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Restaurant review: Notios at the Almyra

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By Sarah Coyne

As autumn months beckon, perhaps now is the time to consider restaurants in hotels which are becoming quieter. One of my favourites has always been Notios at the Almyra Hotel in Paphos, and returning on a summer evening, I was pleased to see that not much had changed. The covered restaurant is positioned on one of the hotel’s terraces, offering an elevated view across the sea to the harbour and castle.

Notios reflects the rest of the interior design notes of the Almyra Hotel, a contemporary space with large booth-style tables on the seafront side. These are the best tables and should definitely be requested when booking. And make sure you arrive before the sun goes down as this is one of the best places to watch a dramatic sunset. While the restaurant is fine dining, it is not formal or stuffy, and I liked the relaxed, casual vibe. Sitting there with a gentle breeze and the sound of the crashing waves, we knew we were in for a good evening.

The menu is only available in digital format and has to be downloaded to your phone at the table. Watching other diners pass their phones around the table, squinting to read the menu, made me realise I was not the only one having difficulties.

However, the actual menu, a Japanese-Mediterranean-inspired fusion, is sensational. Executive Chef Nikos Kimonos explains the style very well in his comment on the menu: “Mixing pure ingredients with playful exploration, that’s my idea of true adventure”. You are in for an exciting gourmet experience.

The evening started with an amuse-bouche – Hamachi Fish with Ginger, Truffle Mayo and Watermelon – and a small selection of Prawn Crackers and Poppadoms dusted with Japanese Herbs served with a coriander mayonnaise.

rest2The dinner menu starts with a great selection of appetisers. We decided to start with a combination of Sushi and Beef Fillet Tataki. Sushi comes in many forms, but the Notios New Concept Rolls were exceptional with unique flavoursome combinations. A surprise ingredient was eel which was glazed with marinated mushrooms. All the sushi reflected the expertise in the kitchen. However, the favourite starter was the beef, served with shimeji mushrooms, shallots, pickled cucumber and a wafu dressing. Tender small pieces of meat oozing with flavours.

Moving onto the main courses, we had the most memorable dishes. It is rare these days to enjoy a dish and know you will remember it for years to come. However, the chefs at Notios produced three during one dining experience.

The first was for our vegetarian diner. Nasu Dengaku, or Miso grilled eggplant with the addition of coriander, cherry tomatoes, kimchi salad, asparagus, spring onions and sesame seeds made one of the best vegetarian dishes I have ever tasted and is highly recommended.

The miso sauce continued with the Miso Atlantic Black Cod. This was large chunks of cod with a cashew and lime crust together with pickled ginger and baby bok choy. The phrase ‘melt in the mouth’ is overused but certainly applies to this dish. The final main, and possibly my favourite, was the Duck Breast Kushiyaki. A warning that you would have to love coconut to fully appreciate this dish. The duck breast is served with hoisin, celeriac coconut purée, pickled candied beetroot and coconut crisps. A gastronomic experience that I will remember for a long time.

The wow factor continued as we concluded the meal with a Lime and White Chocolate Parfait, served with berries, lime biscotti, strawberries and a ginger sauce. It was a sublime combination of flavours.

Notios is certainly the place to go for a big celebration and enjoy an exceptional evening. Next time, I won’t leave it so long to return, perhaps for the Omakase Menu, where the chef serves his selection of dishes.

 

VITAL STATISTICS

SPECIALTY Japanese/Mediterranean Fusion

WHERE Notios restaurant, Almyra Hotel, Poseidonos Avenue, Paphos

WHEN March – December – Weather permitting, 12.30 – 4pm and 7-10pm

CONTACT 26 888700 (booking advised), http://www.almyra.com

HOW MUCH Appetisers from €15, mains from €17.50 (vegetarian) or €27 for meat and fish, desserts from €10

 

 

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