The Piale Pasha road between Phinikoudes and Mackenzy Beach which, being sandwiched between Larnaca’s two busiest areas, continues to be a hotbed for reliable restaurants and taverns of various styles.
Given the location, literally just a stone’s throw away from the sea and a prime fishing location, the overwhelming majority of establishments in the area tend to be fish taverns, so this time I opted to try a restaurant with slightly more variation.
Portokali restaurant is just at the start of the newly-renovated stretch of road and has always been popular among residents of the town but was slightly underrated in comparison to its neighbours.
Walking in, there is a contrasting warmth in the décor to its rather bland outer façade. There are traditional old oak chairs and tables, as well as a fireplace which makes for a calm atmosphere. We are instantly met with a waiter who guides us to our table and provides the menus.
The options are vast: there is anything from kleftiko to fish dishes plus a wide variety of pastas and meze so it is hard to pin down exactly this restaurant’s style.
We went for some traditional dips to begin with as well as garlic mushrooms and grilled peppers. There was abundant flavour in the mushrooms which were clearly fresh though the garlic seemed to be slightly more raw than it should have been.
For main, I was intrigued to try the Cannelloni Fiorentina, which are cannelloni stuffed with a mixture of ricotta, lots of spinach and topped with tomato sauce. It was a fine dish, seemingly made from scratch and not too rich, an interesting addition to a menu at what could be perceived as a typical Cypriot restaurant.
Others opted for the more common souvlaki as well as fish dishes like calamari and sea bream and were not disappointed at all.
There is a decent selection of local wines too, and we ordered a carafe of Ayios Onoufrios which served us well.
The overall service was good. The manners of the staff were very good, attentive to any additional things we may have asked for but also not too intrusive to come past our table every few minutes to ask if everything was ok.
Portokali may not be the most extravagant of places but it ticks the most important boxes. All the food is homemade, the service is good and the prices represent value for money.
WHERE Portokali, Piale Pasha 98, Larnaca
PRICE Pasta dishes €6-8, fish €9-13, souvlaki €5
CONTACT 24 665660