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Neon Phaliron

Glastonos 135, 25365768, LEMESOS (LIMASSOL)
Mon-Sun 10:00-24:00
Food: [rating:4] 4/5
Service: [rating:4] 4/5
Ambiance: [rating:3] 3/5
As I seem to have entered into the Limassol classics season of my blog with my review of Incontro, it is perhaps the right time to continue the trend with my review of Neon Phaliron. The only previous memory I have of this restaurant (which is also one my first memories), is from when I was around 4 years old and had visited the Neon Phaliron with my parents in an excursion from Nicosia. The reason I remember it is because I almost chocked and died on a fried calamari. It seems that my desire to try out as many as possible dishes and my greediness for food started from an early age.
The truth is that since I moved to Limassol, I have always wanted to go back to Neon Phailorn but Mr Proud Cypriot kept saying that, despite the fact that it is a really good place it is much better for a business lunch and not really appropriate for a place to go with friends. Fortunately when we were invited for a Sunday lunch by some friends he had no choice but to come with me! Upon entering the restaurant I could definitely see where Mr Proud Cypriot was coming from with his  “business lunch” label for this restaurant as it is quite a classic place and a little bit formal, but not in a bad way.
The lounge in the front of the restaurant reminded me of a cigar room. The comfortable brown leather armchairs and the small bar added to the whole classic ambiance and even though it might sound too uptight and stiff it is actually quite relaxed and pleasant. The inside space of the restaurant is more busy and perhaps a little bit more formal as there are quite a few older people and business men dining there.
The menu is complete with an international selection, but Neon Phaliron is mostly famous for its fresh fish. Since my first visit I have been 2-3 times and have, almost always, had the same selection: a fatoush salad with fresh tomatoes and lettuce and a sour lemony dressing, a very good “tahini” and “taramosalata” that, by the pale white and slightly pink colour one can tell it is homemade (as opposed to the vivid pink “taramosalata” you would get served in other seafood taverns or buy from the supermarket). From the starter selection I also like the fried cheese croquettes (a dish I never order as it reminds me of frozen food). However, these particular ones are very good and quite light with melting cheese inside and a thin crust on the outside. The grilled “halloumi” served with baby tomatoes, greens and toasted bread is also very good being quite savoury and soft. The fried chicken liver I had the last time I went was excellent and despite the fact that it was plain and came with merely a few lettuce leaves the taste was not too strong, with a little bit of lemon and salt it was the perfect nibble on.
For main course I prefer the grilled fish (which in my opinion is cooked perfectly) with a light lemon and oil sauce instead of the chicken and pork kebab. The grilled octopus and calamari is also of high standard and never seem to disappoint.
To cut the long story short, what distinguishes Neon Phaliron (and the reason it is so popular even after all these years) is its good quality and service. Whatever you have, even if the taste is not the ultimate there is, it is always fresh, hot and well-prepared. The fact that the good food can be enjoyed in a lounge on comfortable armchairs with very good wine is a major plus. It might not be the definition of modern design or the re-invention of fusion food but at least with Neon Phaliron you know what you get. All of the above doesn’t come cheap, and probably why it attracts the type of crowd you will usually see there. It just depends as to what one is prepared to pay for good and sure quality.

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