281 Kent St, Ottawa – Website
Date of Visit: April, 2018
I visited Mystiko on a Tuesday afternoon after reading the menu on their website. It is a very pleasant little place, seating about 100 or so, and, though a little worn, it is nicely appointed and very comfy in a rather dark and cozy sort of way…
The menu is generally Greek, with quite a few nice ‘small plate’, Meze style offerings and there are a few classic Greek main dishes, such as Moussaka. They have a grill, which can be viewed from the seating area, and there is a large selection of grilled dishes, including steaks. Surprisingly, there are only a couple of lamb selections, although a mixed platter allows one to receive lamb, pork, chicken and Loukaniko sausage. Of note, they have a pretty decent beverage selection with quite a few Greek wines you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.
I arrived after the usual lunchtime, and the place was quite empty, but the service was exceptionally friendly and the dishes I had were all very good.
Dolamades Gilantzi – This was herbed rice wrapped in grape leaves. I was actually expecting a hot, or at least warm, dish, but this was served cold. That didn’t, however, detract from my overall enjoyment, by any means. The rice was quite tightly wrapped leaving a texture similar to a nigari sushi, and the grape leaves were nicely tender. The seasoning was very light, leaving a definite herb taste, but not enough to really identify any particular type. The rolls were drizzled with good quality olive oil, and lemon came on the side. I found that just the merest drop of lemon juice was enough here and, all in all I thought this very nice and rated it at 4 out of 5.
Mini Souvlaki of Pork – The small plate menu allows you to choose skewers of either beef, or pork. I was a little surprised (and disappointed) that lamb was not an option, although lamb skewers are available as a main course, but pork suited me just fine. The meat was nicely grilled to juicy tenderness, with some nice char effect, and the herb seasoning, as best as I could tell was rosemary and oregano. This was delicious, and I could have handled a couple more skewers quite easily. I gave this dish 4 out of 5.
Grilled Octopus – This was the star of the meal for me. The menu indicated that marinated octopus was used but gave no further details and I wasn’t able to detect anything in particular. The large, whole tentacle was very well grilled, being chewy, but not tough, at the thick end, and very sweetly tender at the tip. It had a little crispiness to the skin, here and there, and this was one of the nicer grilled octopus dishes I have had. I gave it an unstinting 5 out of 5.
Mystiko is a nice friendly sort of place and the food very good. I enjoyed my time here and give it an overall rating of 4 out of 5.