The Limassol culinary scene has recently expanded with the addition of two new establishments: Salone, an Italian restaurant specialising in pizzas and pasta dishes, and Shibui, an Asian gourmet restaurant. The reason I mention both is that they are essentially housed in the same place, separated by a single wall but joined by an inside door, and even share a common website.
These two new restaurants seem to have quickly become popular with locals, as finding a table is not the easiest of tasks, particularly when it comes to Salone, where booking a table a week in advance is advised. We visited Shibui on a Monday evening, and though we managed to find a table, the restaurant was quickly at capacity, matching its Italian sibling next door.
Shibui has the feeling and aesthetics of a bar, with soft lighting, a brass bar, wooden tabletops, and a large mural taking over the whole of one of the walls. The mural, depicting a person handling a giant fish, is reminiscent of Ukiyo-e, a genre of Japanese art that had its highpoint between the 17th and 19th centuries. It’s fitting, because fish, or rather seafood, dominates Shibui’s menu, something which the restaurant itself is eager to promote. The relatively concise selection of dishes contains a number of items utilising salmon, eel, local tuna, yellowfin tuna, scallops, shrimp and crab.
Aside from the customary Asahi beer and glass of sake, which had a soft flavour and fragrant aroma, we ordered a plate (8 pieces) of sushi rolls with salmon and a light caramel finish on the top (this is very subtle and adds a welcome sweetness to the sushi), a plate of the eel and spicy shrimp rolls (same quantity), and the marble fillet steak, which is served with haricot beans and marinated in an Asian-style barbecue sauce.
All dishes were well-cooked. I’d recommend the salmon caramel rolls, while the steak was cooked perfectly medium-rare, and the sauce it comes with (on the plate, resting below the meat) is a fine accompaniment. However, I should note that the prices are slightly above market average, and the portions are fairly small. If you order the fillet, for example, you’d be advised to add another side, or increase the amount of food you order to share.
For dessert, we split a portion of their matcha profiterol, which was admittedly quite nice, especially if you like your desserts not overwhelmingly sweet. The dominant flavours here are, of course, matcha, white chocolate and cream. We finished the evening with a pot of mint tea, which provided a nice, cosy bookend to the meal, particularly during a cool, October evening.
SPECIALTY: Japanese cuisine
WHERE: Arch. Makarios III Avenue 181, Limassol
WHEN: Daily 3pm-12am
CONTACT: 95 952486
HOW MUCH: €24 for a plate of sushi, €29 for beef fillet, €7-8 for a beer or sake, €10 for dessert