Kouzina opened its brand new restaurant in Selfridges Birmingham in May of this year and I was invited along to a special evening to celebrate their launch. Nothing could have prepared me for the feast which I was about to experience. With holidays abroad still being off the cards, I’ve been proactively experimenting with all sorts of cuisines to transport me away to warmer climates and for an evening I felt like I’d been transported to the Greek islands.
Upon arrival I was seated at a table by friendly members of the team. There’s nothing like a Mediterranean welcome, you almost feel as though your coming to visit old friends in their home. You can’t miss the venue, it’s on the ground floor of Selfridges and the open kitchen is central and decorated beautifully.
I was taken to a table which was set simply but beautifully with blue rimmed plates and simple fresh flowers, and invited to order a drink and so I opted for an iced tea. Upon reflection the next time I visit I will not drive so that I can enjoy the Ouzo. I made sure to try every fruit flavour of the iced tea, and they were all as refreshing and light as each other.
It was revealed to that the Street Kitchen Brothers themselves had created the menu for the evening, a full four courses showcasing the best from their menu and also creating some extra dishes, inspired by trips to Greece where they research the ingredients and recipes to create the most authentic cuisine. If you’re lucky these might appear on the specials board on the day of your visit. To be quite honest with you I was glad that I didn’t have to choose for myself because the whole menu sounds amazing.
Meze was first, and the flat breads were served with a selection of dips and olives. I have to say that I couldn’t place the flavouring of the houmous at first – delicately balanced with cumin this went down a storm and I had to remember to pace myself and prepare for the rest of the meal. I was glad that I chose a loose fitting outfit because I wanted to taste and savour everything. This kind of food is my favourite and it’s even better when it’s on small plates to share. I always fill up on starters though and you could visit for a small plates style meal with friends and swap and share the entire starter menu if you wanted to.
The starters were bought out to us on a platter, and I tried one of everything. I said out loud that I hoped Kalamari would make an appearance and as if by magic my wish came true. A Greek salad, halloumi, sausage and pork were served alongside and every single mouthful was beautiful. Ten delicate flavours and spices shone through but were in no way overpowering. It was wonderful to be able to sit back, chat and enjoy the atmosphere with a live musician playing. I’ve really missed eating out and I vowed to myself there and then to do this kind of thing more often.
Then the main courses came out and I almost regretted having filled up on starters but I sat up straight in my seat and made some space to go ahead – the main course dishes were lamb served with roasted new potatoes with a citrus zing, beef in a rich shallot jus, and the creamiest moussaka I’ve ever had the privilege to try. We also had a side of Orzo which was surprisingly light and complimented everything really well. As I mentioned these were special dishes prepared for the evening and showcasing perfectly just what the Street Kitchen bothers can do.
It was lovely to have the time to talk to the people behind the scenes – the Street Kitchen Brothers are genuinely nice people with a fascinating story to tell about their business and origins – family recipes being handed down through generations, a street food business taking the Midlands by storm and now opening a restaurant in the iconic flagship venue that is Selfridges, but pausing to recommend the best places in Greece to visit for food. These guys know their craft and the passion they have for Greek cuisine shines through in their food.
Desserts I have to admit got the better of me, the sweet and sticky orange cake was a delight but I had to request a doggy bag to bring it home. As I write this blog I’m sitting with my feet up and have put Mamma Mia on Netflix to continue my Greek Island day dreams, I’ve already called my mum to ask when she’s free so I can take her out and go back for more Greek food!
If you’re unable to make it to Selfridges in Brum then keep your eyes peeled as the at home meal kits will be available for national UK delivery very soon from Kouzina
Thank you so much for inviting me along to such a wonderful evening, and I wish you all the best in this new venture, I have a feeling it’s going to be an enormous success.