By Andreas Vou
Just opposite the American Academy High School lies a spot which has become part of the Larnaca furniture. While it does not have quite the over a century old history that the famous English private school has, it is still home to a handful of restaurants hat have survived the test of time in a town which is driven by new trends.
Viale is among these and serves as a café and restaurant throughout the day with a vibrant atmosphere and a high turnover of people walking in and out of its doors. A drawback for some is the noise generated from the busy main road which runs parallel to the establishment, not to mention the loud conversations within the restaurant itself. Some are against it while for others it is a pleasant contrast to other more places – it is more of a matter of preference.
There is a vast outdoor seating area for those who enjoy the fresh air, even though there is hardly any breeze this time of the year. Even though it will be a few months yet before they will be needed, large outdoor heaters are also dotted around the outdoor space in the colder months of the year. For now though, sitting inside is certainly the most comfortable setting and, needless to say, it is fully air-conditioned.
However good or bad the service or décor, if the food is good then that is all one really remembers from a restaurant. In Viale’s case, there are more than a few solid options to leave you going home satisfied.
To start with, it is very well known in town for its salads, mainly as they are double the size of what one would find in any other restaurant. To add to the quantity, there is quality too – seafood salads are brimming with all the necessary ingredients, not just a token few bits of salmon and prawn.
For a real filling main course, I would certainly recommend the king prawns served in a rich ouzo sauce over a generous helping of rice – a unique offering with an incredible taste. Another winner is the pork tenderloin which comes with roasted apples topped with a flavourful commandaria sauce.
One factor which often proves to be a deterrent for locals is the price; while the majority of its meals are worth paying slightly more than what one would be accustomed to, there are others which are unnecessarily high. Simple pasta dishes cost in the region of €12 to 15 while other dishes such as the seafood mix costs in excess of the €20 mark.
Another problem often encountered is the inconsistency in its service as well as in the preparation of the food. Service is usually of a good standard with attentive and courteous staff who will always be quick to take orders as well as showing genuine interest in how the meal selection panned out. However, on other occasions, it is common to come across slow service and uninterested waiters/waitresses who do not seem too bothered about one’s dining experience.
All in all, however, the all-round experience in regard to quality of food and service is of a high standard.
Its interior is very modern with sleek wooden surfaces and simple yet comfortable straw chairs, a theme also replicated in the outside of the establishment. As a well known café in Larnaca, it serves a wide range of top quality coffees which go down great after a tasty meal.
In the height of the summer, in what is traditionally the quietest period of the year in the town centre due to the majority heading towards the beaches or the mountains for a short getaway, the usually packed restaurant may just have enough room to accommodate your spontaneous decision to try out one of its exciting dishes.
SPECIALTY King prawns in ouzo sauce
WHERE Viale, Grigori Afxentiou, Larnaca
WHEN seven days a week from around 8am until 2am the following day – the kitchen however closes at by 12 midnight
CONTACT 24 664888
PRICE: €25-€30 average (meal, dessert and beverage)