‘Gastro Greek’ (but probably not ‘Gastro Cypriot’) expats who want the more sophisticated, more gourmet, but mostly recognisable version of their home cuisine. And the opportunity to gather with Greeks and non Greeks alike for Retsina, Mastika and all those fun things…
People who like to read pearls of Hellenic philosophical wisdom IN THE TOILET and enjoy dining in a place that feels very homely – literally – I’m sure that it was a home at one point. It has that kind of ‘cosy’ inside. Eating out back is summer is a little like dining in a friend’s garden, if your friend were Greek and possessed a Michelin Star or something.
People who’ve not eaten Greek food yet who want a gentle, yet on the whole very authentic introduction to food/culture – minus the scorching sun, chain smoking elders and the need to travel a few hundred miles South East…
In A Word
The Mazi Party (oooooooo I went there)
Mazi don’t really like it when you show up early. This is what I discover, appearing 90 minutes before I should (since I am in the area) looking for somewhere to sit with my laptop. This is not to be, and I find myself in Macdonalds, where I guiltily order a coffee in order to justify my occupation of a seat for the next hour or so.
Unlike most of the reviews we do for Tasting Britain, Mazi decide to invite me to a ‘blogger dinner’ and so the experience I get from the place is not necessarily representative of a ‘conventional’ meal booking there. I can’t really tell you what the service is like, though the guy who looks after us (I think he’s the manager) is friendly and charismatic enough. I can tell you a little about what the place looks and feels like, however, and the food..
The site itself looks like it was once someone’s house, the garden area very much like someone’s garden, and the inside/bar area a bit like someone’s front room. This gives the place a nice and homely quality – though Mazi does air a little on the side of ‘claustrophobic’ as it fills up later on. I prefer places with larger spaces between desks – that said, this does remind me of some of the Greek tavernas , which are homely and communal – many of them serving as gathering places for an entire geographical location – much like the venerable British country pub.
Mazi lives in Notting Hill – which as you probably know, is on the whole a nice area, full of green spaces, unaffordable homes and home to a certain carnival that seems at odds with it’s peacefulness. I also assume there’s a Greek community as I notice another Greek restaurant just down the road on my way to find it.
The Food And Drink
Sidled with the burden of defining Mazi, I suppose I’d say they’re doing innovative ‘gastro-Greek’ in the style of Ergon and the like. I’ve been to Greece a few times and have experienced a lot of the food – mostly from the islands. Some of the food at Mazi is familiar, though I suppose ‘upgraded’ from Hellenic routes. A few of the things we ate I didn’t recognise at all (but I ate them anyway like a boss)
Anyone who reads my reviews knows that I’m hardly much of a critic – I generally like food, and since Mazi’s food was delicious, today was no exception. Minimal criticism here.
As this was a tasting menu, they basically brought out a huge number of smaller dishes, split between everybody. I don’t know if the tasting menu is a regular Mazi feature, but obviously the food is, so here goes…
(NB I am unable to tell you with complete accuracy which each dish is, so at the risk of making that mistake I’m just going to bombard you with pictures of all the food they served us, and in no particular order)
THIS… IS… MAZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!
…but wait, there’s more!
*takes a deep breath*
So yes, not as informed a verdict as I would like to give you, but as a ‘Greek food enthusiast’, Mazi have made a very good impression on me.
Would return for the conventional experience – a proper sit down meal, a chance to test the wine menu (to it’s limits COME AT ME BRO) and a chance to quiz George about where he gets his ideas from. And maybe the chance to get more & better photos.
In the area? You Mazi it! *ducks a projectile*
14 Hillgate St, London W8 7SR
020 7229 3794