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Restaurant review: Old Market, Larnaca

rest1

Old Market in Larnaca’s Old Town, a place dear to my heart, blurs the line between bar and restaurant with a finesse that inexplicably reminds me of one of my favourite places in my hometown of Verona, called La Terrazza. What is most important, despite being a bar and just like its Italian counterpart, Old Market doesn’t compromise on quality.

The buttermilk fried chicken burger, in my humble opinion, might just be the best on the entire island. Cooked to perfection with a thick, flavourful coating, hints of paprika and a subtle touch of garlic, it’s a mouthwatering experience. But what elevates the creation to new heights are the generous doses of jalapeños and spicy mayo that accompany it. It’s a culinary firework not for the faint hearted.

And let’s not forget the fries – freshly cut and expertly triple-cooked. If you’re like me and enjoy a bit of extra spice, don’t hesitate to ask for an extra dash of paprika to kick the fries up a notch.

The limited menu at Old Market is, in truth, a testament to the old adage ‘less is more’. And in the culinary world, this to me holds true more often than not. Fewer choices don’t necessarily mean a lack of creativity, but instead, more commitment to fine details in the kitchen, a principle that Old Market upholds.

Behind the scenes, the mastermind shaping all the delicious offerings is Stavris Georgiou, a former Masterchef Greece finalist.

rest2Other highlights include the Caesar salad, a perennial evergreen that dares to be different with crispy pitta instead of the tired croutons. The portion size is in the realm of those seen in the US, making it a stand-alone dish. Another gem on the menu is the mango and quinoa salad, a medley of textures and tastes made extraordinary by the homemade mango vinaigrette. If you’re feeling a bit daring, a dash of Tabasco provides a delightful contrast.

Be sure to keep an eye out for the daily specials, especially during their night events. I still fondly recall a memorable encounter with a vegan hot dog crafted from chickpeas and pumpkin, served with horseradish sauce. Equally unforgettable were the gyoza with braised beef and cauliflower reduction. You might not encounter these exact dishes again, but you might just find new and captivating choices on the daily specials board.

Old Market’s forte, however, lies in the booze, and I’m compelled to suggest a few cocktail options. The Message in a Bottle is a delightful concoction featuring gin, elderflower syrup, strawberry and passion fruit puree, and a hint of rose pepper. For those who appreciate the sweet and sour balance, the Narcos is a revelation, blending rum with fresh rosemary.

Although Old Market primarily identifies as a bar, in a landscape dotted with countless watering holes, I’ll always gravitate towards those that also serve food. Old Market is undeniably one of those establishments.

 

VITAL STATISTICS

SPECIALTY Street food and Asian specials

WHERE Old Market, Kleanthi Kalogera 51, Larnaca

WHEN 6.30pm-2am daily

CONTACT 97 699321

HOW MUCH Burgers from €8, salads from €8.50, sides from €3, daily specials from €8, cocktails from from €7.50

 

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