By Sarah Coyne
We have seen the closure in Paphos of several high-profile restaurants but the good news is that some of the restaurant owners are planning to open again in the future. And many new restaurants are appearing, some of which have been more anticipated than others. The new Antasia Beach Club is a case in point. It has recently opened by the Sodap beach and has been two years in the planning. Built by the municipality, it is now home to Antasia, part of the Thanos hotel group so our expectations were high for this meal.
Anyone who walks the coastal path will have watched the progress of this unusual building over the last couple of years. The building is two storeys. The beach club has a bar on the ground level, with the restaurant on the lower ground, just above the beach. The architecture is very different for Paphos. Just in front of the club is the blue flag sandy beach, halved between the municipality and Antasia, both offering beach beds and umbrellas.
Our party arrived at lunchtime. Walking from the car park, you immediately see the bar area against the sea. To the right are the stairs, which lead down to the restaurant, divided into a large indoor space and a terrace protruding above the beach. While the inside, with its clean minimal design and air conditioning, was attractive, we sat outside to enjoy the complete sea and sky view from the terrace. There was also a welcome breeze coming in from the sea.
The menu is extensive and offers Mediterranean and Asian fusion gourmet delights. Chef Akos Richweisz curated the menu under the supervision of the Thanos Group Executive Chef David Goodridge. The main thing about this fused menu is that it is designed to be shared. Looking through the options, we realised that this is MediterAsian cuisine at its very best. A lot of thought and development has gone into creating the dishes, using locally sourced ingredients with an original slant. Also available, are the more traditional choices, such as Cypriot and Italian specialities, black Angus burgers, salads and vegan dishes.
It is worth mentioning that for any fans of sushi, this is undoubtedly the place to indulge. To start with, the menu is divided into sushi, sashimi, signature gourmet uramaki (inside out) rolls and an extensive selection of appetisers. We elected to start our feast with the Alaskan king crab uramaki rolls, followed by the tiger prawn option. These were sublime. The tiger prawn rolls with black sesame seeds, tempura filling and a popcorn shrimp on the top, were out of this world. The spicy hot kick from the shrimp was perfection on every level. The same applies to the crispy calamari and their prawn tempura dishes. The small tender pieces of calamari were served with a wonderful chilli, garlic and spicy mayo dip and were devoured very quickly at our table. Always one of the negatives of sharing!
To be honest, because we had been greedy and ordered many appetisers, I could have finished here, but the main courses came and offered a unique take on sea bass. Traditionally little lacklustre in the flavoursome department, it was perfectly cooked and crispy on the outside, but came into its own when combined with a sweet and sour spicy sauce, served with sticky rice and bok choy. The sauce was the supreme taste combination of the meal and perfectly represented the fusion cuisine and the chef’s ambitions. Another winner and firm favourite on the table was the miso-glazed beef rib-eye steak, served with an edamame purée and baby vegetables. The meat cut like butter and was full of taste.
We thought it would be nice to finish with the kalamansi lime parfait accompanied with spiced pineapple. This was a disappointment after the exceptional meal, as you could barely taste any lime. Probably not my best choice from the dessert menu.
We visited at lunchtime, which, with hindsight, was a mistake, as I think the best time to experience this venue would be at sunset. The direct view of Paphos Castle, with the sun going down, must be out of this world, especially when combined with a chilled glass of wine or a cocktail. The beach club offers both dining and drinking from morning until late at night.
SPECIALTY Mediterranean/Asian Fusion
WHERE 28 Poseidonos Avenue, Kato Paphos
WHEN 7 Days a week: Drinks from 9am, Lunch 12.30-3.30, Snacks 3.30-6.30, Dinner 6-10.30
CONTACT 26 888 002
HOW MUCH Main courses from €16