Kefi Greekhouse & Ouzo Bar – Calgary, AB

UPDATE: (April 7, 2012) I just learned that Kefi Greekhouse & Ouzo Bar has closed.

Kefi is a Greek restaurant located off Macleod Trail in the space that used to be home to the Santa Fe Grill. I had read some mixed reviews about it but I wanted to check it out anyways.

Like most Greek restaurants, Kefi’s dinner menu had the typical individual entrees such as MoussakaKleftiko, and rack of lamb. In addition to these typical Greek dishes, Kefi also featured “Greek-style” or family-style dining where the food comes on platters and is shared at the table amongst the diners. With this “Greek-style” dining, the diners are able build a customized platter by choosing from a variety of meats such as Souvla (Spit Roasted Lamb), lamb chops, Paithakia Hirina (Rack of Greek-Style Pork Ribs), rotisserie chicken, and Souvlaki Skewers.

Since I had read rave reviews about the spit roasted lamb at Kefi, as our main course my friend and I decided to get a pound of the Souvla ($21 per half pound; $42 per pound). The Souvla was a big hit and easily the best roasted lamb I’ve had to date. The meat was tender, juicy, and flavourful. I also loved the side the tzatziki that came with the lamb. Without a doubt, I’d order this again on my next visit.

My friend and I also shared a side of Kefi’s Lemon Roast Potatoes ($6). These potatoes were delish!  They were perfectly al dente, well-seasoned, and flavourful. My friend who is a fiend for lemon roasted potatoes commented that these were some of the best that she’s had.

We didn’t feel like having cooked vegetables so we decided to share a salad. Since my friend is lactose intolerant, we tried to choose a salad that didn’t contain feta cheese. We decided to get a small order of the Psilokomeni salad ($7 for small; $11 for large). The Psilokomeni salad consisted of finely chopped romaine lettuce and green onions mixed with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Kalas sea salt, oregano, and lemon. When I first tasted the salad, I thought it was rather simple as it did not have a lot of contrasting flavours or textures. However, as I started eating more of it, it actually grew on me. I really liked the acidity from the balsamic vinegar and lemon juice as it acted as a nice contrast to our other dishes.

Since my friend and I love olives, we shared a side of olives ($4.25). The olives were well-marinated and flavourful but were a little on the salty side. While they were tasty, my favourite marinated olives are still the ones from Without Papers Pizza.

For dessert, our server had recommended the Ekmek ($6.25). The Ekmek or Ekmek Kadaifi is a dessert similar to bread pudding that actually originates from Turkey but has been enjoyed in Greece for quite some time. This dessert consists of a base made of ‘Kadaifi’ pastry, which basically is made from shredded phyllo dough soaked in syrup. This pastry resembles angel’s hair pasta or vermicelli as it is cut into very thin strands. The ‘Kadaifi’ base is topped with a layer of custard and then a layer of whipping cream.  I really enjoyed this dessert as I’ve never tasted anything like this before. The ‘Kadaifi’ base not only resembled vermicelli in terms of appearance, but also in terms of texture as well. This is because the syrup softens the shredded phyllo dough during the preparation. I liked that the custard and whipping cream were not too sweet to balance out the sweetness from the ‘Kadaifi’ base.

I’m really glad I decided to try Kefi Greekhouse as this actually turned out to be one of the more memorable Greek meals that I’ve had here in Calgary.  I enjoyed everything from this visit and there is nothing that I wouldn’t order again.  The spit roasted lamb was definitely the highlight of this visit.

Kefi Greekhouse & Ouzo Bar
9250 Macleod Trail SE
Calgary, AB
(403) 452-5334

http://www.kefigreekhouse.com

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