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Restaurant review: The Almond Tree, Paphos

I defy anyone, even a real picky eater, to not find at least five dishes on this menu that will tickle any recalcitrant taste buds. That’s because the Almond Tree not only offers deliciously different comfort food, it does so with a good level of assurance, flavour and verve, and at times there is a good few touches of casual but quite fitting culinary decadence.

The food served is always honest, it is a safe place to dine, a place where you feel comfortable, relaxed, and looked after, which is why owner Andreas Michaelides still has customers returning on a regular basis who first stepped over his threshold 16 years ago. That said, the menu has certainly evolved over the years but if the dishes are good and popular Andreas prefers to go the route of long term consistency than fall into the easy trap of having outbreaks of half baked innovation for its own sake.

Walk inside and you are greeted by modern but comfortable decor that would not be out of place in a posh London Brasserie, and come summer there is al fresco dining on the front balcony area overlooking the street. Another bonus in this busy tourist area has to be the private parking area for Almond Tree customers at the side of the restaurant.

We arrived a hungry bunch so dived in immediately to a selection of seriously tasty samosas partnered with yogurt parsley sauce, then onto a plate of seared duck breast carpaccio topped with shaved parmesan and with a shallot-soy vinaigrette, needless to say this plate was sent back clean ready for the deeply comforting dish of Portobello mushrooms baked with melted mozzarella and parmesan. Some of the dishes reflect Andreas’ time spent studying in the USA, one of which is his now famous Key West crab cakes served with red Thai coconut curry.

What I really like about this menu is you have the flexibility to choose some dishes either as a starter or as a main course, giving diners the opportunity to taste drive around five starters as a mixed platter. The same goes for main courses so one can indulge in a full sea food platter offering the delights of tikka prawns, miso salmon, crab cakes and mussels in a peppercorn sauce all for €17.95 pp. The mixed platter is the same price with many of the all time favourites on board such as Greek dips, samosas, panko and coconut prawns, beef satay, panko chicken breast and barbeque belly ribs. But there is a lot more on offer, from Moroccan beef koftas to a delicious surf and turf beef burger partnered by panko prawns, not forgetting the all time popular seven-hour braised lamb shank with lashings of rosemary.

Now you get the message about always being able to find something on this menu to genuinely delight the palate, and I haven’t even got round to mentioning the steaks or the other fish dishes on offer. But one does have to make mention of the desserts as Cypriot-owned restaurants in the main tend to treat pudding as a bit of an afterthought, here though things were decidedly different particularly the generous slice of delicious Key Lime pie with fruit coulis whilst my friends opted for the Moorish pleasures found after one spoonful of the mixed berries crème brulee. As ever, what really matters is what’s on the plate, and here at the Almond Tree that along with the soft purr of happy people eating certainly makes the very best argument for itself.

SPECIALTY Mediterranean Asian fusion with a touch of the USA
WHERE The Almond Tree, 5 Konstantias Street, Kato Paphos
WHEN Monday to Saturday from 6.30pm
PRICE Starters from €4.85, mains from €10.95
CONTACT 99 513863, 26 935529, 26 222415

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