Ledras 51, 22270777, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA)
Food: [rating:3] 3/5
Service: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
Ambiance: [rating:4] 4/5
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How can Cypriot and Proud claim they are part of everything that is hot in Cyprus and not review Café Mercedes? We might have taken some time as summer holidays were in the way but we have made it. I am sure some of the other hip and happening, hot spots in Nicosia are complaining as this brand new bar/restaurant has probably stolen their crowd.
It is hard to imagine that this large outside patio that reminds me of a house courtyard surrounded by trees is only a few meters away from the “green line”. The inside space is fairly large as well, including high tables for drinks, sofas for relaxing and dining tables for dinner. The elegant atmosphere, the open air space and the buzz of a hip bar/restaurant strongly remind me of a typical Athens venue (in a good way).
The type of food was not far from what we expected, fitting perfectly with the whole concept. The menu consisted of a selection of pasta, salads, meat and fish with an international and creative touch, which fortunately did not destroy the food (as it often happens in Cyprus). For starters we shared the octopus in a sort of “kataifi” pastry and feta cream which was surprisingly tasty (and one of the highlights), black ravioli with white fish which was very good, and a goats cheese salad which was nothing special and quite standard, also including the pomegranate dressing that Cypriots seem to love.
For main course we ordered 4 different dishes which worked really well for me as it increased my tasting sample. The salmon that my proud Cypriot friend ordered was fairly ok but how memorable can a salmon fillet be? The pork fillets with a mustard sauce were also tasty, even though a bit too creamy for my taste, my beefburger (excluding the caramelised onions), was very good, perfectly thick with an extra touch added by the brie cheese on top. I particularly liked my fries as well which, even though came in a small portion were sort of like wedges and were very hot and quite salty. The highlight of our dinner was probably the veal cutlet (more like a pork chop) that was excellent, being very tender with a sauce that looked heavy but in reality added a very nice touch to the whole dish.
The desserts looked extremely inviting so it was hard to avoid them. We shared cardamom pannacotta with three different sauces, a very large millefeuille and a crème brulee with lavender. They were all a nice try, without being exceptional but they definitely got full marks on for presentation!
For 50€ each we definitely left satisfied, and even though it might not have been the dinner of a lifetime, the combination of the beautiful space, the good food and the buzzy vibe was excellent. One thing worth mentioning is that, even though we heard extremely bad things about the service at Café Mercedes we actually had a very good experience and we hope it stays this way (in all aspects!).