Mazi – the Notting Hill Greek

Mazi – Modern Greek in Notting Hill:

I’ve been looking forward to the opening of Mazi, not least because I was curious about the concept of Modern Greek Food.  Now, that is in no way meant to be insulting, but from my own visits to Greece I know is as a country where the ingredients, particularly vegetables and fish, are outstanding and where the cuisine is simple, traditional and incredibly well flavoured.  So why try to ‘cheffy’ it up?

Mazi Notting Hill

Well of course, there is no reason why not.  As long as it’s about taking traditional recipes and genuinely working on how to improve them with modern cooking techniques and adapt them for a modern palate.  And that is just what Mazi has achieved.

The restaurant itself is charming.  Very fresh, blue and white décor, a pretty terrace with fig tree, vines and olive tree and shelves of greek produce.  And, the food was superb.

 

We started by sampling the ‘Cold Jars’.  Pretty preserving jars of traditional with a twist and rather less than traditional meze, including inside out ‘Gemista’ (that’s stuffed pepper to you and me) with cherry tomato and fresh mint, a wonderfully light Tarama with lemon confit, a smokey grilled aubergine dip with soya and thyme honey and, perhaps my personal favourite, a deconstructed Spanakopita with broken filo pastry, feta and dill.

Mazi Gemista

There are eight of these on the menu, all delicious and very morish.  My only suggestion would be that to make the most of these, some flat bread might be a nice addition to the little buckets of herby bread slices we were offered.

Mazi Notting Hill Spanakopita

Genuine Greek Salad came with a rich feta, kalamata olives and kritama, an unusual coastline plant that has a salty citrusy taste.

Mazi - greek salad with kritama

We tried a selection of the main dishes,   ‘Grand Mama’s meatballs with mint and sesame dip’ were lovely crusty meatballs with a pink middle.

Mazi -meatballs with mint and sesame dip

Feta tempura with lemon marmalade and caper meringue was a wonderful dish with excellent salty rich feta coated with the lightest meringue crust.

feta tempura Mazi Notting Hill

Braised herb crust lamb saddle and its shoulder Baklava was one of the most visually stunning of the dishes and tasted as good as it looked with tender slow cooked lamb in ‘baklava’ contrasting with the rare crusted lamb saddle.

Mazi Notting Hill lamb

Finally, Lobster with Orzo Pasta, basil and Metaxa was a pretty and beautifully balanced plate of pasta ‘rice’ topped with lobster and a Metaxa foam.

Our desserts were equally stunning, both to taste and to look at.  A pretty Greek Yoghurt Delight was a panna cotta type dish served with edible flowers, quince jelly and syrup and what was described as rusks but tasted more like tiny morsels of popcorn.

mazi - greek yoghurt delight

Tsoureki Souffle was a light spongy dish full of a melted sauce (apparently with white chocolate) served with greek coffee ice-cream.

Mazi Notting Hill

There’s a carefully chosen Greek wine list, with nicely aged red wine (nothing younger than 2009) priced at £22+ and a wide selection of white wines.  We were treated to a glass of Mastiha Skinos to finish.  There’s an extensive range of original cocktails if you prefer to try something different and some rather stunning sounding fresh juices and teas.

So, this looks like a winning concept to me.  The prices are reasonable, with the cold jars all at £6 and hot plates ranging from £7 up to £25 for the lobster dish we enjoyed.

I dined at Mazi at the invitation of the Restaurant

mazi Notting Hill

Mazi on Urbanspoon

4.5 / 5 stars     
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Comments

  1. You do get to eat at some fabulous places. I really like the look and sound of this food, although I do wish they wouldn’t put that awful foam on things, it does nothing for them. Nice review, love the idea of things in jars might have to steal that.

    • the things in jars were really good:) I sort of agree about foam, though this one did work quite well. For me the best dish was the lamb, which was beautiful and fabulous!

  2. I love the decor of the restaurant but I find the presentation of the dishes too nouveau for Greek cuisine. I cannot speak of the tastes you experienced but I think Greek cuisine can be modern but still identified as Greek food. Some here is trying too hard and no one wants “foam” on their plate.

    • The tastes were pretty good…for me, particularly the cold things in jars and the lamb. They only opened this week, so it will be interesting to see how things develop – and I have to say my instinct was exactly yours till I went. It definitely works from a taste perspective which for me is what really matters (my pet hate is flavourless cheffy food or bad taste combinations obviously put together for visual effect)

  3. Sounds like an incredible restaurant!

  4. Greekboy says:

    The food is way too overpriced.

    • to be honest, I thought the food was relatively cheap for what is not a cheap area of London and for food that holds it’s own against any London restaurant. It’s not priced like a kebab shop or restaurant group. But perhaps you are not used to London restaurant prices?

      • Being a Londoner (so used to high prices) and having eaten at this restaurant, I have to agree that it is hugely overpriced. The dishes were very tasty, but incredibly small. They were all very complex, which is fine, only I didn’t feel that the end result was worth the evident time spent in their execution. The ingredients were beautiful but were overshadowed by fussiness.
        The staff were charming, but painfully slow. I can forgive this up to a point, but when a main course fails to arrive after asking twice… and then simply doesn’t… with no acknowledgment from the waiters…. not good.

        • We must have different perceptions of price…for me £6 for a starter in a restaurant selling top end food is not expensive…over £10 and I start to wince a bit;). And, I know a single starter size portion of tarama can have 900 calories (read the real greek review), so I’d rather not have a huge bowlful of the stuff and eat half my daily calories in one starter;)

          I’m sorry the service was slow – I know they are very new, so may be teething problems. We didn’t have a problem when we were there, and I did watch to see what the service was like around the room. But, they had a large table of no-shows that evening (10 booked and didn’t turn up), so maybe through their misfortune they had a better staff ratio and we had a better experience.

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