Asklipiou 35, 97890290, LEFKOSIA (NICOSIA)
Food: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
Service: [rating:3] 3/5
Ambiance: [rating:3] 3/5
I don’t know why (and apologies to the owners for this), but before visiting it I was a bit prejudiced against this place. Perhaps it’s because I heard it was a bar/restaurant that looked like a pub…a.k.a. confused-identity-kind-of-place. Surprisingly so, apart from a few specific things (like the fact that customers are allowed to smoke inside), I rather liked it.
It immediately reminded me of Henry J. Beans circa 1990’s, one of the first restaurant/pubs I had ever visited. I must have been around 11 years old and I have tagged it in my mind as somewhere fun. Perhaps it’s the dark lighting with the wooden high (and low) tables, the high ceilings, or the long bar cutting across the main restaurant space. It did have elemnts of the usual rustic/vintage and a bit kitsch décor I see everywhere, but it did have some fun elements. I liked the fact that it was busy on a weekday with both, restaurant reservations as well as people having a drink on the bar. Furthermore, from what I noticed during my visit there is a large courtyard, and in the old town that’s a great thing to have.
The menu is kind of predictable with the usual suspects: burgers, pork chops, pork souvlaki and chicken breast with herbs. The pork belly was a good addition, while the Ceasar and Rocket salads enhanced the predictability of the menu. In fact, at the beginning I felt quite disappointed with the one-of-the-same menu selection but when my pork chop arrived it was hard to stay dissatisfied. My pork chop was very tasty with a rather rich flavour which I don’t find very often. It made it rather evident that it doesn’t have to be massive to taste good. My proud Cypriot friend said that her choice (chicken breast with herbs) was equally good, although maybe not as filling.
I would have preferred to see a larger wine selection. Furthermore I think a more “Americanised” menu with baby back ribs and other food of this sort would suit this place. Finally the smoking inside really put me off, firstly because people were smoking while I was eating, and secondly because I think it’s time restaurants start respecting the no-smoking law. Although I would label it as a place where one can find good value-for-money (15euros each with wine and a starter to share), I doubt whether the non-smoking Mr Proud Cypriot or my Proud Cypriot friends who don’t smoke would want to revisit it.