Cyprus Mail
Entertainment Restaurant & Bar Reviews

Restaurant review: Lengo tavern, Paphos

By Nan Mackenzie

One would have to be slightly dumb and hard hearted not to like Lengo Tavern. I say this not because it’s a super chic gastronomic haven, it really isn’t, the food is just great, in a very solid, very trustworthy way, the sort of way that speaks of a kitchen with a deep instinct to feed and the level of skill to do just that.

It is also comforting to know that Chef and owner Petros Mavros cooks everything from scratch because he really doesn’t see the point of doing otherwise. The man is also a teeny bit on the nerdy side when it comes to the curing process for his salmon and meats, and is also enthusiastically into the fermenting, butchery, and charcuterie and again it’s all in the service of great ingredients rather than the other way round.

He has now bought himself a boat, actually an old fishing boat rescued from the breakers yard, which has been put to good use as an alternative ‘grilling’ station.

The boat doesn’t go on fire Viking style as the structure is insulated but, the open air effect is really marvellous as the meat and fish are secured on steel stakes placed upright in the centre of the vessel where a bonfire of lemon tree wood cooks the beef, pork belly and chicken, and on fish nights he gets all piscatorial with a great array of seafood on display sizzling away. All is lovingly monitored by Petros’ father.

This Viking inspired form of cooking starts off with a selection of homemade dips and the very best has to be the bowl of creamed fava beans with slivers of dried marinated tuna, then grilled halloumi with a tomato coulis, vegetarian pumpkin balls which are a pure taste bud delight, and the Lengo salad – the tastiest, freshest concoction of greenery, cheese and tomatoes I have tasted in a very long time.

All the dishes come packed with flavours, each with its own signature and many of the dishes served have been inspired after Chef visited several of the Greek islands and has replicated, with a few culinary twists of his own, dishes from the likes of Naxos and Santorini. So we were able to enjoy gloriously deep smokey flavoured pastourma, then in Santorini he fell for a dish called Strapatsada which is a combination of tomatoes, eggs, spices and minced meat that also delivered another unique parade of flavours.

All the time you are digging into these starter delights the Viking fire is doing its job sending tantalising aromas as the main courses cook to perfection. And perfection was the aim of the Vikings as smoke from the fire would carry them up to Valhalla and the afterlife.
There is a form of Valhalla in store for those who visit Lengo for the burn but rest assured you will find a place that actually does give a damn about quality and value for money.

VITAL STATISTICS
SPECIALTY Mediterranean
PRICE €17 pp
WHEN Closed Sundays
CONTACT 99 217165, www.facebook.com/lengotavern

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