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Tsipouradiko sti Stoa

Platia Dimarchias, 22875822, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA)
Mon-Sun 12:00-23:00
Food: [rating:3] 3/5
Service: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
Ambiance: [rating:2.5] 2.5/5
Instead of going for our standard Sunday lunch in the Cyprus villages, a habit that Mr Proud Cypriot and I seem to have adopted, we thought to enjoy last Sunday’s lunch locally and spend a more relaxing day rather than spend it driving around Cyprus. Fortunately finding a restaurant in the city that is open on Sundays (and which is not Pizza Hut or McDonalds) is a much easier task nowadays than it was a few years ago. The truth is that our meal at the recently open restaurant in the old city, Tsipouradiko, provided a decent choice for a traditional and quiet meal. Even though it wasn’t a once-in-a-lifetime experience it offered us a good value for money meal with tasty Greek creations.
The décor is simple, clean and tidy but nothing special. I also thought it is better once you are inside as from the outside it looks more crowded and noisy than it really is. The menu includes a long list of Greek traditional dishes and is quite inviting. What attracted my attention was the selection of starters like zucchini balls, “ntomatokeftedes” (fried tomato balls), “bouyiourdi” (fetta cheese with tomato) and stuffed “mpifteki” (Greek beef burger). I didn’t like the fact that they have a large selection of both fish and meat, as I think it is very difficult to be very good in cooking both and to have equally fresh products in both categories. In any case on Sunday, we focused on a selection of meat dishes.
Our Greek salad was of a respectable size and the vegetables were surprisingly fresh and tasty, especially the tomatoes that are not so easy to find during winter season. I was also particularly happy that they have “fava” (bean dip) that I love which wasn’t bad at all and was in fact better than our garlic dip which mr Proud Cypriot had ordered and which in my opinion had way too many walnuts in it: although adding walnuts sounds good, it didn’t quite work. Our little “gavros” fish with oil and vinegar (“ladolemono”), was a fantastic nibble with our wine. The aromatic “drunken meatballs” with ouzo that came after were quite tasty as well.
Before I saw the dishes, I thought that 3€ was an extremely low price for a dish of meatballs but when I saw the portion I thought that they should have priced them at 5€ and serve a proper meatball starter as they do in other tavernas. Our chicken and pork kebab each of which was recommended by our waiter were quite tender and easy to eat but not extremely memorable. What was in fact memorable was the, minced garlic beef on a stick topped with yoghurt and tomato sauce, served on soft and moist Greek pitta. Together with the “fava”, the “yiaourtlou” was my favourite dish and, even though it took me a day to digest it, I insist it was very good.
Things to note about Tsipouradiko is that, if you are looking for fantastic Greek food and don’t want to take a risk go to Loxantra. If you are looking for something new, a more “open” and bright space that also has nice live music try Tsipouradiko. Secondly be careful because the prices might seem extremely low, but the portions are small as well so you might need to order more than what you usually do. Had I known how small the portions were I probably would have ordered more.
All in all it was worth trying, we left satisfied but not surprised by what we were offered, it was a good and happy meal at reasonable prices.

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