A Cypriot taverna serving Chinese food might sound strange, but stay with me on this one. Klimataria Taverna is positioned on the pretty central square of Mandria village and has been for over 35 years. It started life as a coffee shop. Through the generations, it has grown to where it is today with the taverna, a pub area and, more recently, the addition of a Chinese menu.
While Klimataria looks no different from the outside, it is now essentially two restaurants, a substantial Chinese menu in addition to the original taverna menu, for which it is rightfully well known! Both menus are presented at the table when you sit down. The old menu offers the usual salads, starters, burgers, homemade Cypriot specialities, and meats from the grill. The new Chinese menu offers quite literally everything you can think of – nine soups and seven variations of rice, a selection of Thai dishes. I thought they were all very reasonably priced. Due to the nature of the cooking, there are two different kitchens, each with their own chefs. If you order from both menus as we did, you are warned that your food may arrive at the table at different times.
We all went for the winning dish of Aromatic Crispy Duck as a starter, which is available in different sizes. The duck was served traditionally with pancakes, sliced vegetables and plum sauce. The portion of duck was very generous for what was supposed to be a quarter size with six pancakes to share between us. After we devoured the pancakes, there was still quite a bit of meat left over, which rarely happens.
Moving onto the main event, a traditional homemade Moussaka arrived at the table, shortly followed by the Chinese choices. It felt a little strange, but at the end of the day, the selection offered does mean that everyone can choose exactly what they want to eat. The moussaka was presented in a large, deep terracotta dish with a plate of salad and homemade chips with pitta bread on the side. It was cooked to perfection, and undoubtedly a family recipe from years ago, as the seasoning was superb, with the typical herbs and spices making their mark.
From the other kitchen, we had selected Chicken with Cashew Nuts. Again it was superb and a testament to the fact that the four authentic chefs in the kitchen have many years of experience. The portion was considerable and was easily shared between two. Again, like the duck, what was unusual, was that there was a large amount of chicken interspersed with vegetables and cashew nuts. On the side, we ordered a bowl of Egg Fried Rice, which was again a generous portion. When eating this kind of food, I prefer chopsticks that are not on the table but are available upon request.
We finished with dessert, and this was the only area I could criticise Klimataria, as it seemed a shame not to have a Chinese option. However, it is early days and no doubt that might be something they have in the pipeline. We decided to share a Chocolate Lava Cake and an Apple Pie. These were okay but were not the standard of the other dishes and seemed expensive compared to the rest of the menu.
As we all favoured different wines – red, rosé, and white – we enjoyed a couple of glasses of the house wine from the Kolios Winery, which is highly recommended and great value. It does take a little bit of effort to get your head around the concept of a taverna serving Chinese, but strangely, it works. And based on the number of people there on the evening we visited, they have got it right.
I am looking forward to returning and trying the extensive Sushi menu.
SPECIALTY Cypriot and Chinese
WHERE Klimataria Tavern, Village Square, Mandria, Paphos
WHEN Open 7 days. Reservations advised. 11:00 to 00:00
CONTACT 26 422258
HOW MUCH Vegetarian mains from €7.50, Main Chinese dishes from €10.50, Meat grills from €12