Catching up with friends is always a delight. Going to a restaurant for an Asian fine dining experience is an added bonus. We headed to Kiku Asian in Paralimni, which is a little bit out of the way.

I had a really good first impression when I walked in, a modern, clean and stylish venue. When entering, you are greeted by a ‘buddha bust’ in a little zen zone giving you the feeling of calm but only for a moment as to my left stood a statue of an angry red gorilla waving its hands in the air! It beats a ‘please wait to be seated’ sign as it will definitely stop you in your tracks!

Alongside the menu, we were brought a plate of prawn crackers with a sweet chilli dipping sauce. The menu itself was extensive and full of many different options: poke bowls, four different types of maki, sushi and sashimi, vegan options, bao buns, noodles and even a ‘make your own wok’ section!

rest2Our friends knew pretty quickly what they were ordering: Prawn Tempura Bao Buns, Rocky Prawn Salad, Prawn Curry and a Vegetable Bombay Curry. We were a little more indecisive but ordered Duck Bao Buns to share. My partner went for a highly recommended Chicken with Black Bean Sauce. Pressure was on so I whittled it down to two and asked the waiter about the Crispy Beef and the Asian pork – pancetta marinated with star anise, soy sauce and mirin vegetables. Asian Pork it was! It wouldn’t be a proper experience if we didn’t order a cocktail or four so added to the order were a couple of Hugos (with a Kiku twist) and a couple of the Kiku Fizz, which is Bombay bramble, blueberry puree, lime juice and tonic.

The drinks were brought fairly quickly, and I must say, we were off to a good start! The Kiku Fizz was on the sweet side but just the right amount, which is exactly how I like a cocktail.

First to the table were the bao buns. Our crispy duck buns had a generous dollop of Peking sauce and seemed packed with meat. The bao bun had that perfect doughy consistency and was steamed perfectly. Under the sauce was an even more generous helping of succulent crispy duck. I was really enjoying myself. Slowly but surely all the food was brought out to the table, some of the dishes served on beautiful wooden, leaf-shaped dishes.

The Rocky Prawn Salad came in a huge bowl and was almost overflowing with tempura prawns. I was assured that it tasted just as good as it looked. Although the consensus was that it was good, there were slightly mixed reviews on the Vegetable Curry but that was more to do with personal preference than the dish itself. However, the Prawn Curry got two thumbs up from them both.

When my dish was put down in front of me, my eyes widened. I couldn’t believe the size of the portion I was given. Plenty of pork pancetta covered in a sauce and a mountain of stir-fried rice. However, my excitement waned when I tried to cut into the meat and it was really tough. The pancetta was sliced quite thin, and it looked as though it had been cooked through on a really high heat which gave it a hard texture as opposed to the juicy meat and crispy trim. The sauce definitely enhanced the flavour, but it was a bit of a letdown. In hindsight, I should have mentioned it to our server because all the other food was prepared and cooked so well, I’m sure that this wasn’t how the dish was intended to be.

Not only were we not in the mood for dessert but, although the options sounded good, there was nothing different to the norm that made us feel we had to order it. It was a little bizarre that churros were on the menu. I’d like to give Kiku another chance, I had a cheeky glance at a maki platter on another table which gave me food envy so next time, I think I’d be a little more decisive with my ordering!

 

VITAL STATISTICS

SPECIALTY Asian fusion

WHERE Kiku Asian, Tasou Markou 9, Paralimni

WHEN Daily 1pmt to midnight

CONTACT 23 000032

HOW MUCH For a similar order as described (including drinks) approximately €20-25 per head