Paphos now boasts a plethora of different ethnic restaurants all vying with each other to deliver that extra touch of exotica. One place that has consistently, over the past seven years, served up food that both delights and allows us to experiment is City Wok. Until recently it has served purely as a takeaway venue, boasting a solid local customer base. But last month City Wok opened as a full restaurant opposite the Almyra Hotel but fear not, they are also maintaining from here their popular take away service.
The interior is refreshingly minimalist and mercifully the owner has utterly departed from that interior decor cliché made popular in the seventies which dictated all Indian food had to consumed while in a room covered in flock wallpaper, and Chinese dining could only take place while seated upon blood red reproduction cushioned chairs from the Xia Dynasty under a ceiling awash with swinging paper lanterns. Here the room is open and airy, with discreet lighting and glass from ceiling to floor diners are offered a great view down to bar street. Plus, tables aren’t too close together so one feels really quite comfortable and safe working ones chopsticks with gay abandon.
The food is more a fusion of Chinese and Asian dishes and they also have an excellent Sushi chef who labours with all the patience of a Zen master to create perfectly formed California Rolls in Tuna (which is purchased as wild caught), salmon, prawn, crab sticks and also vegetarian.
We started the meal with a platter of these beauties going on to then taste test the Maki and sushi Nigiri and as far as freshness and flavour were concerned these certainly delivered. To be honest, we really could have stopped there and been perfectly satisfied but pure greed had us all moving on to relish a plate of shrimp tempura, and here Chef does know how to whip up the perfect tempura batter(always use iced water). I have a fondness for crispy duck and Marinos the owner informed me that all his ducks hail from France, after which we swiftly moved on to the deep earthy flavour of beef in oyster sauce, which was good albeit that we were all by this time somewhat wilting under the pressure of having not for the first time over ordered.
The sole negative comment would be the Thai chicken and green beans in red curry which didn’t quite deliver that all essential oomph and taste balance! It’s as if chef was a little nervous to go full on in the fire flavour stakes for this one, which is a shame because when executed correctly it can be a real winner.
We agreed that the reputed pure sense of enlightenment that usually came to Chinese Emperors after they had dined may well have missed its mark with us, but overall this was a very enjoyable meal, the pleasure provided from the variety of flavours alone was akin to attending a wonderful fashion show, where textures, colour, cut, and style all married to give a perfect piece of couture. This is certainly aspiring Asian culinary designer territory and well worth a visit.
SPECIALTY Asian fusion
WHERE City Wok, 65 Poseidonos Avenue and Iasonos corner (opp Almyra Hotel), Kato Paphos
WHEN Monday to Saturday
CONTACT 77772044, www.citywokcyprus.com
PRICE Starters from €2.50, mains from €8.95