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HomeLuxury TravelOverview: Cookoovaya, Athens, Greece - A Luxurious Journey Weblog

Overview: Cookoovaya, Athens, Greece – A Luxurious Journey Weblog

Cookoovaya” (κουκουβάγια), which suggests “owl” in Greek, is depicted on this restaurant’s emblem, which options the eyes and beak of an owl. In Athens‘ historic and vibrant Pangrati neighbourhood, the emblem options prominently on an indication outdoors this Michelin Information restaurant, with the phrases ‘Sensible Delicacies’ beneath. The owl is the sacred chicken of the goddess Athena and a logo of the town of Athens. It’s a logo of knowledge and information in Greek tradition that’s mirrored within the restaurant’s culinary excellence and considerate, inventive cooking.

We’re welcomed on arrival at a up to date reception space set in opposition to a placing floor-to-ceiling wine fridge. This spectacular show is so tall {that a} ladder is required to succeed in the uppermost bottles.

The opening web page on Cookovaya’s menu is titled ‘Apheresis’ which is central to the restaurant’s culinary philosophy, emphasising conventional methods that extract and spotlight pure high quality and flavours. There’s a dedication right here to showcase Greece’s best elements from each land and sea, utilising each a part of these elements, from “nose-to-tail” and “root-to-stalk”.

The meals

We have been invited to select from the à la carte menu or go for the Chef’s suggestions. We selected the latter, with the one caveat being that considered one of us was pescatarian. This turned out to be a great transfer as we totally loved quite a lot of dishes we’d not have in any other case chosen.

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We started with the flavourful dorade royale carpaccio which was accompanied with wild fennel pollen, yuzu kosho and lemon zest. The skinny slices of this fish, additionally konwn as gilt-head bream, had a fragile sweetness and a scrumptious, nearly barely nutty style.

After which the dishes saved flowing, with the native crimson prawns, scallops, avocado, chilli, lime and coriander being notably palate-pleasing.

After all, no Greek meal could be full with no Greek salad and this one didn’t disappoint, not least as a result of the accompanying feta – which is sourced from the Arkadia area within the central Peloponnese space – had nearly no getting older, much less salt, and a a lot softer and silkier texture than regular feta.

Anybody aware of Greek delicacies will even be aware of spanakopita (σπανακόπιτα) – Cookoovaya’s scrumptious tackle the spinach pie comes full with wild greens, chard, feta and herbs.

For me, the stand-out dish was the scallops sitting on a purée of smoked eggplant and jalapeño – it was so succulent and nonetheless makes my mouth water after I reminisce about it!

We additionally loved the octopus on grilled bread with fava and tomatoes…

…and the tarama made with white fish roe, olive oil and lemon juice, served with a crispy phyllo bread that’s made with out yeast. 

A facet dish of spring beaans steamed with grated heirloom tomato, further virgin olive oil, aged vinegar and contemporary garlic, plus a plate of grilled Ambracian prawns with olive oil, lemon and oregano blossom (from the Ambracian Gulf on the northwest coast of Greece, and recognized for his or her high quality) have been additional examples of how easy cooking methods can obtain distinctive outcomes.

Our major course – the catch of the day historically cooked (bianco, bourdeto, soup, poached with basil, bourou-bourou) was introduced to us earlier than being de-boned and served at our desk.

In Greek delicacies, “bourou-bourou” is a conventional soup made with numerous greens and typically pasta or rice. It’s a hearty and comforting dish, usually loved as a starter or a light-weight meal. On this event, the fish (grouper) was surpisingly ‘meaty’, scrumptious and filling.

By this time, we have been actually greater than glad, but it surely was nearly insisted that we strive the bougatsa – a crunchy phyllo, vanilla cream and cinnamon ice cream which was displayed in all its glory, earlier than being crushed earlier than us.

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A pear tarte tatin with butterscotch and vanilla ice cream was additionally totally loved.

The chef

Chef proprietor Periklis Koskinas, who comes from Corfu, is considered one of Greece’s most well-travelled cooks, having labored within the UK, Canaries, Venezuela, USA, Canada and, after all, Greece. He believes in simplicity in cooking, utilizing seasonal and native produce. He opened Cookoovaya in late 2014 with 5 different esteemed Greek cooks – for the previous three years, it has been below his sole command. Greece’s culinary traditions stay on the core of his menu, as do Greek values, regional produce and Greek hospitality.

The atmosphere

On the time of our go to, this air-conditioned restaurant had a vigorous buzz about it. Tables are effectively spaced and the ceiling excessive, so it was not too noisy regardless of most tables being occupied, and some spilling over to dine outdoors. The service could be very pleasant and attentive with out being bothersome, and the ambiance very relaxed. Since we have been seated within the entrance portion of the restaurant, it wasn’t till I went across the nook to go to the restroom that I noticed there’s additionally a completely open plan kitchen the place you possibly can see all of the culinary magic occur.

The price

Appetisers are within the area of €10 to €25. Mains begin from €30 (for the lamb chops, tzatziki, French fries and wild oregano). There are additionally two “Sensible Tasting Menus”, priced at €75 or €85 per individual. Desserts are usually across the €10 mark.

The ultimate verdict

Now celebrating its tenth 12 months, Cookoovaya continues with its dedication to simplicity and knowledge in cooking (therefore the owl once more), delivering dishes that remember the essence of Greek delicacies via meticulous preparation and respect for custom. Diners might also discover that even the plates are subtly branded with the phrases “270 levels” and a line that equates to a few quarters of a circle, representing the full variety of levels that an owl can rotate its head. It’s these sorts of particulars that show the restaurant’s consideration to element and underscore its dedication to incorporating knowledge into each facet of the eating expertise.

Disclosure: This put up is sponsored by Cookoovaya.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxurious Journey Weblog and has labored within the journey business for greater than 30 years. He’s Winner of the Improvements in Journey ‘Finest Journey Influencer’ Award from WIRED journal. Along with different awards, the weblog has additionally been voted “one of many world’s finest journey blogs” and “finest for luxurious” by The Day by day Telegraph.

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