Polis Chrysochous, 99116400/99448177, PAPHOS
Food: [rating:4] 4/5
Service: [rating:4] 4/5
Ambiance: [rating:3.5] 3.5/5
Although I don’t get to go to Polis Chrysochous that often, when I do I try to make it worthwhile. This time we wanted to try something new, something traditional yet with a touch of innovation. Platea Mezedopolio was a great place to spend one out of two nights in the area. What was special about it was that it had a local vibe yet made an effort to offer something different.
The restaurant was very easy to get to as it is situated in the very centre of the village square. I liked the fact that it is small and cosy. The Cypriot tablecloths together with the wooden tables and chairs created a very taverna-like atmosphere, something appropriate for a traditional village like Polis. Although I hadn’t noticed them, I agreed with my proud Cypriot father who thought that the two olive trees in the entrance were a very good touch. All of the above, together with the very welcoming and friendly staff immediately and their positive energy made it difficult for our dinner experience to go wrong.
The restaurant offers a “meze” selection as well as an a-la-carte option. We opted for the first one. The traditional dips, olives and cheese that arrived first as well as the salad with fresh greens and balsamic vinegar were very promising.
The “halloumi” cheese with maple syrup was very tasty and had a balanced flavour of sweet and savoury, while the freshly baked cheese pies were a great addition to a “meze” selection. The lamb “sieftalia” did not disappoint us, as they were full of herbs and aromas, while the wonderfully presented chicken and pork that were marinated in yoghurt were full of flavour. My favourite dishes had to be the lamb “ttava” that was extremely tender and literally mouth watering and the beef “stifado” with delicious oven-cooked potatoes. Apart from the “meze” selection we tried the New Zealand lamb rack with hand-cut fries which, despite that we were full we devoured them. The truth is a “twist” on local dishes can usually go either way: in an effort to create something different a tasty dish can be destroyed, or it can be turned into something fantastic that you would never think it would work. Fortunately it was the latter.
Finally the fresh “anari” cream that we had as a dessert was light and refreshing, a fantastic summer dessert.
It is worth noting that the cheese, the “halloumi” and “anarokrema” were made by a lady in the village…that’s what I call home-made!
What made our experience special, apart from the fact that it was traditional yet different was that everything was fresh and served hot, something that is not so easy to find, especially at the end of July, a rather peak time for any restaurant near the coast. At the end of the day it’s true that family-run restaurants are still the best option for a great meal.