greeks, being a strong contender on the dessert’s list. The menu also includes plenty of vegetarian and pescatarian choices too, plus there’s more classic items in the form of gyros, souvlaki, and grills. Visit at lunchtime and enjoy three courses (a dip, starter and main) for AED70 or try the lunch express for AED45 which includes a salad and your choice of gyros. It was with a heavy heart and a full stomach that we pulled ourselves up towards the exit, contemplating our next visit even before we stepped out of the doors. ✤


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