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Restaurant review: Namos tavern, Paphos

Sometimes all you crave from a restaurant is a decent level of skill. You don’t want culinary fireworks, gourmet gymnastics or the food equivalent of folk swinging enthusiastically from a chandelier. What customers desire is for everyone, from the kitchen, plus serving staff to do their jobs and deliver an appetising meal that doesn’t cost the earth in an atmosphere that makes you wish you could linger longer. If that’s your wish then swiftly transport yourself to the recently opened Namos Restaurant.

The restaurant is perfectly positioned on the right just as you enter the road that takes you on to the Akamas trail – you cannot miss it as it looks very attractive from the outside, and inside it is a sort of shining beacon of good design utilising as it does the aquamarine of the sea as its primary colour. The outdoor eating area for summer is well shaded and importantly the traditional Cypriot chairs are mercifully cushioned so ones rear end doesn’t feel paralysed after ten minutes of being seated.

Chef is Danielle Bertoli, a talented young Italian who hails from a village near Padova, who initially came to Paphos under an EU scheme which encourages chefs to travel within Europe to experience the many and various culinary delights on offer in the various member states. Bertoli liked Paphos so much he decided to stay, and is now master of his own kitchen where he combines simple yet delicious, home-style Italian and Cypriot dishes in a manner that delights the taste buds. We started with home-made dips of Taramosalata, tasty Tahini, refreshing Tzantziki and the best spicy cheese I have tasted in a long time.

I have always felt that an establishment’s care towards the starters bodes well for the main courses and that feeling was confirmed. The menu is small and offers salads and dips as starters including a lovely tuna and grilled veggie salad, then its pasta time with four dishes to choose from, including a great Tomato Diablo with a spicy rich sauce. The main dishes are all either grilled or fried with pork or chicken souvla, a substantial 700g pork chop, a sirloin beef fillet, Akamas lamb chops, for the fish lovers there is Scottish salmon steak, Calamari, and grilled prawns. I plumped for the grilled Cod fish loin served with twice cooked chips and salad and once again the kitchen showed a decent respect for this now somewhat under-rated ‘Father’ of fishes.

The vegan and vegetarian dishes on offer are not as per usual slipped in as a sort of afterthought, here they are treated well and deliver an exceedingly tasty experience, especially the zucchini meatballs, and for those who wish a meze meal you can choose between a grilled meat selection or a platter of fish/seafood. As for the puddings well, it’s limited to either a cheese cake or choice of chocolate or caramel lava cake and a fresh fruit platter.

The other thing about this place is it appeals very much to those of a nervous disposition when it comes to anything new on the culinary horizon as they can always check out the venue and menu by visiting only for a coffee in the morning or stroll in for a cocktail come evening. It’s well worth a visit even to experience the presence of a really happy always smiling Italian chef, for this young man genuinely loves his job and that in itself is for me a massive plus, as we have a worrying trend here in Paphos of a rash of grumpy Gordon Ramsay.

VITAL STATISTICS
SPECIALTY Mediterranean food
WHERE Namos tavern, en route to St Georges Bay, Paphos
PRICE from €6
CONTACT 26 623535
WHEN lunch and dinner

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