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Restaurant review: Nema, Paphos

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By Sarah Coyne

Sometimes we save the best until last, and for 2022 with my recent discovery of the new restaurant Nema, this is precisely the case. Opposite the Almyra Hotel, there is not much to see when you drive past. This is probably one of the reasons I have missed it since it opened in July. But if you venture up the steps and through the glass door, there is a fabulous modern restaurant interior. As it was raining on the night of our visit, we sat at one of the large interior tables with very comfy chairs. Outside there is also a large terrace.

Well-known and award-winning chef Andreas Andreou is in charge of the menu; his signature cuisine and high standards are very prominent. The central ethos of the restaurant is to make everything from scratch and use only the freshest ingredients. Many restaurants may share this aim but do not quite make it, but at Nema they definitely follow through.

Nema is not fine dining, nor does it pretend to be. It offers a Mediterranean menu divided into salads, sharing starters, different kinds of pasta, pizzas, and a selection of main dishes. I defy anyone not to find an appealing dish on this menu. As it was the run-up to Christmas, we went to town ordering a selection of dishes to share.

We started healthily with two salads – Beetroot and Goat Cheese and a Burrata and Tomato one -both were exceptional. The ingredients in the beetroot salad give you a clue of the unusual taste sensations – roasted red beets, a very crispy goat cheese, honey, fennel shavings, basil, mixed baby leaves, caramelised walnuts, with a sherry vinaigrette. Salads can often be disappointing, but neither of these superb versions could be recreated at home. The burrata in the other salad was one of the creamiest we have ever tasted.

A word of warning that the sharing starters are very generous. The first arrival was the garlic pizzetta from the substantial wood-fired pizza oven. It was divine as it was topped with mozzarella, parmesan, oregano and just the right amount of garlic butter. We also shared their orzo with mushrooms, truffle oil and graviera cheese. Another recommendation would be the filo pastry spinach cigars. They were filled with fresh spinach and cheese in a pine nut and sherry sauce, served with a goat cheese dip with lemon zest.

rest2Moving to the pasta, we elected to try the beef ragout, which is pulled beef slow-cooked for eight hours with a tomato sauce with parmesan and mizithra cheese. We also loved Nema’s version of Spaghetti Carbonara with the inclusion of a soft egg in the middle. It is difficult to fault when mixed with the finest ingredients of pecorino cheese, bacon, and pancetta.

We also tried the Nema burger, a USDA beef burger with mature cheddar, truffle mayo, caramelised onion purée, and arugula salad in a homemade brioche bun served with hand-cut fries and a dip. The contents melted into the brioche bun, making a unique taste sensation. As we shared throughout the meal, we finished by trying one of their wood oven pizzas. I highly recommend the Nema Signature pizza to anyone looking for an authentic experience. The pizza had a light and crispy base, and the toppings were not greasy.

Nema has a selection of three desserts; we found two very appealing. Another word of warning, these desserts are huge and designed to be shared but offer excellent value. The stand-out was the Nema tiramisu mille-feuille. Any fan of tiramisu will quite literally love this very different version with layers of chocolate, coffee cream, mascarpone mousse, and buttered crumble with a strong taste of espresso coffee. They have taken the original Italian version, extracted the stodgy sponge, and created a divine concoction. Another option was the skillet chocolate fudge cookie. If you love chocolate and cookies, this one is for you.

Nema is highly recommended for anyone living in or visiting Paphos. They have their own private gated car park for their dining guests. I am happy not to live any closer as they offer takeaway, which would be far too tempting.

 

VITAL STATISTICS

SPECIALTY Mediterranean

WHERE Nema, 1, Iasonos Street, Paphos

WHEN Tuesday-Thursday 18:00-22:30, Friday and Saturday 18:00-23:00 and Sunday 12:00-22:30

CONTACT 26 952525, www.nemapafos.com

HOW MUCH Salads from €13, Starters from €8, Pastas from €14, Mains from €18, Pizzas from €14 euros and sharing desserts from €8

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