Gourri village, NICOSIA DISTRICT
Mon-Sun Lunch & Dinner
Food: [rating:3] 3/5
Service: [rating:3] 3/5
Ambiance: [rating:2.5] 2.5/5
It seems like we are on a winning streak as our mountain taverna search has been successful for the third Sunday in a row! This time the biggest hit was not the variety or the dish innovation but the value for money with a bill at record low levels. My first visit at Gourri village has turned out to be a hit.
If you live in Cyprus and have never been to Gourri don’t feel ashamed. I hadn’t even heard of it before Sunday, despite the fact that it is only 25 minutes drive from Nicosia. It is in fact a well-preserved village with quite a few local shops and restaurants that have been revamped in order to bring the village to the 21st century. Mezedokamomata, one of the 2-3 taverns of the village is right at the entrance of Gourri. It is a small family run tavern with around 15 tables which has kept simplicity as its main trait, something which is obvious from the sign outside saying “Kleftiko & Loukoumades 10€” (i.e. slow cooked lamb and fried honey balls for 10€). The ambiance is quite plain but not bad with a small porch in the front and a square room as the main restaurant. Fortunately there weren’t too many kids around so it was quiet enough but I imagine that due to its table setting it would get quite noisy if there were more families with young kids.
In actual fact, in addition to the tender, juicy and flavoursome “kleftiko” that was advertised with perfectly tasty slow-cooked potatoes, we also had the pleasure of enjoying a couple of other dishes that were served on the day. Together with the traditional salad and dips which came first, a quite good “koupepia” dish (vine leaves stuffed with minced meat) and a “pastichio” dish (oven macaroni with minced meat and béchamel) were also served. Even though the “pastichio” needed more salt (and spices in general), there is no doubt the food had a strong flavour of “home-made”. The special dish of the tavern is “tourlou tourlou” that in my mind is a little bit of everything but in fact it was a very good dish of vegetables with onions and potatoes, a The tasty roast chicken was a good addition to our meal, even though the highlight was the “kleftiko”.
Upon finishing our meal we couldn’t resist staying a bit longer in order to try the “loukoumades” as it was a house special. Despite the 30 minute wait (as I imagine they wait for the guests to finish eating before they start making them), it was a good ending to a simple and tasty meal. What was even better however was the last dish that was served to us, the bill. We knew it was cheap, but certainly 7.50€ per person including local wine and a beer was not what we expected to pay. Yes, that is right, 30€ for 4 people is what it came down to. Thinking back we were ordering half portions but what matters is that we were all fully satisfied with the quantity of our meal. When I say look at a restaurant meal in the right context, this is exactly what I mean: instead of saying “it’s expensive” or “the restaurant is fantastic” look at quality and quantity per euro paid. In the case of Mezedokamomata case value for money was sky high.
Gourri village, NICOSIA DISTRICT