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Restaurant review: Karas Fish Tavern, Kapparis

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By Liz Casey

What makes us try a particular restaurant for the first time? I was recently shocked when a friend told me that, above everything, the most crucial factor for her was the location and the setting. I am at odds with that, as the most important thing for me is always the quality of the food, followed by the service and the location. When we think of traditional fish restaurants, we imagine a location right by the sea. This one is not. Once inside, it has the traditional feeling of a fish taverna, just minus the sea view, which is 200 metres away.

The Kapparis-based tavern is well-known across the island for serving fresh fish. A view is not worth much if the food is not excellent or the service is poor. Karas Fish Tavern is a real family operation with three brothers directly involved in the restaurant’s success. Captain Kostas runs the family fishing boat, providing the kitchen with most of its fish. Chris is in the kitchen, and the final brother, Aristos, runs front of house.

Obviously, the House Fish Meze is one of the most popular items on the menu, but we decided to have a main course from the menu due to time restraints. The menu is large, with an extensive selection of fish plus a choice of Cypriot and international dishes. If you love fish, it is tough to select what you would like due to the choice available including Kourkounes, Grouper, Red Mullet, Calamari, Oysters, Crab, the list goes on and on. They also have Blue Fin Tuna and Mediterranean Lobster when available. Many of the fish options can be ordered from the menu by the kilo.

square social media instagram post or web banner template with hWe were a party of three, allowing us to try different courses and compare. The meal started with a super fresh salad, pitta bread, olives and one of the best Cypriot dips I have ever experienced in Cyprus. A Tyrokafteri that was the perfect accompaniment to everything on the table, particularly with all the fish. According to the waiter, the recipe has been the same for 20 years and is top secret! Everything in the salad was super fresh, as most of it was from the family’s own farm. The tomatoes were exceptional.

All the fish dishes were cooked to order. The first to arrive was the fresh Sword Fish which was huge and served with amazing chips made from potatoes also from the family farm. The swordfish was a substantial portion. Occasionally, this fish can appear in cardboard form, but this was quite the opposite being tender and juicy. Another main dish was the Fresh Seabream. Again, this was served with chips and quite literally fell off the bone. I chose Fried Baby Calamari which I have enjoyed at many fish restaurants across Cyprus. Somewhat frustratingly, as this restaurant is so far from my home, this was without question the best version I have enjoyed. The Karas calamari was dry, tasted divine and was supremely tender. With the Tyrokafteri used as a dip, it was my perfect version of Calamari, one I will always make a comparison with in the future.

To finish the meal they served summer fruits, which was a nice touch. We enjoyed the meal with some great wines from their impressive wine list. I say impressive because it rightly includes some great examples of Cypriot wines at good prices. It is rare at a fish restaurant to find such a lengthy wine list that offers something for everyone’s taste and budget.

With real estate, they say location, location, location is the all-important factor but with restaurants, such as Karas, it will always be the food quality that makes it stand out.

 

VITAL STATISTICS

SPECIALTY Fish

WHERE Karas Fish Tavern, Kennedy Ave 55, Leoforas Kapparis, Protaras

WHEN Daily 12am to 12pm

CONTACT 23 820565, www.karasfishtavern.com

HOW MUCH Fish Meze €27.90, mains from €17.50

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