Everyone I know has been delighted with my recommendations, but I have to say that these are my own personal evaluations. Taste is subjective. In Greek we have a saying “Peri Orexeos oudis logos” which is pretty similar in essence to the English “Everyone to his own taste”. Here then is my take on the subject.
- BEST LAMB CHOPS. Rack of Lamb at “La Cultura del Gusto” in Pernera at 7 Ephestus. Superb quality meat superbly cooked. The establishment has a not huge, but nonetheless interesting wine list. I think in the hot weather you need to go for a nice chilled White or Rosé. In White they have an interesting blend from Greece of Assyrtiko and Sauvignon Blanc. In Rosé I would go for their semi-dry from Kiperountas. Great lamb chops are also to be found at the Kamasias Taverna near the Deryneia roundabout at Paralimni, 23 Daidalou. Good Selection of wines from Cyprus and Greece as well as other countries.
- BEST FISH. Kalamies overlooking Kalamies Bay in Pernera. Often have superbly prepared grilled Octopus. All -round great fish restaurant. I love the way you can go with the waiter to the fish cabinet and choose your fish. Superb setting. Good wine list including the important Cyprus wines and some from Greece and other countries. Isaac Restaurant by the harbour car park in Ayia Napa is my other favourite fish restaurant. In the summer there is a performance of Greek dancing on Wednesday evenings.
- BEST STEAK. For top quality meat prepared by excellent chef, go to Blueberries in Ayia Napa. You can choose from Peppered Steak, Steak Dianne, Steak with Mushroom sauce, Steak in Marsala Wine and many others including Special Secret Recipe Steak. The restaurant is tucked away in the back streets off the main Nissi Avenue, but worth finding. They are at Yuri Gagarin St..
- BEST CYPRUS MEZE. Difficult this, because there are so many good mezes around. I must include the Kota Greek Souvlaki in Ayia Napa (near the Monastery) because of those extra touches that Chris Themitocles, the owner puts into his dishes, but Mousicos and the Ploumin, both in Sotira, are also superb. Mousicos has its own sheep farm and makes an exceptional warm halloumi starter. Ploumin has a weekly music night. At Kota if you don’t feel up to a full-blown Meze you can opt for a pretty substantial meat platter as an alternative.
- BEST KLEFTIKO. Costaris restaurant in Deryneia is probably the most famous in the area for Kleftiko, but I personally think Mousicos and Ploumin in Sotira have the edge. And we must not forget the superb Kleftiko prepared by the Kamasias Taverna mentioned earlier for their lamb chops.
- BEST SUNDAY CARVERY. There are many British expats in the Protaras area. Both residents and holiday makers – and also holidaymakers who come to visit the residents. It is not surprising that the British Sunday Carvery has become quite popular here. I hear good reports of a number of Sunday Carveries in Kaparis and Deryneia. I only have experience of the Kama Lifestyle in Pernera, but I can’t imagine anyone bettering that. And there’s a nice swimming pool if one wants to cool down from the summer heat!
If readers feel that I have missed an establishment that is too good to be left out from this article, please do message me on the FB Cyprus Alive Page or on my Bill Warry’s Food Ideas Page or simply comment on twitter or on any of my FB posts containing a link to this article. You may also know of other best dishes in the area. Moussaka for example. One of the best Moussakas that I have eaten is at the Seven Hills restaurant in Agros, but that is not exactly in this area. The all-time best Tavas dish that I have eaten is at a small restaurant near Aphrodite Hills in Paphos. If you know of local excellence do tell me. Will be happy to write an update in the not-too-distant future.
So my summary of Protaras area best bytes for now:
- Best Lamb Chops/Rack of Lamb – Cultura del Gusto in Pernera and Kamasia in Paralimni
- Best Fish – Kalamies in Pernera, Isaac in Ayia Napa
- Best Steak – Blueberries in Ayia Napa
- Best Meze – Kota Greek Souvlaki Ayia Napa plus Mousicos and Plouumin in Sotira
- Best Kleftiko – Costaris in Deryneia, Mousicos and Ploumin in Sotira , Kamasias in Paralimni
- Best Sunday Carvery – Kama Lifestyle.