What’s on the menu at Bar Koukla, Ossington’s sleek new meze restaurant from the Mamakas team

What’s on the menu at Bar Koukla, Ossington’s sleek new meze restaurant from the Mamakas team

Name: Bar Koukla
Contact: 88 Ossington Ave., 416-901-7899, koukla.mamakas.ca, @barkoula
Neighbourhood: Trinity Bellwoods
Previously: Omaw
Owner: Thanos Tripi (Mamakas Food Group)
Chefs: Executive chef Chris Kalisperas (Mamakas Food Group) and chef de cuisine Danny Hassell (Mamakas, Parcae, Bar Buca, Au Pied de Cochon)
Accessibility: One step at the entrance; washrooms in basement down a flight of stairs

The food

Inspired by traditional Athenian meze restaurants, or mezedopoleío, the menu’s 15 sharing plates change frequently, but diners can expect updated takes on classic Greek dishes like dolmandes (made using Swiss chard instead of grape leaves), lamb ribs, calamari, and phyllo-wrapped baked feta. There’s also a raw bar, where shucks go for one buck every day between 4:30 and 6:30 p.m. with the purchase of a drink.

Marinated olives. $6.


Battered and fried zucchini chips. $8.


The current salata is composed of radish, fennel and citrus segments. $9.


House-baked sourdough koulouri is covered in sesame seeds and served with honey butter sprinkled with bee pollen. $4.


The baked phyllo-wrapped feta is topped with sesame and fresh pomegranate seeds. $10.


Grilled chicken souvla comes on a fresh pita, topped with yogurt and cucumber. $9.


The popular fish sandwich is made with trout fried in a fava bean flour batter and topped with taramosalata, between slices of toasted white bread. $14.


Cured and pickled mackerel is served with roasted Fiorina peppers. $13.


The pickled octopus is a cold dish tossed with celery, red onion and green peppers. $13.


Sheftalia is a sausage made with a mix of pork and beef. It’s served with talatouri sauce (like a minty tzatziki). $14.


Tigania (heritage pork belly) is cooked in Dijon mustard and white wine, and comes with golden potato cubes. $15.


The grilled lamb ribs are served with tzatziki. $15.


The Piato Thalassinon features a changing selection of local and imported fresh seafood. Pictured here: oysters, sea urchin, jumbo shrimp and grilled razor clams with cucumber and green apple. $45.


Here’s the raw bar, which is restocked daily.


The drinks

In addition to a selection of Greek beer, there are also low-intervention and biodynamic (or organic) Greek wines that have been chosen by sommelier Crystal Robitaille. Sticking with the theme, bar manager Scott Langley uses Greek spirits and ingredients in his house cocktails.

Here are a few bottles on the current wine list. Note: On Sunday nights all bottles are half price.


The Sumac Sour is made with Metaxa (a Greek spirit made with brandy, muscat wine and botanicals), blood orange, sumac and egg whites. $14.


The Vrómikos Martini is like a dirty martini made with caper leaf, mastiha, fortified wine and vodka. $14.


The carbonated Tzatziki mixes Malacca gin with a house-made cucumber cordial. $14.


The Hibiskos Cola is also made with tequila, hibiscus, lime and house-made pomegranate cola. $14.


Katsiki Fizz is made with tsipouro (unaged Greek brandy), bergamot, goat’s milk and soda. $14.


The space

Greek for “beautiful doll,” Koukla doesn’t take reservations, but there’s plenty of seating spread out between bar seats, two-tops and four-tops.