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Restaurant review: Kitsios, Larnaca

By Nathan Morley

There is a small taverna serving great local food perched just a stone’s throw away from the main runway at Larnaca Airport.

The Kitsios Restaurant is every bit the perfect seaside eatery, with a large terrace, simple tables and chairs, a lot of blue and white and stunning views of the beach, which itself is popular with locals, tourists and, inevitably, plane spotters.

The planes fly so close you can almost see the faces of passengers peering out of the cabin widows. And there’s plenty to spot – especially at the weekend.
Last Sunday as we dined, a Trans-Aero Boeing 747, was followed by an Aeroflot 737 and a Cyprus Airways airbus – all within the space of half an hour.

This area of Makenzie beach used to be fairly desolate, but now boasts a row of pretty good restaurants – (including Benigans), cafés and pubs – along with a huge car park, which makes life so much easier.

Anyhow, between the distractions of incoming flights, the menu provides a good selection of fresh local fare, and the side dishes are heartily recommended, with the surprisingly moreish hummus taking top marks.

So to start – the silky-smooth houmus sprinkled with paprika and olive oil – a regular portion comes with a basket filled with half a loaf of thin toasted bread and a bowl of delicious fresh green olives.

There are a couple of traditional meat and vegetarian dishes on the menu, but you’d be mad to miss out on the carefully sourced local fish and seafood, which includes White Bream, Red Mullet, Picarel, Cuttlefish and Boque.

To say that you get more than you pay for is an obscene understatement. It’s not just that the portions are large – it’s that the food is well-prepared, traditional and fresh.

As it was Easter Sunday there was plenty of buzz as customers from near and far, including several large groups of Turkish Cypriots that are fully-signed up regulars every week.

As it seemed to be the course of the day – I plunged for the tender, full-flavoured lamb souvla. It’s a good choice, but not for those wanting to keep an eye on their weight. Anyhow, the meat fell from the bone with a gentle tug of the fork; its skin was well-seasoned and crackly-crisp (€11) and is served with four large oven cooked potatoes and a small salad.

The potatoes were a little on the greasy side, but extremely tasty.

For a few euros less, you can have either pork or chicken souvla (€8).

A small wine list is buttressed by a few cocktails, and local beers and spirits. A small bottle of Thisbe will set you back €6.50, a Keo beer €2.50 and a large bottle of mineral water is just €1.75.

Desserts were equally few, but tempting – especially the platter of local fresh fruit.

Prices are very fair, service is quick, friendly and casual, but the local flavours and stunning view make this a top budget spot for lunch or dinner.

VITAL STATISTICS
SPECIALTY Cyprus favourites and fish
WHERE Kitsios Restaurant, Mackenzie Beach, Larnaca
CONTACT 24 653633
PRICESouval €8-11, wine from €6.50

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