Putting not only your mind but also your heart in it, is when things happen. And Kozi, South African for Constantinos, exactly did this when he opened his family restaurant, Kozi’s, in Melissia back in 2010. It was back then when I first visited what used to be only a third of today’s establishment, with a friend for a Saturday lunch. “We have to visit for its top notch South African meat and wine” he had told me. I knew something about South African wine but nothing of meat. There and then I found out! And kept on going back for comfort food, on and on again.
We started small, and in the five years since we opened, we’ve expanded twice, going from eight to 40 tables, without any advertising apart from word of mouth. Before we began, I bought 30 kilos of meat and we practiced, practiced, practiced for six months. My cooks are from Bangladesh, far from home like me, and I’ve trained them so mistakes are rare – Kozi
Originally from Johannesburg, Kozi’s father Basil had always plans to move to Athens and in 2001 it was the perfect timing. Kozi, the youngest of the four siblings, studied business in Athens and then spent 6 months in London in Chinese restaurant where the spark to open a restaurant was born. Kozi’s philosophy had always been about serving large portions, keeping a short menu and keeping prices affordable. Even during the economic crisis, Kozi’s has always had a full house despite being open from noon to midnight every single day.
The famous Chakalaka Meat is sourced from Greece and the Netherlands and the herbs from South Africa. The place has always been famous of their rib eye (pictured above) although their Chicky Chicken dish is also delicious if you wanna go for white meat. Finally, the T-bone is also good. Tip: order the BBQ wings for starter and make sure you get two portions (or more!).