Pelendri Village, 99404348, LIMASSOL DISTRICT
Tue-Sun lunch & dinner (call beforehand)
Food: ★★★☆☆ 3/5
Service: ★★★½☆ 3.5/5
Ambiance: ★★★½☆ 3.5/5
Why is it so hard to find an “agrotouristy” tavern that has everything? When going to the mountains for lunch one has to be prepared that there will be something missing, it is just a matter of what kind of meal you would like to have and where you would like to compromise.
So what are the main Cypriot and Proud criteria for a good taverna in the mountains?

  1. Obviously good food (preferably with an edge, but otherwise a good, rich and fulfilling standard meze will do)
  2. Traditional, village-style and cosy atmosphere, without being kitch, overloaded but having a stylish and appropriate vibe (preferably with a fireplace as well as a nice patio in the summer)
  3. Good wine: why is it so difficult for tavernas to have good wine? Don’t they know that our per capita consumption has increased from 10L/year to 22L/year? Don’t they know that it contributes significantly to a pleasant meal?
  4. An edge: it can be atmosphere, it can be something extra in terms of food. This is why I like Apokryfo and Orea Ellas (Vouni). Because they have a good edge as well as a good combination of the above.

The truth is that Simposio satisfied most of the criteria, and it was a taverna which was finally not one of the same.
Even before entering the restaurant we all agreed it looked promising. It is at the end of the small village of Pelendri village in a very old house. After going through the door we all had a smile forming on our faces. This is how I imagined a proper village-style taverna: the space is tiny with merely 5 tables. There is a fireplace in the corner which definitely warms up the room. The chairs are old, the red table cloth (even though not that “chic”) goes perfectly with the vibe adding a touch of colour to the room, and the clay plates and bowls enhance the traditional feel. There is no sign of plastic anywhere!
The fact that we were greeted by the owner, Mr Nikos, made a big difference as we felt that we would be looked after. After we were taken to our table, he recommended the “meze” as well as the house wine.
What we were told after our meal was that the delicious fresh salad and the tasty greens with eggs that we were served come from his back yard. He grows seasonal vegetables for his restaurants. The “halloumi”, sausage and “lountza” platter that came after the salad and dips was beautifully presented with a very tasty and aromatic sausage, a perfectly salty and “choriatiko” halloumi and fried “lountza” that was quite good but relatively standard. The red and white mushrooms fried with onions and wine were a major highlight. To finish off we were served home made fries (a major advantage), quite tasty, small and freshly fried meatballs (which however were served in a small portion) and lamb “souvla”. The truth is that we expected a couple of more dishes, like maybe “afelia” or“kleftiko” which he is famous for or even something extra. When we politely asked Mr Nikos he apologetically said that it was his last day before a 3-week holiday. That was unfortunate for us but at least we knew that on a standard day he would offer a bigger and more diversified selection. In fact, what we later found out is that on certain days he also makes “kleftiko” as well as home made bread in wood fire. He can also make “gourounitsa” (piglet) if requested from beforehand by his guests…can’t wait to try that!
All in all Simposio ticked the ambiance, food quality and potentially the edge in terms of food since he produces most of the vegetables himself and because he has extras depending on the day (although to be honest not on the day we were there). Furthermore, price-wise it was quite decent and close to the average taverna price at 20€ each. What I didn’t like is the fact that the house wine was poured from a carton box, which I saw through the kitchen door. Apart from that we left very satisfied from our cosy village lunch, and felt like the warmth and the feel of good hospitality is what we should be getting from a restaurant of this type. I undoubtedly recommend Simposio, and I would advise whoever is going to call the day before and ask what the menu will include and even request for extras should you wish to have any.

If you go because you saw it on Cypriot and Proud don’t forget to let them know!



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(7) Readers Comments

  1. This definitely sounds like one to try on my next visit. Are you going to Fyti to review ant tavernas in future?

  2. This is a very nice article and i agree on all points. I also would like to suggest to introduce 2 more dimensions to your food assesment of a good village taverna: (a) fresh and natural ingredients. By definition being in a village implies that you can have access to more home grown vegitables, more organic and natural products along with the many seasonal foods that Cyprus has to offer. For examle if it is mushroom season in cyprus why not offer some wild mushrooms in the meze. Similar with the meat which can be locally sourced. (b) break the mold. Almost all tavernas have the same Meze give or take a few plates. The cyprus cuzine is so rich and has some many different plates to choose from (for example Poulles, Kounoupidi Kappamas and so many more). A good taverna should have 2-3 unique dishes which make the experience special. Palio Cinema is Kalopanagiotis tries to go that extra mile. I will visit Simposio and give it a try.

    • Hi Marios. I completely agree with you. It is difficult to find tavernas with an edge, or with something extra. I always mention if there is something different both in terms of ambiance and food (Palio Cinema, Orea Ellas, Apokryfo and actually Platanos in Kato Drys are also examples of tavernas that give a something extra). For your first point: unfortunately not all tavernas use fresh and natural ingredients, or even if they do they don’t taste like fresh!

  3. When I ask for a good taverna, the reply is often associated with the quantity rather than the quality of food.
    I agree that seasonal ingredients should be on offer. I would also like to see more adventurous twists to some of our traditional ingredients and dishes. Too many tavernas offer the same meze. Make more use of the “fourni”
    Why is it mainly used for kleftico ? If you look at Italy and Spain, they have traditional ovens and use them for variety of dishes.

  4. Nice to see my good friend Nicos and his wonderful taverna here. On a warm spring day with the sun filtering through from his vegetable patch brimming with fresh ingredients for your salad… there is nothing better on earth. A wonderful little gem tucked away on the outskirts of the village, but a must visit!
    Its always an idea to call before you go so Nicos has a chance to prepare something special. Gives him a chance to forage for whatever the earth can provide, and that’s something special.
    Nice article!

  5. Your 3.5/5 ratings about the Taverna are unreasonable and do not agree with your review. It definitely deserves more–it’s one of the top 5 tavernas I’d recommend in Cyprus. Most Cypriots and especially men have a tendency to favor quantity over quality of food and even if the food is excellent, they will tell you they weren’t satisfied because of that. I assume this is what’s the case here. My sister is a chef and I’m a hardcore foodie and we always find a fault in most restaurants but here the only fault is that you have to book in advance to get accepted. The rest is top notch and the dishes have that taste and freshness that only comes from a specially cared backyard.

    • Hi! Allow me to disagree and it’s definitely not because of quantity! On the contrary, I agree with you that extremes amount of food quantity is actually a bad sign. Some things were extra special, some things were average and that was our experience at Pelendri. Perhaps it’s like the other 5000 restaurants in Cyprus where you can eat magnificently on one day and not have the same experience the next time.

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