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Restaurant Review: Evohia, Nicosia

By Alexander McCowan

This venue is part of a trio of restaurants that have been serving the informed diners of Nicosia since 1994, and given the general longevity of culinary establishments in our proud city that’s a lifetime. This one is to be found on the left, at the traffic lights before the Hilton Hotel as you approach the motorway.

‘Lunch,’ said the companion, ‘I want lunch’. Perfect location. Everything about Evohia, is solid: chairs that will support elephants; tables designed for huge cauldrons, masses of leg space and all surroundings reminiscent of the deep, dark brown ballrooms of the Cunard fleet. Lunch is a buffet: acres of salads, every kind of meat produced on island, in as many forms. We are early and the spaces are not yet filled, but they will be. There is a bar area where the solitary diner need not feel isolated and there is a general sense of camaraderie not generally encountered in Nicosia probably engendered by the many repeat customers greeting each other. We are given the option of six tables for two and shown the buffet area; an island of plenty.

There must have been something in the region of 40 different dishes, mainly divided between the hot and cold; the starters and the main dishes. Every kind of salad presented in fresh and glistening form, with the dips and dressings and fresh rolls; a dish of roasted aubergines, tomatoes, peppers and courgettes attracted the companion. While not being too keen on the green things in life I found myself loading up with the leaf; it seemed the natural thing to do in the circumstances. Being lunch-time, beer seemed the appropriate beverage, and water for the companion.

The premises are filling with men and women in suits – possibly accountants – who nevertheless seemed to have the jolly factor in abundance; one assumes that lunch is a period of release from their travails and they intend to make the most of it; which gives rise to a general air of bonhomie.

Following the salads we visit the serious section which offers lamb from the oven, medalions of pork in cream sauce, other forms of the porker, goujons of cod, chicken breasts, roast potatoes, boiled new potatoes, vegetables in all forms, and much more. In the readers’ interest we tried a good selection and found none wanting. The dishes were being constantly replenished by the lady chefs – Varvara and Christina – because they were being emptied at a dramatic rate by the suits.

The tables closest to us are being occupied by a large group of ladies that lunch on a regular basis; presents were distributed and kisses exchanged. Close by were two serious sized eaters that visited the buffet three times before they seemed satisfied. That is the great attraction of this form of dining; no oversight and no critics.

After the generosity of the buffet, one finds the sweet counter rather parsimonious: cream slices, cheesecake or fruit – well, we can’t have everything, life’s not like that, unfortunately.

I believe the other establishments in this group – Navarino and Presidio – offer the same fare; lunch and dinner seven days a week. They are renowned for their functions. Evohia is a very smooth operation, overseen by the ever present and watchful Eleanora who really knows her onions.

We enjoyed our visit and will dine again.

VITAL STATISTICS
SPECIALTY Mediterranean buffet
WHERE 99, Makariou, Nicosia
CONTACT 22 376219
PRICE Reasonable

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