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Restaurant review: The Gym, Nicosia


I bet that nowadays when restaurant owners and managers meet to discuss their establishments’ operations – what works, what needs to be improved and what needs to change – they place much attention and care on how everything would look in a picture. In one word, they try to make it as Instagrammable as possible.

Although I don’t like the word, silly neologism, and I don’t always understand why people need to take 30 pictures of their eggs Benedict, the fact that restaurants care about the aesthetics of their food as much as they do for their premises is not always a bad thing.

The Gym in central Onasagorou does a very good job in combining the pretty with the tasty. Covered by ivy leaves, the place is very popular among the young and hip for their brunch, as well as for dinner and drinks.

The menu combines local and international elements and really does give the impression of having been carefully studied before being put to the customers’ test.

The choices for brunch are not particularly original, but the ingredients are fresh and the dishes are, unsurprisingly, very photogenic!

rest2However, in terms of food, lunch and dinner are the real deal to me. Personal highlights at lunch included the salmon burger in panko crust with local kouloumpra (turnip cabbage), green apples, coleslaw and sweet chili mayo, as well as the chicken fillet with vegetables and a wonderful peanut butter sauce.

Dinner offers more options but the noise level increases. I prefer visiting the place at lunch, when it’s less hectic.

That said, if you do go at night, you might as well try my favourites, namely the braised pork cheeks, with commandaria and yuzu sauce, roasted carrots and parsnip puree, or the beef tenderloin, accompanied by potato terrine, mushroom puree and sweet red wine sauce. Both were top choices, especially if accompanied by a glass of wine chosen from the extensive drinks menu.

Food aside, The Gym also doubles down as an art gallery and store. Not immediately visible from the street, the brick-walled interiors are home to paintings, sculptures, books and a really impressive ceiling light.

The concept works, curious new customers and habituees waltz in and out of the gallery to check out the latest additions, only to return to their tables a few minutes later, often with a book or an artefact in their bags.

In an area that mostly suits taverns and traditional places, The Gym is a welcome breath of fresh air. Yes, it gets noisy, but, if taken with the proper attitude, the establishment’s Instgram charm will eventually have the better of you!



SPECIALTY International food, brunch

WHERE The Gym, 89 Onasagorou, Nicosia

WHEN Daily 10am-2am

HOW MUCH €8-12 for brunch, €14-19 for lunch, €10-30 for dinner

CONTACT 22 002001

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