“English breakfast, Cyprus style” is the creation of food-and-wine-writer turned restaurateur, Bill Warry. Bill took up the challenge this August 2019 of turning round the Kafestiatorion Lagias which had remained closed for the past two or three years after the previous tenant-manager found it impossible to make ends meet.
Because, Lageia village has less than thirty inhabitants, nobody felt confident enough to put themselves forward to run the establishment during those years. However, Bill (Vassilis, as he is usually known to the Greeks), felt it had potential, specially as it overlooks an important road to the mountain villages. He had in the past noticed in Cyprus how a number of restaurants, situated in the middle of nowhere, seemed to be packed with happy eaters. The quality of their food simply drew people from miles around.
Bill’s most popular dish is, undoubtedly, his own version of English Breakfast. His dual ethnicity (English and Greek) came into play in the creation of his “English Breakfast – Cyprus style.” It consists of: 2 slices of bacon, 2 fried eggs, a Cyprus sausage, a slice of halloumi, mushroom (when available), tomato (either cooked or uncooked), toast and a cup of tea or coffee. Baked beans are available if desired.
Bill is very particular about using separate pans for most of the ingredients of his breakfast. The ‘loukanico’ or Cyprus sausage must be cooked completely on its own, otherwise the flavours overrun those of other ingredients. The bacon and the mushrooms can be cooked together, in fact they are best cooked together; the flavour of the mushrooms is enhanced. It is ok to cook the tomatoes in the same pan also, though the Cypriots generally prefer their tomatoes uncooked. The halloumi should be fried on its own and so should the eggs.
The bacon pan needs hardly any oil, the halloumi pan even less. The egg pan, on the other hand, needs quite a lot of oil and should have a lid. The lid brings about a poaching effect which ensures that the egg white is cooked through while leaving the yolk soft. Having a relatively large amount of oil ensures that the eggs stay white on the underside.
Bill’s dual ethnicity and familiarity with both Greek and British cultures gives him a built-in awareness of the slightly different culinary tastes of the Cypriots and British. The Cypriots just love the village style smoked sausages prepared with wine. The British, on the other hand, generally prefer the more mildly-flavoured English sausage. Bill keeps a stock of these in the freezer for expats and visiting Brits. The Cypriots tend to prefer streaky bacon and the British tend to prefer back bacon. The British would not dream of eating their breakfast tomatoes uncooked. The Cypriots usually like theirs uncooked. Bill generally enhances this option with the addition of some cut cucumber and a few olives. He is anxious that all customers enjoy this English Breakfast in Cyprus to their perfect liking.
A new derivative of “English Breakfast – Cyprus style” is “Egg and Bacon sandwich – Cyprus style”. It consists of two fried eggs and bacon in a “franzola”, that Cyprus bread specially baked to create ginormous sandwiches.
If you are on Facebook, you can read some of the enthusiastic comments that people have made about Bill’s “English Breakfast – Cyprus style”.
Kafestiatorion Lagias is the page for which to search (or in Greek, Καφεστιατόριον Λάγιας). https://www.facebook.com/KafestiatorionLagias/