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Restaurant Review: Kona Kai, Nicosia

Once again the reader is indebted to the Belgian gourmet. ‘Try the new Kona Kai,’ he ventured. Arriving on a hot Thursday evening, my companion and I elected for the air conditioning and were shown a table for two with a view of the sweltering outdoor smokers. Bliss it was. I have regularly moaned about the absence of good ethnic establishments in the capital and here we are in the newly minted Kona Kai, offering not only Chinese, but Indian and Thai; glory be. Menu in English and Greek.

The tables are cleanly furnished, well spaced and bright. Our waiter, the very attentive manager Kyriacos, presents us with the obligatory prawn crackers and mild chilli sauces. No sign of the unwanted water. A menu that offers cuisine from across Asia takes some reading. There are 16 separate sections, the appetisers contain 17 entries, followed in length by seafood and chicken. But don’t be put off, the research is worth it; little chilli symbols indicate the heat of the dish. There are seven soups including the traditional favourites: hot sour, wonton, chicken and sweetcorn, with a couple of Thai entries.

We decide to overlook the soups and pass to the appetisers and right at the top of the list is spring rolls with duck and mango, not commonly encountered on a night out in Acropolis. One could travel through this section of the menu and have no need to proceed further. Here one finds three different types of spring rolls, plain spare ribs, and in honeyed and crispy form; prawns in Thai sauce, on toast and deep fried with sesame; salt and pepper squid and dumplings; aubergines stuffed with minced pork and king prawns and many chicken dishes. We decide on the aforementioned duck with mango, salted squid and pork dumplings. It seemed a bottle of prosecco would be suitable for the evening.

The main courses contain the usual crispy duck parading in halves, quarters and complete form; in honey sauce, orange and chilli sauce, sliced with mushrooms, and mixed vegetables; specialty dishes including crispy shredded chilli beef and lamb; there are 12 seafood and 13 chicken dishes. These are served with all the sauces of Asia as are the beef and pork offerings.

We settle for the king prawn Thai green curry and the duck with honey and chilli. If every other dish on this menu is as good as ours, then the customer is in for an extremely rare treat. Our starters were first rate; the dumpling served in a steamer with two sauces on the side; the duck and mango, crisp and very appetising; the salted baby squid just right: hot, crunchy, and perfect with cold crisp prosecco. My Thai curry contained a wealth of large prawns, tail on; bamboo shoots, tiny portion of broccoli – no dreaded carrots – piping hot and delicious. The honey duck was cooked to perfection.

By the time we reached our main courses the restaurant was packed, mainly by the under 40s. An excellent evening and a real addition to dining in the city.

Booking is neccessary as there only 50 covers.

 

VITAL STATISTICS
SPECIALTY Oriental food
WHERE Gravoas 3, Strovolos, Nicosia
WHEN Monday to Saturday 6-10.30pm
CONTACT 77776968
PRICE Reasonable

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