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Restaurant review: Tbilisi Georgian Restaurant, Paphos

rest 1

By Sarah Coyne

It is impressive, and sometimes surprising, that after the last couple of difficult years so many new restaurants are opening in Paphos. One such new addition is Tbilisi Georgian Restaurant, which opened just over six months ago. It is easy to spot on the coast road at the St George Hotel traffic lights. Tbilisi, as the name suggests, offers Georgian cuisine.

As a country, Georgia sits between Western Asia and Eastern Europe, with its cuisine being inspired and influenced by the surrounding countries. It is famous for ethnic foods which are rich in spices and herbs. This restaurant is undoubtedly authentic, as the owners are Georgian, with one of them owning another Georgian eatery in Kato Paphos.

rest 3Sadly, this new location has seen a few businesses come and go over the last few years, blink, and you might have missed them. However, Tbilisi has opened with a determination to succeed. It has a spacious outside terrace and an extensive inside space for the winter months. It was still warm on the night we visited, so we sat outside. Inside there are traditional decorations which reflect the casual dining vibe of Tbilisi. The restaurant was certainly bustling.

The menu is slightly confusing as it is written with very basic descriptions, which, if I am honest, do not do justice to the final dishes that appear on the table. Usually, restaurants go over the top with their flowery descriptions and you can be disappointed, but here they do it the other way around and plates exceed your expectations. Also, not being fully versed in Georgian cuisine, as a first-time diner, you may find the menu a little challenging.

So, we elected to go with the meze, which was priced at a very reasonable €20 and seemed to encompass most of the menu. We decided this was the easiest way to enjoy the variety of dishes by experiencing 11 of the options. This is a meze that keeps coming, and nearly all the plates offer a new dining experience.

rest 2There is not enough space on this page to do justice and write about all the dishes which formed part of the meze, but one that stood out for us was a hot and spicy dish called Ostri, which consisted of beef with onions, tomatoes and hot peppers. Khinkali was traditional dumplings filled with minced pork meat with lots of spices. A cold dish served was called Pkhali, boiled spinach balls with walnuts, onions, garlic, and pomegranate. We also loved the garlicy red sweet peppers and the Khachapuri, described as a tortilla topped with different cheeses.

The portion sizes of all the dishes were very generous, and included grilled meats and koftas. Unusual salads were also in evidence – we loved their gorgeous aubergine and carrot salad and the chicken breast salad with radishes, sweet peppers, onions and mayonnaise.

Together, with a selection of wines from Georgia, you can certainly enjoy the whole Georgian eating experience. The restaurant was relaxed, but sometimes the service was a little too slow. We seemed to sit for a long time waiting for things to be cleared or, at times, meze items to arrive. However, the owners and their staff were very friendly and hospitable, and they can be forgiven as the place was hectic on the night we visited. I would not hesitate to return and try the other dishes we missed from the menu.

 

VITAL STATISTICS

SPECIALTY Georgian

WHERE Chlorakas 113 Shop 05, Paphos. By the St George Hotel traffic lights

WHEN Open 7 days a week from Midday until 11 pm. Wednesdays from 5 pm to 11 pm.

CONTACT 97 885948

HOW MUCH Meze €20 per person and Main Courses from €9.90

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