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AJ’s

Makariou 50, 22761515, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA)
Mon-Sun 8:00-23:00
Food: [rating:3] 3/5
Service: [rating:2] 2/5
Ambiance: [rating:2.5] 2.5/5
Regardless of whether or not it is one’s kind of place, when a café/restaurant opens in a historically central location one must try it out to have an opinion on what has taken a year to come alive! The truth is I couldn’t imagine what kind of place would be appropriate for that space and, even though a café is a good idea, I can’t say that specific one is what I had in mind.
Having a long bar, high tables as well as low tables and a small veranda with sofas is theoretically ideal for a place that offers breakfast, coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks. Having windows all around is another plus to keep the ones who like to see and be seen happy, whereas the high ceilings and the tall bookcases is generally a nice in terms of design. On paper it all sounds lovely, in terms of execution, however, it didn’t turn out to be that impressive. Firstly the blue and dark red colours that prevail were a bit too old school, secondly the furniture as well as the grey/blue wooden floors were a bit too classic and all together made the whole decor look a bit too “80’s”.
The menu was international and included the usual suspects: a selection of starters and platters, salads, pasta, and main courses. Instead of the usual burger I decided to go for the chicken Tandoori, while my proud Cypriot friend went for his usual pork chop. I was surprised not to see potatoes, rice or salad on the menu as an accompaniment for my chicken. When I asked the waitress whether the “vegetables” on the menu meant a side salad or steamed/fried vegetables, she replied “whatever it says on the menu”. When I aksed if she could find out what they actually were she said “I think carrots and other similar vegetables”. That was the point when the service went down to 2/5. In these times the waiters should know the menu inside out and should also offer accommodate your preferences!
Despite the rather clueless service, the food was, to be fair, not bad, even though my chicken Tandoori came with Cypriot pita bread and some sautéed vegetables, I would have liked to have rice or potatoes as well. The proud Cypriot friend also thought his pork chop that came with a small side salad and thick fries was quite ok being tasty and tender. I didn’t think our meal of one course each and water was worth 17€ per person. The same goes for the rest of the dishes, which weren’t worth their prices. All the salads were above 11€ and the pasta prices were an average of 14€ (13€ for mushroom risotto and 19€ for scampi risotto).
All in all, I don’t think I would return despite that the food was not bad. I didn’t think the space was something unique or different and I didn’t find there was something special or interesting in terms of food. Having said that, it was quite full when I went and it looks like it has attracted its crowd. As with all the new openings I guess we should wait and see!

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