I have driven past Ta Perix numerous times over the years when taking a short cut to Paphos old town and meant to stop off for dinner. I finally did so and found a place where you can order items individually to create your own meze.
On a Friday night feeling hungry and in need of sustenance, we dropped in. Although it was early, around 7pm, many of the tables were already occupied and we were lucky to be seated as most tables are booked ahead. The customers were mostly Cypriots, a good sign I hoped.
Ta Perix might not be an obvious choice for al fresco dining as its squashed between two busy back street roads, and from outside the one-storey building isn’t all that appealing (diners move inside during the winter months) but on entering the terrace to the rear diners are treated to a delightful lush, green screen, created by all sorts of trees, including fig, dotted with colourful plants and outdoor lighting. The noise of passing traffic is barely noticeable and it’s easy to forget the world outside.
Tables are well spaced and chairs quickly filled up with couples and larges parties, all enjoying the ambience. Many of my friends have raved about the food here and not knowing what to expect, we were seated at a table for two and handed a piece of paper and pen with which to fill in our own order for the meze dishes we would like.
The down side to this is that if you wish to eat different things, there may be some food left over as portions come mostly as two or four pieces. This wasn’t a problem for us, as my companion enjoyed polishing off the remainder of my dishes as well as his own.
All the usual meze starters such as Greek Salad (lovely and fresh), tahini and tzatziki are available, but as I glanced down the list, my interest was aroused by a wonderful collection of mouth-watering dishes including zucchini flowers, courgette balls, baked aubergine, pickled quails eggs and salted sardines – all sounded delectable.
The menu has a good array of dishes, some of which appealed more than others and include: bacon in red wine, sheep’s head, snails, kebabs and sheftalia.
Although prices are reasonable for individual dishes, the amount can quickly tot up, so be cautious as it’s easy to get carried away with ordering as it all sounds delicious.
After careful deliberation, we ordered salad, dips, grilled halloumi, pastourmas, sausage, mudrooms, lamb chops, baby pigeon (slightly too salty), aubergine, chicken and beef liver. Vegetable dishes include spinach, rocket or courgette with egg and home made chips, which were moreish.
Rather peculiarly there isn’t a wine list available and we were gruffly asked by the owner if we wanted red or white before he went to serve another table. A waitress then explained that the customers know the wine. I pointed out, as ‘newbies’ we did not. All I could ascertain is that the wine is local (apart from a ‘rather nice’ French wine, but the owner said this is only for special customers, which clearly we were not.)
Managing to calm my companion and order a bottle of white wine (red is Ayios Onoufrios, a good local wine from Vasilikon winery in Kathikas) our sheet was whisked away and shortly afterwards the dishes started to arrive at the table.
They were hot and tasty overall, although the aubergine stuffed with halloumi and tomato was bland and disappointing. However, the beef liver was delicious and our ultimate favourite we decided.
The garden filled up as the evening progressed and staff although busy, were friendly. Coffee orders could not be made to round off the evening, we were told staff were too busy and there was no one available to make it, so rather flummoxed, we gathered our belongings and headed home.
If you don’t mind a hint of Basil Fawlty in the service and you would like to try good Cypriot cooking and drink either ‘red or white’ wine, then pay Ta Perix a visit. If nothing else you will leave satisfied with an experience to talk about with friends.
Personally, I have already been back again.
SPECIALITY Meze order your own
WHERE 20 Kubilay Street, Moutallos, Paphos
CONTACT 99 113218
PRICE Individual dishes from €2 to €12