By Nan Mackenzie
If you ask locals what they really want from a restaurant they will invariably tell you ‘a place that offers the kind of food ‘real’ people want to eat, dishes that are classy and intense without being ‘up themselves’, a place that boasts lots of regulars, with just enough tables to make it work, where it’s more like eating at a friend’s kitchen table than at some stuffy joint. Most are describing a cosy neighbourhood place not unlike Sunset Breeze in Kissonerga where you can just pop in for a drink and a snack and not sense the owners ‘ire’ as you order a sole club sandwich and glass of beer rather than the perfectly prepared fresh rib eye steak or grilled duck breast with garlic mayo.
This is the sort of place that has inherent class, a good-taste place in every sense of the word for here they offer excellent comfort food, a place where the owners want you to eat well with the minimum of fuss and much of that applies to the food too. It’s all top quality ingredients to which the best things have been done.
It’s also food made by people who really like to eat, and the place itself resonates with style, class and comfort, characteristics one usually only associates with those establishments dedicated to not so much emptying your wallet as pillaging it.
Here owners Alex and Maria Dobre have managed to create an oasis of hospitality which stoutly belies their original career callings, for these are certified clever folk with Alex boasting a masters degree from Oxford to prove it. He and partner Maria were all set to take on the world of politics and historical studies when Maria decided she wanted to satisfy her dream of completing a challenging nine-month cookery course at the London Cordon Blue school after graduating from Oxford.
Now their energies are entirely focused on making their restaurant one of the best examples of a true neighbourhood eatery, where the tables are comfortably set out, the lighting is moody without making you fear you are suffering from macular degeneration, friendly waitresses carry dishes, smile and say welcoming things and then sod off again. That’s how simple it is, and it works in that understated way that makes you push away a plate licked back to the glaze with a sense of loss that it’s all gone after tasting Chef Catalin’s magnificent garlic sauce with king prawns.
The comfort food continues with their autumn menu of lamb shank with crushed potatoes, spare ribs, and mixed kebab, there is pasta, homemade pizza, along with seven main fish dishes all of which are sensitively cooked. Their Feta and Tomato tartlet is proof positive that Maria came top in the Cordon bleu pastry classes, as this dish alone would suffice as a perfect lunch when accompanied with salad and a glass of Tsangarides rosé. As for the puddings, choose from a classic Victoria sponge cake, Lemon tart with Italian meringue, and death by chocolate brownies with homemade ice cream.
Oh! It’s a great neighbourhood restaurant, the thing is I might just have to move home, so it ends up as mine.
SPECIALTY Mediterranean comfort food
WHERE Sunset Breeze, 35 Mosfilion street ( road down to Cynthiana Beach Hotel), Paphos
PRICE from €8 upwards as there are snacks plus lunch and dinner dishes.
CONTACT 26 940791, 96 239029 or 96 239030