“The best way to learn a culture is by its food.”
I don’t know who said this, but I definitely subscribe to it, making sure that when I travel, I enjoy the local cuisine as much as possible. But after several days of authentic Greek cuisine, my cousin E and I were ready for something slightly different — Greek cuisine with a twist, at Kokoumavlos. The restaurant was highly recommended, by friends who’d visited Santorini and several “best of” lists.
The restaurant is perched on a cliff, offering a fantastic view of the volcano and the caldera. The entrance is rather unassuming, just a wooden door. Beyond, is a terrace and an intimate restaurant painted in pink and cream with large mirrors and framed photos. It’s charming and rather old-fashioned, but the menu decidedly is not.
I went with the prix fixe menu and got 2 appetizers. I started off with sea bass tartare, above, with white bean velouté sauce and shots of celery foam and grey mullet roe. Yes, you read that right. Shots. As in I gulped those down. Very interesting. The celery one was refreshing, while the mullet roe was actually creamy. I also got the grilled shrimp, below, with nectarine carpaccio, coconut milk and yuzu sauce with red curry foam.
Ateng E ordered the scampi with white chocolate sauce, ginger and lime, golden herring caviar and green apple carpaccio. Hmmm, you can’t really see the shrimp but it’s under the apples.
For the main course, I ordered mini duck burgers, with grilled foie gras, truffle mustard, strawberry ketchup, green salad with Greek candies called loukoumia. The sun began to set when we got to the entrees so the photos are a bit grainy. But you can still see the details of these delectable burgers.
Ateng E ordered the sea bass, though at first I believe she was looking at the steak. I really enjoyed the seafood in Greece; it was fresh and always cooked to perfection — from the tavernas to fine-dining restaurants such as Koukoumavlos. I’ll do another post soon about this taverna in Mykonos where the owner literally called down to the fishermen for our lunch.
I got a bit adventurous with my dessert, ordering the white eggplant tiramisu. And now I’m imagining you making a face, LOL! It was really creamy and yummy with a hint of smokiness you’d expect from eggplant. It was served on a base of almond praline, vintage sherry mousse, dark chocolate sauce with fresh lemon thyme.
Ateng E went with the tried and true dark chocolate mousse flavored with Vinsanto with black olive and cocoa paste, mango sauce and a selection of rock salts.
Everything was amazing and different from anything we’ve had in the past. The servers were attentive and informative, willing to spend time to explain items on the menu. The views of the sunset, the volcano, the caldera, the island were breathtaking. If I ever go back to Santorini, I think I’ll visit Koukoumavlos again.