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Dia Chiros Perikli Roussounidi

Prodromou street, Strovolos, 22669666, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA)
Mon-Sat lunch & dinner, Sun lunch
Food: [rating:3] 3/5
Service: [rating:3] 3/5
Ambiance: [rating:2.5] 2.5/5
The rumours regarding Mr Rousounides taking on a new project have been verified. Although the project in question is not what I personally expected after having seen previous ventures by Mr Roussounides. This is not necessarily a bad thing, in fact change in this period is good as I see it to be an adaptation to the current economic environment.
The space itself I found to be a bit sterile and a bit too simple. It is all-white with a traditional vibe since it has the standard (and quite cute) Cypriot chairs with merely 15-20 tables. I liked the fact that it is surrounded by windows but a bit of a warmer lighting with low music could have easily made the whole ambiance a bit more cosy.
Now: the food. The menu is exactly what one would expect from Mr Roussounides: short, innovative, inviting with a traditional yet creative touch. We had to have a selection of dishes to try as much as possible.
The starters were truly delicious and very promising for what was to come. The mushroom kritharki with cheese and mushroom cappuccino was excellent served in white foam with a light and delicious sauce. The rocket, graviera cheese and pomegranate salad that I had before by Mr Roussounides’ hands was equally good. The “feta saganaki” was a true surprise as, instead of the standard feta piece served in aluminium foil there were crispy cheese balls cut in half and served in a tasty tomato sauce. Both presentation and taste were excellent and very memorable.
For main courses we had pork chop, pork cheeks, chicken with mushrooms and prawn yiouvarlakia. The pork chop, was my favourite of the four main dishes as it was tender with crispy meat around the bone and was served with sizzling hot potatoes. The pork cheeks were also very soft with a strong, (in a good way), taste of pork and were served with some potato and pumpkin mash. The chicken with wild mushrooms and mash potatoes was served in a light creamy sauce with excellent mash and was fairly good. My least favourite dish was the prawn “yiouvarlakia” with “avgolemono”. I expected the “prawn yiouvarlalia” to be the best out of the four dishes but I was very disappointed as the taste of shrimp was way too strong. We all agreed that the rest of the dishes were much better.
Even though most of the dishes were creamy, something that I am not usually a fan of, he managed to make them light enough and having used  a number of ingredients, he has achieved a very good flavour combination. Something I feel I need to point out is that most of the food was served at room temperature rather than hot, which was surprising as one would think it would be the easier thing to do compared to the flavour combination that Mr Roussounides had achieved perfectly.
For dessert we were kindly offered some traditional baklava that we ate in no time. I did expect some more creative desserts as Mr Roussounides is well known for them but I would think they are “work in progress”. I would also like to mention that, I might always complain if they wine list consists of only local wine but I have recently found a few excellent Cypriot wines and have changed my mind. Following this event, I liked the fact they had a short list of local but very good wine list as supporting our products without compensating for quality is something that we could all adopt.
To summarize the whole dinner experience, the starters were divine and three out of four main dishes were excellent, if we ignore the fact that they weren’t served sizzling hot. Nevertheless, the fact that the menu changes often is a reason to return. Mr Roussounides is, after all, one of the top chefs in our country and we trust that he will never let us down.

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