I have seen it happen so many times, the restaurants that start out fine, ones that are full of sunshine and possibilities after time invariably end up with that promise giving way to deep disappointment. But there is one eatery in Paphos which mercifully has never deserted its original promise, with the result that Seven St Georges is still packing them in six days a week for both lunch and dinner a good 20 years after owner George Demetriades first opened his doors.
The success of this eatery is down to its ability to offer up six days a week a consistent parade of quality foodstuffs, with as many of the ingredients being cultivated without chemicals as possible, and the owner and his family dedicat-ed to furthering the cause of the evolution of Cypriot food. That’s dad’s prime role now as his two sons, Damien and Benedict, have been given the responsi-bility of running the restaurant, although George is still there keeping a watch-ful eye on things his real passion is the quality and variety of ingredients he can deliver fresh to the kitchen on a daily basis.
The huge bonus for diners is the family also have a vegetable farm so here they grow the majority of the organic foodstuffs, they also raise their own rabbits, chickens and ducks for the pot so it is a restaurant that boasts a high level of self-sufficiency which bodes well for those into more eco-friendly dishes.
There is no menu but guests can state their preferences and the evening my friend and I dined we wanted vegetarian food only. A seemingly endless pa-rade of small veggie dishes arrived with some interesting new surprises such as the dish of vitamin C packed Sapphire which George on his daily foraging ex-peditions gathers from the coastline. There was also a portion of Purslane (or in Greek Glistrida), again coming with a medical certification for healthiness as it’s is loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin A plus C and a good dose of iron that also tastes very good. To list all the dishes served would take up the entire column, suffice to say the family will keep serving dishes until you ask them to stop but do not miss out on the following: a creamy carrot salad, the cauliflower and potato salads, the delicious quails eggs and Kaskavali cheese, sweet lentils, traditional dips, the sweet potato leaves with egg and those were just part of the starters.
If in a meat mood then the Kleftico has to be the choice with George pointing out that this could indeed be one of the oldest recipes around as it seemingly dates back 10,500 years, although his fall-off-the-bone job has now had a few culinary additions since men baked their meat in deep pits for a fortnight! There is also fried home-cured smoked bacon, and beef stew (Tavas), also sti-fado, plus farm raised chicken and, if customers wish a purely seafood mezze then they have to give at least a days’ notice.
The puddings served here can be genuinely described as being balm for the soul, such is their deliciousness, and include the date pudding with chocolate pudding coming in at a good second choice and apple crumble as an excellent runner up. One spoonful of any of these and the world will instantly seem so much better.
SPECIALTY Traditional Cypriot with a twist
WHERE Seven St Georges, Anthipolochagou Georgiou Savva, Yeroskipou, Pa-phos
PRICE Meze €17pp Home-made wine 1 litre €12
WHEN Lunch and dinner except Mondays
CONTACT 26 963176, 99 655824