Cyprus Mail
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Restaurant review: Maqam Al-Sultan, Larnaca

By Nathan Morley

The promenade in Larnaca always seems to be buzzing with people and I just love the atmosphere, especially now as the summer approaches and the evenings are warmer and brighter.

This is a great place for families, couples and friends to enjoy the buzzing café and restaurant scene.

The main street features dozens of fish taverns, steak houses, fast food joints and pub grub.

However, the next time you are there, it’s worth making a beeline for a little Lebanese run restaurant called Maqam Al-Sultan, which is located opposite the old fort.

This was a really brilliant little discovery, even though this area is a melting pot of the Middle East diaspora.

From the outside the restaurant looks like nothing special – there is a large lounge room (where smoking is permitted), then a much darker inner dining room.

The menu is full of homely Middle Eastern dishes alive with colour and texture.

Main features include Daoud Basha, the delicious Lebanese lamb meat balls cooked in tomato sauce and served with rice or Kafta Khush-Khash, which is two skewers of charcoal-grilled minced lamb with parsley, garlic and tomato puree, served on a bed of spicy sauce.

Other familiar favourites include Shawarma lamb and chicken and the variety of little mezze dishes to supplement the hearty mains is fresh, balanced, and well-priced. You can eat very well here for under €20 a head.

The mouth- watering Hummus Shawarma is a favourite snack – and at €6.75 is a must, just for the pita it was served in which was big, warm, and thin — perfect.

Last week, I was there for lunch with a friend and took the lunch special, the ‘Meat Feast’ – it’s basically a mixed grill. You’ll get five pieces of charcoal-grilled marinated chicken, five lamb pieces, rice, dips and pitta all for €12.50. This comes with cooked tomato, a giant mushroom, peppers and hummus also.

A ‘vegetarian feast’ is offered at the same price. The lunch deal is offered Monday to Sunday from 12pm – 3pm.

For deserts, there was no real contest – it had to be Baklava, the traditional Lebanese pastries filled with nuts. If that is too sweet try the Al-Sultan Muhalabiyeh – a Lebanese milk pudding flavoured with rose water and crushed pistachios.

An espresso will set you back €2.50, a small Keo beer €2 and with the lunch offer one some drink is free.

The reality is that this is very nice, but not especially unusual Middle Eastern cooking. The service from the young waitresses was charming and very quick.

VITAL STATISTICS
SPECIALTY Lebanese
WHERE Maqam Al-Sultan, Agkiras 7, Phoinikoudes Beach, Larnaca
CONTACT 24 400665
PRICE Eat well for under €20

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