Summer is officially here and while there are a lot of seaside options to choose from, there are also restaurants, like the Syrian Club in Limassol, that offer a delightful alternative – the shade of beautiful garden dining that adds a twist.
Located in heart of the tourist area, the exact location is a tad obscure, which distances it from the hustle and bustle of the busy area without alienating it at the same time. Being a large restaurant, which caters to all needs, even at its busiest the place never seems too full.
The Syrian Club has always been close to my heart, and I have frequented this restaurant for many years now for one reason only: the great food quality at even better prices. Anything that I could say about the food would not do it justice. The consistency of quality throughout the years is what makes customers to keep coming back and it is the main reason to put this restaurant on your radar if you haven’t done so yet.
If you are new to this cuisine and bot sure which dish to go for, the best option especially in a large group is the meze, served for two, three, four or five people. More people in the group means not only more food but a larger variety. The basic meze for two consists of humus, mutabbal, mouhamarah, kishki, falafel, shandawar, fatayer bil jobn, tabouli, fatoush and the mixed grill.
The meze starts off with a variety of dips. The mutabbal consists of aubergines, tahini and yogurt, the mouhamarah is made with red peppers, walnuts and pomegranate molasses, the kishki is made from strained yogurt, wheat and walnuts. My favourite is the kishki as it offers a new twist on those yogurt dips that we all love. The combination is ideal when combined with the Lebanese pitta bread and a falafel or two.
And speaking of falafels, at the restaurant you can have just about the tastiest falafels in Limassol. Always fresh, they are a great addition to a tasty meal. Served in a small plate with dip and the fatayer bil jobn, each bite is delightful. There are places that overfry their falafels, making them a bit hard and crunchy and the consistency becomes quite thick. Combined with the correct dips felefal can make a meal of its own. Moreover the fatayer bil jobn is a mature cheese pie wrapped in pastry leaf. The pastry is always soft, and breaks apart with a simple touch, enhancing how fresh it actually is.
With the dips, you are also served two traditional salads, the tabouli and the fatoush. The fatoush is made from mixed vegetables, fried Arab pitta and pomegranate molasses, and although the fatoush is my favourite, the tabouli salad offers tasty break from the conventional. Made from parsley, tomatoes and bulgur wheat, it is the perfect salad to accompany you meal. Both salads are quite refreshing, especially when paired with the summer heat and the portions are more than enough for the amount of people sharing.
Yet the highlight of the meze is the mixed grill. The mixed grill provides a choice between kabab, the shukaf and the shish taouk. The kabab is charcoal grilled minced lamb, the shukaf consists of charcoal grilled pieces of lamb and the shish taouk is charcoal marinated grilled chicken breast. The mixed grill is served on a bed of pitta bread that soaks up all the delicious marinades (one of the best pieces of the meal if you ask me) and topped with pitta bread with a light spread of what seems to be a tomato sauce. Although I’m not the biggest fan of lamb, the dishes are cooked well enough to satisfy even the toughest customer. The shish taouk though is incredible; the chicken is always soft and tender and the marinade gives it a taste you really can’t find anywhere else.
If after all this you find yourself still in need of something more, the mouthwatering desserts are a must. I always go for the mahalepi as we call it in Cyprus, or simply a milk pudding, which is the most refreshing thing you can give to your taste buds this summer.
What makes this meal even better, is the great service the restaurant has to offer. All waiters are friendly, polite and utterly professional. They are what you would call the ‘cherry on top of your meal.’ The food always arrives promptly and with a smile. It is also worth mentioning that in addition to enjoying a delightful meal, you can enjoy narghile too.
All in all, the restaurant is a dining option that has to be experienced. Compared to other similar restaurants, the Syrian Club is the best and also, the most affordable.
SPECIALTY Syrian – Lebanese
WHERE Syrian Club, Iliados 3, Limassol
CONTACT 25 328838
PRICE Meze €16 per person