This revered Greek restaurant is back and offering traditional dishes with a modern twist.

PARTNER CONTENT: ‘C’est le printemps’ by Stacey Kent gently plays out. The chilled melody perfectly matches the spring-like weather that fills the air as families and couples gather for an evening of exquisite dining on the expansive terrace of MAZI at The St. Regis Saadiyat Island Resort, Abu Dhabi.

Known for its style and elegance, not to mention eclectic, contemporary menu, MAZI immediately places guests at the very heart of Greece with its sharing culinary tradition yet cleverly adds a refreshingly modern twist. The Greek word MAZI translates to ‘together’, hence the sharing style concept. It’s this aspect that injects a casual vibe to the fine-dining restaurant.

On being seated, the knowledgeable and friendly host serves a welcome shot of Mastiha, a passionfruit blend seasoned with mastic, a resin with a slightly pine or cedar-like flavour gathered from the mastic tree. The host remains at the table to answer any questions that you may have regarding the menu, which is in easy to navigate sections from Hors d’oeuvres, Raw, Hotplates to Pasta & Rice, Wood & Charcoal and more. There are even plenty of vegetarian and vegan dishes too.

Declaring ‘Each dish is served when it’s ready’, the menu is true to its word. First on the table is the authentic Greek dip Tarama (Taramosalata) with bottarga powder and dill oil served with thick slices of toasted bread, which makes for a flavoursome starter to whet one’s appetite.

From the ‘Raw’ part of the menu, we choose the Beef Tartare wrapped in shiso leaves, an aromatic herb from the same botanical family as mint that traditionally accompanies sushi and sashimi. In the centre is a confit egg yolk, in which to dip the delightful wraps. The Beetroot Goat Cheese Salad, with hazelnut and garlic oil that we choose to go with the Tartare bears all the hallmarks of Greece and is thick and creamy with a layer of fresh beetroot under the cheese.

The Shredded Lamb Tacos from the Hot Plate section arrive next, accompanied by a refreshing cumin yoghurt. Beautifully presented, the lamb is tender and delicious; we order more.

The Wood & Charcoal section is a new addition to the restaurant. This section of the menu is filled to the hilt with dishes such as Wild Seabass with herb lemon olive oil, Jumbo Prawns, saganaki sauce, and, among others, Octopus with olive and caper tapenade. All are tempting but we select 400 grams Rib of Beef and bone marrow jus and a side of Oven Roasted Potatoes sprinkled with fresh oregano. The beef is cooked to perfection and is both tender and flavoursome, going well with the rustic potato sides.

There is of course a complete range of world class drinks from Greek grape to its famed national drink, Ouzo, which is not for the faint of heart.

There’s barely room for dessert but since we are sharing, we order the Strained Yoghurt Mousse, decorated in fresh raspberries and strawberry crisps. It looks too pretty to eat, but once you begin, we promise that you won’t stop until the dish is emptied.

It’s the perfect ending to a spring evening on the MAZI terrace and we leave knowing we will be back for more of those tantalising flavours.

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