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Restaurant review: Firis, Paphos

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Following a major refurbishment last year, Firis has reopened in the centre of Konia just outside Paphos. Unless somebody directed you there, it would be hard to find, and it was certainly not on my radar until a friend’s recommendation. The large open-plan building is beautifully designed to represent both modern and classical Cypriot styles. It felt very smart and trendy.

The central ethos at Firis is reflected in the name – firis, meaning fire – with the extensive use of a wood-fired oven. The oven is primarily used for both the bread and the meat. They have taken the classical Cypriot Meze and updated it to 2024. From what I gathered, a very experienced team is in the kitchen, and they are passionate about traditional Cypriot cooking while using the best ingredients available. Many restauranteurs claim to do this, but the Firis team has followed through with an incredible menu that is just a little bit different. Our table of four all decided to go with the meze, which changes according to seasonal availability and specialities from the chef.

It was a cold and windy night when we visited, and we were delighted to start the meal with an exceptional soup, their version of Trachanas. Quite possibly one of the tastiest soups of my life, giving a unique liaison of flavours. With a whole loaf of homemade bread, the meze was off to a great start, but I later regretted eating so much of the bread! Some outstanding dips followed, including a Yellow Lentil Dip with caramelised onions and capers, a Spicy Cheese Dip with pomegranate and chilli flakes, plus an Aubergine dip with smoked paprika.

The high standards continued with the arrival at the table of fresh halloumi slices with grape confit and syrup. The fact that the halloumi has been boiled reduced the saltiness, and the combination of flavours with the sweetness of the confit was a masterstroke. The cheese balls that followed were on a bed of parsnip mash with a tomato marmalade; again a perfect match of flavours. The strong Gruyere cheese contrasted superbly with the sweetness of the marmalade.

rest2The starters continued: spicy sausage, fried cauliflower, zucchini balls with beetroot, flatbread topped with salad and meat and a huge Greek salad. On to the main event, but I was already relatively full at this point! Everyone at the table had high praise for the meats that had been cooked in the wood oven, which gave a unique smoky flavour. They included pork, lamb and chicken, all cooked uniquely with accompanying sauces. All were of the highest quality. Some amazing and tempting roast potatoes arrived at the end, but the whole table was defeated at this stage.

The restaurant generously includes a dessert in the form of Patsavoura and a rose mastic shot on the side. The strong orange flavours came through in the Patsavoura, which was perfectly moist and a great representation of Cypriot desserts. The rose mastic shot worked well as we concluded our meal.

My only criticism of Firis is that the bread is so good that you might be full before the end after having too much at the beginning, but that is self-inflicted! I will undoubtedly return to Firis, but maybe on a Friday or Saturday when they have live traditional music. On these days, they only serve the meze. On other nights, you can have the meze or  la carte.

If you enjoy Cypriot food, Firis is the place for you, and any visitors coming this summer would love the experience. They have taken the rich cuisine of Cyprus, used the best ingredients, and kept it simple. With a short wine list showcasing Paphos wineries, any guest would be hard-pressed not to be impressed.

 

VITAL STATISTICS

SPECIALTY Cypriot & Greek

WHERE Firis, Georgiou Griva Digeni 52, Konia, Paphos

WHEN 7pm to midnight Tuesday to Sunday. Meze only on Friday and Saturday with live music. On other nights, meze and à la carte

CONTACT 95 140500 – booking essential

HOW MUCH Meze €25 per person. Individual dishes – Dips from €4, small plates from €4, meat dishes from €14, fish dishes from €9 and deserts €7.50

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