It being summer, we headed recently to Protaras, which being near full capacity meant we ended up staying away from the main strip, towards Paralimni. Despite not being in the thick of it, the beaches were still beautiful and there were plenty of bars and restaurants about, including one that had come highly recommended and was only a 10-minute walk away.
Struggling to find it we learnt that it had shut down. Not wanting to walk much further we simply settled for the restaurant that was next door! Ifalos had the look of a traditional taverna with its blue and white checkered table cloths and traditional chairs. In my previous experience, traditional restaurants in tourist areas are not the best option. However, I was about to be proved completely wrong!
At the entrance to the restaurant, a waitress was waiting for customers to arrive. We were greeted with a warm, friendly smile and shown to a table. Despite being rather busy we were promptly brought menus. There was a wide variety of dishes to choose from; many different traditional dishes such as Stifado, Afelia, Tava, Kleftiko and of course, Cyprus meze! For the less adventurous, there is also a selection of pizza and pasta.
We convinced our young niece to try something new and she was brave enough to go for the Lamb Kleftiko. My partner had Afelia served with pourgouri and having seen the size of it on another table; I went for the pork chop!
It wasn’t long before the food arrived and we were all very impressed with the portion sizes. The Kleftiko came in a large clay pot, the pork chop was very large and the Afelia neatly placed in the middle of the plate surrounded by the pourgouri.
Some places have difficulty correctly cooking a pork chop and keeping the top part tender while the meat along the bone is cooked just right. Ifalos managed to get it all right. The meat along the bone was nice and crisp while the main part at the top was still juicy.
It can be a little risky ordering Afelia sometimes as the meat used may be quite fatty with the thought being that the fat gives it flavour. However this was not the case at Ifalos. The meat was tender and cooked brilliantly. The juice soaked in to some of the pourgouri and was a fantastic combination. For the remaining, untouched pourgouri, there was creamy yoghurt added to the side of the plate.
The biggest testament of the night came when our young niece who doesn’t usually stray far from pizza and pasta, ate all of the kleftiko. While it did not fall off the bone, the meat was a good cut and very tender.
After winning with the kleftiko, our niece had her eye on the chocolate lava cake. To keep her company, I ordered the baklava. The chocolate lava cake was a little on the small side but must have been extremely tasty as this was one thing that our niece wasn’t so keen on sharing! The baklava, also not a large portion, was served warm and was not too syrupy. Both desserts were served with vanilla ice cream. Despite the servings not being as generous as the mains, it was just enough to satisfy our sweet craving!
Being in a tourist area we had braced ourselves to pay a little more than we would expect but when the bill came it was surprisingly low for the food and drink we had enjoyed. All the main dishes were only €9.90!
In the end we were grateful that we stumbled across Ifalos.
SPECIALTY Cyprus cuisine
WHERE Perneras 35, Paralimi
CONTACT 23 834235