For a nice simple
Cyprus meal, we would (and used to) recommend the Megalos Pefkos (the Big
Tree) next to the fort, however one awful day in 2005 it disappeared.
Actually the tree was no longer there as it was blown down one winter about
20 years ago, but the food was good and wholesome and the ladies in the
kitchen worked very hard under difficult conditions to produce it. They were
refugees from Famagusta, and the powers that be decided to knock their
place down in order to better light up the fort at night. So now we have
lost a local landmark in order to see another one more clearly.
For local food we now
frequent a place which is known by Cypriots but not by tourists. And here is
the dilemma, do we tell you about it and risk turning it into yet another
tourist trap? Ok, I suppose the answer is yes as we don't think it will harm
it at all. It is usually quite busy anyway, so more business will not be
particularly noticed. Funnily enough, we discovered this little gem one
early evening, when, having been swimming at Dhekelia beach, we decided to
have fish and chips at the restaurant we have been frequenting since they
were a small hut some 25 years ago. Their success turned the early hut into
a bigger hut, then to a proper restaurant and now it boasts a covered area
by the beach with posh tables and chairs. We had swum, showered, wrapped
towels around ourselves and wended our way towards the older indoor bit, as
we thought that we would sit in there, towards the back and watch the goings
As we approached the door,
we were attacked, first by a man who said, the showers are over there,
pointing. We know, we said in unison, we have just been there. Just then a
very unpleasant woman leaped out of the door and told us to go to the
shower, nastily. The man then said ' I suppose you want to use the toilet'.
No, said I, we wanted to eat. We looked at each other as the woman was
ranting some further unpleasantness, agreed with our eyes, and left.
We giggled indignantly on
our way back to the car, well, well, we have become such a posh beach cafe
that we don't want customers in swimming costumes? We drove towards Larnaca
and thought we would try a place that we never had. A plain looking place,
across the road from the beach, but in a car park, with white plastic
tables and chairs outside. As we stopped our vehicle and got out I changed
the towel I was wearing as a skirt for a different coloured one, which
matched my full length swimsuit better. We walked across the road, and went
to the desk to get a menu to take to the car park tables. A man looked at me
and said ' I suppose you are going to change are you?' We giggled a bit and
left. Well well, beach cafe's in Larnaca just don't want to be beach cafe's
anymore do they. That must have been Gregory himself!
We drove into town
discussing where we should go next. Lets try that Greek place, I said. It is
a bit posher, has tablecloths and lamps on the tables, also is not on the
beach, but it will be interesting to see whether we are welcome or not. We
pulled up, went and chose a table and a waiter approached with a menu. Is
this ok? I asked, are we allowed to sit here? Why not! he exclaimed. Well
because we are wearing swimsuits and towels. I said. That's up to you,
you are the customer, what difference, he shrugged. We warmed to him
immediately. We felt even happier when a delightful crispy fresh salad was
produced and the best sheiftalia and chips I have had for a long time in a
seaside town. A meal for 2 of us where I needed to take half of it home as a
doggy bag came to 18 euros. To find it, you need to travel alojng Makarios
avenue towards the port. At the set of traffic lights just before the petrol
station (which is on the left corner as you are at the lights) turn left.
Opposite Lefkaritis petrol station (on your left) just before the next set
of traffic lights is the restaurant. It straddles a couple of shops on the
pavement outside in the summer.
A new restaurant in Larnaca
opened in May 2006 and was run by an Estonian family. The concept was the same
Cyprus Meze, however the dishes were different and beautifully prepared and
presented. The medal which The maitre ' Diit ' wore with pride was for an
international best BBQ award, he could be seen below serving up one of his
specialities of the house, a whole salt baked salmon.
Unfortunately he went the
way of many and didn't last the year out. This happens to a lot of people -
If you are going to start a restaurant or bar in Cyprus (or anywhere for
that matter) you must be prepared to keep at it for a couple of years. I
have seen so many give up after a few months because they didn't make a
fortune immediately. Pity because his food was good.
Click to enlarge