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Entertainment Restaurant & Bar Reviews

Restaurant review: Palia Ilectriki, Paphos

By Nan Mackenzie

I am always on the hunt for places that serve a quality lunch at decent prices. Where to go if we want to meet up with girlfriends for a glass and a gossip, or to talk business, at a time when one’s wit and wisdom has not yet been worn down by the pressures of the day.
Palia Ilectriki is a proper little gem of an eatery, set within what used to be the old electricity pumping station and where still resides the massive old fashioned generator, used to power up the homes and streets of Paphos. This huge lump of machinery still greets visitors when they enter the large, airy courtyard, and nestling up at the far corner of the courtyard behind the waterfall sits the restaurant, the domain of chef and owner Vassos Savva and wife Vassilia.

Both are the type of patrons who present a genuine and infectious enthusiasm for their work, they always greet you as though your custom is genuinely appreciated. What they offer is both an indoor and outdoor eating area, it’s very peaceful, with nice tables, comfortable chairs, and a chef in the kitchen with good taste and an instinct for simplicity, but with some delicious nuggets of gold within his short menu. His cooking is always light yet sensuous.

We started with a perfect rocket salad studded with pomegranate seeds and slivers of parmesan, this from a choice of Caesar, Salmon or Tuna salads, or perhaps a platter of Feta and avocadoes served with a fan of sliced tomatoes and homemade dressing. My favourite among the starters has to be the garlic prawns, followed by a plate of the best stuffed vine leaves (when in season) or the home made spinach and feta pie.

Those who love pasta and seafood can go off menu and order what I later discovered was Vassos’ signature dish in the delicious form of a Mediterranean seafood pasta. I only found this out the second time I visited when a Cypriot friend raved about how Vassos, when working as a chef first at the Annabelle hotel and then at the Anassa hotel, would rack up copious customer brownie points after serving this deliciously balanced and perfectly seasoned comfort dish.

Then we tasted a rack of lamb which came with a gentle herb crust that complemented without suffocating the enclosed pink meat. Again this was voted a winner along with the excellent dish of sea bass fillets set atop a bed of crisp vegetables and drizzled with chopped nuts and tomatoes. Then came breast of chicken with a comforting overcoat of mozzarella cheese and a piquant tomato sauce.

This is simple but at the same time highly skilled cooking of the first order, and the food on offer regardless if one only wishes to partake of a only a mid morning coffee and snack on the best homemade orange cake this side of Crete, or opt for a filling plate of exceedingly good fried calamari partnered with chef’s homemade tartar sauce (not forgetting his great and very good special herb coated chips). In other words, this is a kitchen that can offer quality dishes right through the day, all of them prepared by Vassos and served by Vassilia. So that’s your mid morning tasty bite, lunch and supper sorted, and by two lovely people who really understand customer care.

Palia Ilektriki
SPECIALTY Mediterranean
WHERE 8 Vladimerou Herakleous St, Paphos old town
PRICE €5-25
CONTACT 99 452548 or 26 222157

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