By Nan Mackenzie
Friends said I would really like Muse Restaurant, and they were right. It’s a very likeable place run by Lakis and his sons Argyris and Petros situated in the old part of Paphos, just behind the Bishopric and Icon Museum but, unlike other eateries in this area with its very narrow streets Muse offers a generous private car park, which is also a plus. Close to the entrance there is a chic bar where you can also eat, a covered patio area extends out, then from that the whole area opens up to deliver a rather glorious open dining space where in summer a bar is also in operation.
The biggest selling point however has to be the utterly unique view as the restaurant sits atop a cliff edge and enjoys a genuine panoramic view from Paphos airport up to Kissonerga and Chlorakas and come dusk it’s probably one of the very best places to watch the sun set whilst enjoying a sundowner.
The name also works perfectly as the dictionary offers two definitions: one from the Greek which means to be absorbed in one’s thoughts or to meditate, and to assist that meditation there is zero music to clog the brain, nor the dominating presence of a wide screen TV. The second meaning of Muse comes from Medieval Latin meaning ‘snout’ or nose. So, translated into modern speak that would read ‘a cool place to go and get your nose in the food trough.’
Muse offers an all day menu with breakfast until noon, then lunch, and everything else from cocktails, to snacks and dinner until closing time. In an age when getting a good steak generally involves selling your children on the open market to pay for it, the grilled fillet steak with rice or potatoes and grilled veggies plus a choice of sauce is a very generous and an excellent value for money (€27.50). It was a hunk of beef indeed, one that was also tender, tasted properly of animal, and even Barrie the photographer who has a penchant for all things carnivore couldn’t finish it such was the size of the portion.
I enjoyed the yogurt marinated chicken kebab (€11.80) served with potatoes, again perfectly cooked so that it was still juicy and came with a generous side salad and bowl of tzatziki.
Lakis told me these were two of the most popular dishes on the menu, closely followed by a good range of salads (from €7.50) from seafood, to Caesar, plus a really lovely fig and goat cheese salad with Rucola bites. There are also four pasta dishes, not forgetting the very popular homemade burgers and a grilled steak sandwich with melted cheese mayo and tomatoes which after seeing us browse the menu the couple at the table next door then felt moved to inform us that they come every week just for this perfect lunchtime snack.
Not everyone is as boring or predictable as this couple and we watched as all around filled plates were flying out and empty ones flying in by waiting staff who must have the strongest forearms in Paphos such is the weight of the food on each. Platters to share have also proved a big hit with customers – there’s a cheese one, also a pure fruit selection, then a Quesadilla chicken platter with tortillas cheese and sour cream, plus Nachos supreme with melted cheese guacamole and sour cream.
Mercifully there’s no concept to the menu, it’s a clear clean combination of Brassiere dishes mixed with comfort food made by people in the kitchen who can cook and are happy doing so from their own natural repertoire of dishes. A lovely venue to enjoy with friends, and ideal if you have guests from abroad as the view is probably the very best in Cyprus at least from a restaurant perspective, and come nightfall there is a very definite air of both romance, also meditation and not forgetting that ‘snout in trough moment’.
WHERE Muse, Mousallas Paphos
CONTACT 26 941951
WHEN Open seven days a week all day.
PRICE Starters from €6.20, mains from €8.50