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Chillies

Ippokratous 46, 22671647, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA)
Mon-Sat 12.00-15.00, 19.00-24.00,Sun 19.00-23.00
Food: [rating:3] 3/5
Service: [rating:2.5] 2.5/5
Ambiance: [rating:3] 3/5
As soon as I heard the name of the restaurant “Chillies” an image entered my mind: a green/red sign on a wooden structure on the corner of Laiki Gitonia, right on the way out of the old city. The truth it was never in my options of Mexican restaurants in Nicosia (not that the choice is big), as I always thought it was a touristy place. Its recent revamp was indeed good news, firstly because a Mexican restaurant has been added in our list of options, secondly because it looks quite good and thirdly, its time for Laiki Gitonia to become more hip and youngish!
It is impressive what small furniture changes and a minor re-decoration can do to a place. The red and blue retro chairs and the sofas that are now part of the outside sitting make a big difference in the overall look of the place, while the earth colours on the walls in combination with the cute cactus at the entrance adds to the whole Mexican feel. Fortunately we were sitting outside because from a quick glance, the inside space looked more of a place to go in the winter (think wooden features and a dim lighting).
The menu, which was printed on the paper placemat included every single Mexican dish that I have ever heard of as well as some American dishes. While waiting to order we couldn’t help but order frozen margaritas for everyone. What I didn’t expect is that they would come in a tall glass instead of the standard martini-like glass with salt surrounding the edge. Nevertheless, the taste was good being perfectly sweet and sour with a light taste of alcohol and so was the 5€ price of each margarita.
As a starter we ordered a selection of cheese nachos that came with guacamole. The nachos as such were ok as they were quite crunchy but the cheese was not entirely melted. Our second starter. the quasedillas came hot and were quite good with a soft cheese and pepper filling and a generous portion of quacamole. Out of the 5 different main courses that we ordered, I preferred my own, the chicken enchiladas with a rich but not overdone cheese and green pepper filling and were served on a bed of rice. The chiminchangas seemed inviting on the menu but I would have preferred the TGI Fridays version that were dipped in tomato sauce and cheese, rather than the fried pastry version on offer at Chillies with a pinch of tomato on the top. The fact that my proud Cypriot friend ate both of the pastries and the guacamole, however, was a good sign. The sizzling hot prawn fajitas as well as the chicken fajitas (both served with rice) were tasty and a good option if one should be craving this popular Mexican dish.
The overall verdict is that, if you want a casual and relaxed restaurant that offers something different, both in terms of food and ambiance I think Chillies is a good choice, especially if you are hungry and craving for cheese. I haven’t had a lot of Mexican food in my life apart from burrittos in London, chiminchangas at TGI Fridays and fajitas at El Pueblo (and both experiences were a long time ago!), so I don’t have a high benchmark. All I can say is that the food quality wasn’t bad, everything was served hot despite the time it took to arrive, and the taste was good. The service was friendly but slow and the value for money was also high since, for a main course each, two starters and a couple of margaritas each we paid slightly more than 20€ per person.

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