The proprietors must have opened the modern Merriam-Webster, which defines the word posh as elegant and fashionable… there’s no trace of the word in the 1920 publication. The Oxford claims it is slang for high class and smart – with a reference to a Romany word for money. There is an English football team, Peterborough United, nicknamed The Posh – possibly an attempt at irony. Many years ago the site of this restaurant was occupied by an old fashioned establishment called Bagatelle, a popular lunch venue for the business community but very unlike the present enterprise.
Parking is a problem. The restaurant is at the apex of a cul-de-sac, with room for five small cars to park against the kerb-line – others must brave the underground bunker. The pedestrian approach is interesting. We were greeted by Haidar, our waiter, who showed us to a table for two in the centre of a dining room designed to capture the attention of the most fastidious member of the capital’s ‘Glitterati’.
Gold everywhere, on napkins, table-mats, table-surrounds; mirrored and quilted walls, parquet under foot, low ceilings covered in coloured soft fabrics, which the companion described as cerise; although more like crushed cardinal, I suggested. The surprise element was the gentle flickering patterns generated by an overhead device that resembled a speed camera and the strange and unfamiliar sounds of the feminine icons of modern popular music seducing the elderly diner: a reference to me not the companion. Those readers seeking novel experiences will succumb to the temptations of Posh. Imagine my shame when confronted with an electronic device hiding the menu that required the combined skills and patience of the charming Christina – our wine waitress – and the polymathic companion, who was cruelly dismissive of my incompetence. Witnessing my distress, Christina gave me a hard copy. Eureka.
The menu offers five salads, including chicken Caesar, smoked duck and seafood. Pastas and starters offering chicken livers, salmon mousse, mussels, deep fried Brie. Five platters to share, containing the usual mix of cheese, meat and preserves. Main courses gave a choice of prime beef, in many forms: fillet, rib-eye, even tartare, an unusual entry of a half-kilo t/bone veal steak, another half/kilo of Chateaubriand steak with béarnaise sauce sufficient for two. Many more cuts of pork and chicken. The fish card has three entries: Dover Sole – grilled or meuniere, Salmon fillet and giant prawns.
The companion chose the chicken livers with Madeira sauce served on a bed of creamed spinach and I selected the Brie. The livers were excellent. My brie, perfectly cooked with a surprise in the form of a brace of fresh raspberries, was spoilt by the over-cooked shredded leeks.
The main course Beef Piccata was a poor choice because although the fillet strips cooked in a creamy mustard sauce was perfect it was too much. Posh chefs believe in Cypriot portions. The restaurant has been open a week and will undoubtedly come to terms with such a delicate fish as a Dover Sole: I think The sauce was on leave, and the steamed vegetables unattractive –a pile of sliced carrots embracing slithers of courgette and resting on a mound of rice does not appeal.
A very reasonable wine list containing Cypriot and Greek choices with a smattering of French vintages. Cocktails are a feature.
There is distinct air of modern glamour about Posh. The proprietor, Nedal, a very personable and charming young man, has invested a great deal in the venture.
The staff are first rate and experienced. A little more concentration on the culinary details will help. Nedal claims the menu will change regularly.
If the fickle drones of Nicosia society are seeking a new hive in which to flourish their Brands this is the place. Geriatrics: stay at home.
WHERE Posh, 16, Kyriakou Matsi, Agios Omologites, Nicosia
WHEN Open for dinner and cocktails, Tuesday to Saturday
PRICE Not cheap