Friday, May 25, 2012

Restaurant Review: Kryptos by Willi

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Let me just start off by saying that I am huge fan of Chef Willi's food. I love, love, LOVE the food at Tuscana. Burgundy has some tasty stuff as well, though hot buffets are not my favorite kind of dining experience - the food tends to get kinda overcooked and dry sometimes, don't you think? So when we were invited to review the Greek-Cypriot restaurant 'Kryptos', I was quite excited. I had been there once before, and enjoyed the cold mezze buffet!

This time, our hosts had a set menu planned for us. We had unlimited access to the cold mezze buffet (yay!) and a few warm mezze dishes, and our mains and desserts had been ordered for us. I couldn't wait to get started!
I started with the cold mezze and loaded my plate with all my favorite things. By the time I walked back to my table, I felt like I was being greedy, but there was really a LOT of yummy stuff on the buffet and I just had to try them all. I loved the salads - there were so many kinds, and my favorites were some awesome pickled vegetables, a really nice potato salad and the classic Insalata Caprese. Apart from the lovely salads they had some really lovely dips - hummus, tzatziki and a few more. And they had a few varieties of cheese. You know how I love me some cheese. Very nice spread!

The warm mezze dishes were served to us at the table and I sampled a few of them.
There were quite a few vegetarian and non-vegetarian options, and I just loved the vegetarian ones! My favorite of the lot were these rolls called Bourekakia Melitzanes (don't ask me to pronounce it!), which were deep fried rolls filled with cheese and eggplant. Oh my! They were really, really yummy! The falafel was also really good.

Among the non-vegetarian ones, I liked the Lamb and Aubergine rolls. There was a fried lady finger fish, which is supposed to be eaten whole - bones and all, but personally, I felt the fish was too big and the bones were too brittle. Swallowing was a little painful for me. But then again, maybe it was just me!

The mains arrived in quick succession. There was a chicken breast dish which was flavored with garlic and mint. I found it under-seasoned and didn't enjoy it much.
Next up came an impressive and intriguing looking claypot. In it was oven baked fish cooked with potatoes and herbs. While I loved the presentation, the flavors just didn't work for me, and I felt that the fish was a little over-cooked. The pot seemed to retain a lot of heat, and I feel that the fish kept cooking long after it was taken off the stove.
The beef dish, called Fried Hamburgers, was my favorite among the non-vegetarian dishes, but to be honest it didn't blow my mind either. It was fine. And it was well-seasoned.
My favorite main of the evening turned out to be a dish called 'Papoutsakia' which was eggplant halves (are you noticing a pattern here?) stuffed with some aromatics, a bechamel sauce and some cheesy topping that was all melted and golden. I just LOVED it and helped myself to a second eggplant half. The other vegetarian dishes were also good.
Along with the mains, we were served some sides of caramelized carrots, potato wedges and garlic rice. All the sides were really tasty and the potato wedges were so incredibly crispy! I was very impressed with the sides.

Finally, we got to dessert and we were served a moist chocolate 'pie' and baklava.
The chocolate dessert tasted pretty good, though I couldn't figure out what made it a 'pie'. It had a very unusual (but not unpleasant) texture and had a deep chocolate-y flavor. I quite enjoyed it. The baklava, I didn't like much. I felt there was a LOT of the filling and not enough pastry layers. Personally, my favorite part of baklava is the crispy filo pastry, and this one just didn't have enough for me!

An interesting new thing at Kryptos is that the menu is bilingual - with all the dishes explained both in English and in the local language, Tamil. Quite unique, I must say!

Overall, I enjoyed the meal - especially the mezze dishes (hot and cold). Would I go back to Kryptos? Yes - to enjoy some awesome mezze!

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Lisa said...

Great review, Marsha!  The photos of all the dishes are making me want mezze at 2 am!  I love Greek food and those fried hamburgers are calling my name! 

AlchemyInTheKitchen said...

Let me guess - you love eggplant! Some lovely dishes in this line up. I cannot resist a plateful of mezzes. Such great food for sharing.

elisabeth@foodandthrift said...

Marsh, I loved your honest review of the foods you had. Great restaurant really sounded like an actual food critic that goes around in different restaurant, wearing a disguise...I could just picture you, LOL
All the foods you mentioned look delicious but then, you know how it should taste...especially fish in the clay pot, I do agree that it would cook longer from the heat, itself!
Thank you for your kind words on my blog re: my ktty, which is one week now that I had to put him down!

KristenB said...

That food looks so pretty.    It's so much fun to go to restaurants with you.

Lizzy Do said...

I would have wanted to sample every single salad and dip, too..I think that's what we foodies just have to do :) And it sounds there was plenty you loved enough to make a return trip!!!

Erin said...

Great review!  I appreciate that you are honest even when you don't like something in your reviews!

Peggy Garbe said...

Interesting concept on some of those dishes!  Bummer that a lot of the hot food didn't pan out - but hey, we can't all have perfect meals =)

Kitchen Belleicious said...

it looks all delicious! great review

Devaki@Weavethousandflavors said...

What a fun dinner! Even though you didn't dig everything it looks like yo had tons of fun. Isnt it fun trying foods from all over the world!

chow :) DEVAKI @ weavethousandflavors

Magic of Spice said...

Fantastic review! I love it when a place has a good selection of vegetarian dishes...looks like a great place!

Christine said...

Great review!

keralaflowerplaza said...

is really interesting…good one...

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