Mazi, translated in English as ‘together', is a joint venture between Thessaloniki-born food lover and co-founder of Baity restaurant Christina Mouratoglou and Adrien Carre who has worked in the industry for more than a decade.
The pair partnered in the creation of the concept after meeting at the London food producer Wild Harvest where Carre was working. Mouratoglou and French-born Carre, who was raised in London but developed a love of Greek food after extensive travel in the region, felt there was a gap in the market for a truly authentic Greek operator.
Time to evolve
Mouratoglou told BigHospitality her background and Carre's love of produce from Greece would help them deliver a modern and genuine concept at the 42-cover site.
"40 years ago, it was difficult if not impossible to find a good Italian restaurant in London; 20 years ago it was difficult if not impossible to find a good Spanish restaurant in London. Times change and evolve, and it is now time for the Greek cuisine in London to evolve and take traditional dishes and modernise them. It is not to say that there are no good Greek restaurants in London, but they have failed to move forward with time and enjoy the fact that it is far easier today to import fine products and ingredients from Greece than it was previously," she said.
The founders have taken on two leading Greek chefs to develop the menu for the restaurant - Athinagoras Kostakos, executive head chef at Bill and Coo Mykonos and George Venieris, executive head chef at the roof garden restaurant at the Electra Palace Hotel in Athens. The pair will work full-time on location for the first month before visiting every month to check the execution of the offering.
The restaurant menu will feature traditional produce and recipes but presented with a 'modern twist' and the founders say the concept will be launched 'with the aim of turning out-dated misconceptions of Greek cuisine on their head'.
Kostakos and Venieris have created a range of dishes for the West London restaurant including grilled beetroot salad with garlic and Greek yoghurt foam, warm feta pastry marinated in honey and black sesame and lobster with Orzo Pasta and Metaxa.
The main kitchen will be open for lunchtime and evening and will also offer a weekend brunch menu including creamed potato, eggs and sausages, and Greek yogurt with honey, nuts and fresh fruit.
The 2,831sq.ft Hillgate Street venue, chosen for the strong history between Greek people and Notting Hill, also features a 24-cover outside area in a back garden behind the main restaurant and a communal table for daytime snacking customers.
Meanwhile Mazi will also feature a deli selling delicacies such as thyme & pine wild honey from Thassos, organic saffron, white truffle oil from Pindos and a range of wines and spirits from artisan Greek producers.
The restaurant design is inspired by the 'industrial shabby chic' trend and features exposed brick work wallpaper, suspended lighting with exposed filament light bulbs and crates displaying a range of Greek produce.