For both golfers and those who, like me, believe golf is just a good walk ruined, Minthis Hills Golf Club has the expertise and talent to be up there as a venue where good food is taken just as seriously as those who wander around the course clad in pink trousers and diamond motif jumpers.
The expertise comes in the form of Executive Chef Marios Karayiannis, a man trained at the Paris-based Alain Ducasse Culinary school who then worked with Raymond Blanc at Le Manoir aux Quat Saisons, who thoroughly delighted my taste buds by offering a plate of the very best risotto – a miraculous combination of chicken stock, rice, onions, butter, parmesan guanciale, morels, wild mustard seeds, and purest virgin olive oil – I have tasted in a long time.
I was among a group of journalists invited to spend a morning eating and drinking – we were greeted with coffee and exceedingly tasty homemade pastries and after a brief outline of plans for the resort, it was back to the club house where chef prepared his risotto before our eyes and twitching nostrils. After two helpings of this delicious testament to poshed up rice, I sat back and enjoyed the view over the greens before it was time for lunch!
We all selected our mains from the menu but the starters were already laid out, and these included very Moorish, wafer-thin slices of octopus served with olives, tomatoes, red onion and lemon; vegetable stuffed vine leaves with a red onion and yogurt mint dip; and a rather delicious falafel salad. We could also have requested a decidedly different platter of crunchy halloumi served with cherry tomatoes or a selection of either vegetable, pork or seafood dumplings served in a Dim Sum steamer.
For mains most of the group plumped for pasta, or more specifically ravioli with halloumi, walnuts and almonds served with mint pesto sauce. One chap went for the slow roasted marinated lamb shank, and was rendered happily speechless for at least 20 minutes as he ‘dug in’. I tucked into oven baked sea bass with fennel, baby carrots and new potatoes with a saffron and aioli sauce, and again it was a case of simple excellence.
This is certainly high end contemporary Mediterranean bistro food and although not cheap it is a case of getting what you pay for and that is excellence all the way and this includes great waiting staff. Of course there are burgers on the menu but these are a million miles away from anything resembling fast food – take for example one of the three on offer, the club burger which presents itself as a homemade juicy patty topped with gorgonzola cheese, sautéed onions, mushrooms, fried egg, pancetta, lettuce and tomato in a sesame brioche.
Minthis Hills is certainly a place for foodies Oh and it’s also seemingly great for golfers!
SPECIALTY Bistro food
WHERE Minthis Hills Golf Club, Tsada, Paphos
PRICE Starters from €9, mains from €11
CONTACT 26 842200, 26 642776, www.minthishills.com