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Gastra

Panayioti Symeou 5-6, 25108718, LEMESOS (LIMASSOL)
Mon-Sat lunch, Wed-Sat dinner
Food: [rating:3] 3/5
Service: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
Ambiance: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
It has been a while since I have been pleasantly surprised by a restaurant, and in particular I did not expect to be raving about a modern “magirio”. The reason being that all modern “magiria” that I have recently visited simply did Gastra restaurant Limassolnot manage to create a place that is of equal value to a traditional “magirio”. In other words, why would I leave my favourite Vasiliki, or Siantris to go to a place that might look a bit better but has similar dishes of lower quality, and doesn’t really distinguish itself in any way.
Gastra on the other hand, has managed to outshine the rest of the modern “magiria”. It serves traditional, home-cooked dishes in a carefully decorated place serves extra (for free?) gourmet nibbles before the food is served and one immediately picks up on the attention to detail which I noticed a few times during our lunch. All of the above are very good reasons to visit Gastra (even if you have to sacrifice a visit at one of your favourite traditional “magiria”).
Gastra is central and easily accessible. It is located right behind the Enaerios area and so you don’t need to get stuck in the main street traffic. The restaurant itself is rather modern with small traditional touches such as old school Gastra restaurant Limassolwoven chairs which have been painted green, all in all it’s a rather pleasant environment. The menu includes a few home-cooked dishes of the day such as peas with tomato sauce and pork, pulses and “stifado”, as well as grilled meat like pork chops and lamb chops.
One of the things that immediately stands out, in my opinion, was the fact that before our main dish we were served traditional Cypriot bread with olive oil and two dips, one of which was a tasty sweet pepper dip- all presented beautifully in mini clay pots.
In terms of our main courses, I had the peas with pork which was also served in a clay pot and was very good indeed. What was even better for me (because I am rather indecisive) was that the kind waiter offered to bring be half a portion of green peas and have a portion of chickpeas with spinach. Gastra restaurant LimassolMy proud Cypriot friend’s beef “stifado” was tender and flavoursome, while our Greek salad (which we shared) was fresh and came at quite a generous portion.
The cherry on the cake (literally), however, was what came after: two pretty, mini jars with a Lebanese custard cream and traditional sweetened cherry on top. Taste? Excellent.
All in all 30 euros for what we had was not so bad given that we shared a salad and each had an orange juice and water as well. Especially if you also take into account the ambiance factor!

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