Traditional Greek aesthetic with a bright, modern twist, animated and attentive staff, deliciously moreish sharing plates and elegantly crafted cocktails… What else could you be looking for in a meal out? Cuzina is all of that and more, the attention to detail in décor and food alike really leaves you feeling like the standards have been set high, blowing the competition for Greek mezze in Nottingham out of the water.
I took a trip to Cuzina to try out their menu and I was not disappointed. Being welcomed through the bar area and in to the restaurant, it was like stepping out of one world and into another. The loose ropes and vines, plant wall and copper spoons tastefully brought a mamma mia vibe to this Nottingham eatery.
First things first, I order a G&T to kick things off, OBVIOUSLY I had to order a Greek Gin & Tonic, because, when in Rome (Greece..Nottingham..Um..) and I loved the citrusy-orangey-zesty-vava voom it was packing. We look over the menu and it doesn’t take long to work out that we want EVERYTHING.
So for those of you who fancy a quick lesson in Greek (and for those of you who don’t) …Mezze actually translates as “snack” or “sharing plates”…This is definitely a bit of me! I am all about a little bit of everything, not so much sharing, but it makes me look less greedy if I go with one or more other person, and maximises potential food ordering – gotta think tactically.
Not that this will come as a surprise but in typical fashion, I had eyes bigger than my belly. To start with, we just thought we would share the mixed dips platter and homemade pitta, and for our array of Greek tapas we chose (clearing my throat before this list): metsovone and graveira croquettes, spanakopita spring rolls, halloumi, vegetarian mousakas, prawns saganaki and the salmon skewers… and breathe.
So I think I should probably do a blog post about that dip platter alone. Oh my foodness. Those dips stole my heart. I could honestly just go back and order that 10x over and be very happy. The homemade hummus was flavorsome and the texture was just right for me. The tzatziki was f-f-f-f-freshhhh, I could really taste the hints of cucumber and I thought it was the perfect balance, the beetroot dip was just…meh, but that’s a personal taste thing, I often find the earthy-sweetness of beets to be a bit overpowering. What really had me at hello, was the tirokafteri – a red pepper and feta cheese dip that was SO moreish it was almost a fight to the bottom. Teamed with lightly salted, cloud-like pita bread strips that were dusted in Za’atar, we really were off to a winning start.
Lemme tell you about those cheese croquettes, a blend of smoked and semi-sweet cheeses, lightly fried and served with a mixed berry jam. Someone get me some right now? As I’m writing this I can feel my mouth salivating at the memory. The prawns saganaki were the biggest shocker, I didn’t even know you could get prawns that big, they looked like baby lobsters! For me, personally, the veggie mousakas didn’t live up to my expectation, the filling tasted a bit like a pureed root vegetable (parsnip maybe?) and I felt it was a little too sweet for the dish. Having said that, I am not a fan of parsnips or sweet vegetables, so, this could just be down to my own personal taste and no reflection of the way it was cooked.
Halloumi in my opinion, is always a winner, like…HELLO, who doesn’t like halloumi? Grilled to the perfect consistency and not overly squeaky and drizzled with a pesto-like basil vinaigrette, this popular cheese should and WILL be on your order when you visit. The spanakopita spring rolls were genius. I thoroughly enjoyed these and my only complaint is that there weren’t 20 on the plate. Not that I could have managed all 20, that’s the greed talking. They were amazing.
If you couldn’t work out by this point, I didn’t have room for a pud, as much as I would have liked to try and squeeze one in, I would have been lying under the table panting heavily whilst holding my stomach if I took it as far as dessert. BUT, I did manage a pudding like drink, in the form of my fave digestif, an espresso martini. Well, Cuzina’s version: A Greek Coffee martini made with Greek coffee (surprise!) Jack Daniels Honey whiskey, Amaretto and Kahlua. Definitely had a kick to it!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my meal at Cuzina and have been back since because it is just that good! Located just on the otherside of Trent Bridge, in the ever popular, West Bridgford, just a stones throw away from some of Wessy B’s go-to bars, this Greek restaurant should 100% be on your hitlist.