By Eleni Messiou
Yialos in Greek means a bay, or the seashore and how fitting a name for this charming local restaurant, spectacularly facing the picturesque bay at Pissouri.
The first thing that strikes you as you walk up the staircase and onto the airy first floor veranda facing the sea, is how unpretentious the place is. The furnishings are traditional and the veranda is softly lit at night with small lanterns. The nostalgic 1940’s Greek music playing in the background creates the perfect backdrop for a relaxing, enjoyable evening.
Yialos really is a traditional Cyprus taverna and has not gone to any lengths to present itself as something more than this. The menu offers a wide range of dishes that take advantage of locally sourced, fresh ingredients ranging from fish, a full range of meats, pulses and vegetables and a refreshing range of seasonal fruits. The restaurant even sports its own vegetable patch that produces many of the vegetables and fruit on offer.
The traditional values of hospitality and good quality honest food, are immediately apparent when you meet owners Demetris and Aristos. They’ve been working the restaurant since 1987 and their pride and energy on the job is undiminished. They could be seen rushing up and down between kitchen and clients, always available and willing to assist and converse with the clientele. We loved that feeling of the social, relaxed service and by this time the wonderful smells coming out from the kitchen had worked on the appetite.
Simple things well done are almost always what people enjoy most. The home made dips of tarama and tahini accompanied by char grilled village bread were almost divine and really fronted what turned out to be a wonderful meal of excellently executed local dishes that included fried and grilled fish, prawn saganaki, mouth watering kleftiko, tavas and a range of other dishes that kept coming. The chips that were hand cut and freshly fried to a golden crisp – always a sign of a diligent and proud restaurant owner. The salad was made from freshly picked tomatoes and cucumbers from the owners’ nearby veg patch.
If you are not in the mood for a meze the menu features a decent variety of hot and cold starters ranging from €5-8, a large variety of fresh fish such as red mullet, snapper, sardines, squid and octopus (€9-€15), Cyprus specialties such as tavas, mousaka and dolmades (€10-12) and a variety of grilled meats (€9-13). To our pleasant surprise the menu even hosted a decent vegetarian section as well as children’s choices.
Yialos really is a pearl well worth making the effort to visit. The menu held no real surprises but almost everything we tried tasted great. Add to this the friendly and welcoming attitude of the staff, the airy location, the sound of the sea and you have a great prospect for a wonderful lunch or dinner.
The restaurant is open both for lunch and dinner from 10am until late in the night. Off-season pricing is already in place to offer more value to what was already great value for money.
Tip: Call ahead of time and book table number 12 at the edge of the veranda, you will probably not want to get up for quite a few hours. Should you have a few too many to drink, there are also some apartments for rent right below the restaurant.
SPECIALTY Local cuisine
WHERE Yialos Restaurant, Ithakis 1,Pissouri
CONTACT 25 221747, 99 467117, 99 473141, [email protected]