Hi again food friends!
Koutouki on 124 street & 107 ave is one of my all time favourite restaurants in Edmonton! My mom and I first ‘discovered’ this cute little restaurant in the early 2000s and ever since then it is my first choice when I get to pick where we go for a special occasion.
This restaurant has a bit of a story to it. The family that owns and operates it used to have 2 other locations, one on the west end that closed and one on the south side that they sold. Around 2005 they were featured on the food network for 2 seasons on a show called Family Restaurant which gave us all a behind the scenes look at all 3 restaurants at the time. Currently the family runs the 124 street restaurant and operates a food truck called Little Village Food Truck in the warmer seasons (which I will make a point of visiting when they open again in the spring).
Ok now onto my review, put your reading glasses on for this one cause it’s about 9 courses long… Forewarning that I was pretty excited and hungry so a few of my pictures we’ve already dug into the dishes 😉
My hubby, Ward, and I went a couple weeks ago with 3 friends. I made a reservation and when we arrived we spotted one of our friends at a table so went over and sat down. About 10 minutes later we thought heck our other friends must be lost, so we text them to see where they were. Turns out they were at another table! Lol. We all found this quite amusing and the owners daughter was very apologetic for the mix up. We weren’t troubled by this at all and simply switched tables. We quickly let our server know that we would be having the Meze. With the Meze you will get about a dozen different dishes including dips, appetizers, salad, meats and vegetables all for $38/person. The menu states “but beware, don’t be tempted to finish every dish that arrives, or you may feel as if you have eaten for a week. Take your time and enjoy the meze “SIGA- SIGA”.” And boy is that the truth.
Our Meze started with a fresh Greek salad. No lettuce in this salad. If you see a place put lettuce in a Greek salad put your fork down and run, don’t walk, as fast as you can away from there because they don’t know what traditional Greek is.
Within minutes we were brought 4 dips; tzatziki, homous, Kopanisti (Spicy feta dip with mint) and Tirosalata (Roasted red pepper & feta dip) served with fresh soft pita bread.
(clockwise from top left: tzatziki, tirosalata, homous, kopanisti)
Next we were served calamari. Koutouki’s calamari is the absolute best I have ever had! It is perfectly coated and cooked! It’s like butter in your mouth, soft and delicious. And with a squeeze of fresh lemon over it makes it absolutely perfect. If you have leftover tzatziki try dipping the little gems in there, it’s a pleasant combo.
Then the spanakopita (spinach & feta wrapped in a phyllo pastry) very good and blows any of those frozen ones you can get at the store out of the water.
Then we were brought the dolmades (grapevine leaves stuffed with ground beef and rice) which are served warm. Also very tasty.
It was at about this point that we asked our server to slow the service down so we could catch up on eating and chatting. There was no problem with that and it was a few more minuets before our next dish came out. It gave us some time to digest just a little before digging right back in.
We started back up with the keftedes (Greek meatballs). This is my hubby’s favourite dish! When the west end restaurant (Koutouki Ouzeri) was still open he used to stop by and pick up an order of these for takeout and I’d be lucky if one made it home to me haha.
**attention Psalios family I would totally attend a cooking class where you teach me to make these 😉 **
These meaty little balls of heaven have a slight minty essence and are loaded with flavour. Also quite delicious with a little tzatziki dip.
The next dish we got is not actually part of the Meze but we ordered it as an addition since we love it so much. Saganaki (pan fried kefalotiri cheese) it’s served in the pan with half a lemon on it. Squeeze the lemon over it then dig in while it’s still hot and gooey! I like eating it all on its own but our friends enjoy eating it with some of the pita.
Our next course was Gigantes Plaki (giant beans baked in tomato sauce). They really are giant! The tomato sauce they are in is soft tasting and not too tangy.
Two more dishes to go!
After a few minutes we were brought roasted chicken on a bed of rice pilaff. As far as I can tell this dish is exclusive to the Meze. The chicken was well seasoned and the skin was crispy while maintaining moist meat underneath. The rice pilaff is good though I would never go out of my way to order a pilaff so I don’t really have anything to compare it to.
The final dish served with the Meze is Arni Kleftico (slow roasted lamb) and lemon roasted potatoes. The lamb is tender and nicely seasoned and the potatoes and well cooked and very lemony. This time I found the potatoes to be almost too lemony but usually they are spot on.
By this time most of us had sore bellies from eating so much so we were all sitting back and rubbing them. This is when the music got turned up, a belly dancer came out and a couple plates got smashed!
After the little show our waitress came back and asked if anyone wanted coffee or dessert. I looked around the table to most people shaking their heads, all but one in fact. Our crazy friend Tyrone wanted to know what kinds of desserts they have. We honestly don’t know where he puts it! So a couple coffees with ouzo were ordered and a dessert then we continued to rub our bellies and let some of our food digest.
It was a great night with good friends and so much good food. I can’t wait until my next visit to Koutouki!
Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!