REVIEW: Kouzina, Open Market, Brighton

by - November 11, 2015

There's food that wows technically and for originality, and then there's food that's just glorious to eat. Kouzina is in the latter camp and for me, I'm more than happy eating the this sort of food. Perched in the spruced up Open Market, the offering of this Greek gem is simple; home-style, sunny, filling food served with a smile. Staff are happy for you to peek under the ironware lids at the stews, meats, vegetable casseroles and classics like Moussaka and rich soutzoukakia (greek meatballs). They also have Spanakopita, the famous spinach and feta pie, made with homemade filo, which is nothing short of heroic as it's such a pig to make.

My kid loves it here. Raised on Italian food, it's not far off what he's used to but different enough to be interesting for him. I ordered us a mezze plate which included a selection of their salads, good quality olives, grilled halloumi, proper feta, sausages and dips. One heck of a feed for me and a toddler. I should have ordered a platter for one but somehow, somehow, we polished it all off.

The plump seftalia pork sausages were also delicious, served with a classic greek salad, tzatziki and grilled bread. With my design studio nearby, I've had lunch here a few times, usually going for the mezze but have also tried the moussaka and spanakopita and always thoroughly enjoyed every bite.

I also like what they have done with their interior. As homely as a metal, purpose built unit could be with raw wood panels and little quirks like the colander lampshades. It somehow suits the food.

Kouzina celebrates simplicity, and at the moment where everyone is tweaking and complicating food, it's a welcome break, ideal (and affordable) for a working lunch. And also, although Velo at the Level has now changed hands (thank goodness), it seems there is still enormous room for improvement. So if you are in the park with the kids and need to refuel, you're best coming here for fresh, honest, family friendly food.

A proper Brighton hidden gem.

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