What could please the Almighty more: breaking bread and eating marine dwellers on Good Friday. All this in an avenue that was once the province of the halt, lame, nightwalkers and those disposed to taking their sustenance through the nose or vascular system. It is now so cleansed that the Holy Relics – protected and accompanied by the Police Band – can be carried from Phaneromeni and paraded before the fishy diners. What a happy prospect. However, if you wish to dine in our capital city on Good Friday prepare to be frustrated to the point of self destruction before finding a parking space even though the Blue management provide a guide to parking in their website.
The group that operate this establishment have an interesting pedigree, one might state enigmatic: they are the Green-Food people, with organic products all over the cities – ‘Fresh & Bio’ is their logo and they assure me; their ‘Watchword’. And I have no reason to doubt it. They claim all the fish they sell is fresh. Furthermore it is the widest choice of ocean dwellers I have encountered in 15 years of exploring fish restaurants in Cyprus.
There is an air of excitement inside bordering on chaos. We are seated at a table for two, there is only one other. The diners at Blue arrive ‘en famille’, fortunately not too many children. It is a brave parent that takes a child to a fish restaurant.
The lady in the floral dress that seated us, does not take orders. ‘Someone will come,’ she cries. I fear I have stepped on her status. The menu is extensive and covered in very attractive Darwinian prints one might suppose came from the Origin of Species. When I saw fish soup was on offer I knew we were in for an interesting night. I love fish soup. But my previous encounters in Nicosia have been disappointing. The Italian companion, whose family were magicians at Zuppa di Pesce, raised an eyebrow, but I was unmoved.
Yanis, who insisted on telling us he was from Lesbos, handled the order, and guided us through the variety of ouzo on offer. If you like ouzo try this: Varvagianni Green – he put me off the Blue, same price but ABV 43 – perfect accompaniment for fish.
The menu offers seven salads, including boiled seasonal greens. Thirteen cold starters: a tuna dip, an interesting crab dip dressed in mustard, chef’s mayonnaise, onion dill and lime. The usual suspects, and a dish called Trilogy – Tahini, Hummus and Fava.
Yanis delivered the ouzo with a bowl of Cretan olives and a plate of hot unleavened oregano bread. Good start. Soup was excellent. Next up the small fresh cod bites served with a dish of sweet tomato sauce; very large portion of torpedo shaped deep fried specimens: first rate. Companion ordered zucchini fritters to start and the ravioli made on site enclosing bream fillets, shrimp, spearmint, haloumi, all in a creamy tomato sauce.
Blue offers three platters to share headed by the mysterious ‘fish catch’. There is a generous range of pan fried or grilled specimens – all cooked in the open – from which I selected tiny squid that were quite delicious, and followed this with a plate of what the menu described as crayfish, but were actually langoustines all served with hand cut chips. The ravioli disappointed: the contents were incompatible and the wrong side of al-dente.
The main course menu has no less than four varieties of grouper, includes parrot fish and many more never before seen in Nicosia. They are sold by weight, so be careful.
A thoroughly enjoyable evening. The manager, Savvas Mouzakis opened the sliding windows to ensure we all appreciated the band and holy relics; imagine. This is an operation with good intentions.
Once Blue settles down, it will thrive.
SPECIALTY Fresh Fish
WHERE Onasagorou 35, Nicosia
CONTACT 70007011, Book