Under New Management …
Closing: 10.09.23 … Re-Opening April 2024
I recently caught up with the infamous George Tofa at the very new look Serena Beach Bar & Restaurant on the idyllic Sirena Bay on the outskirts of Pernera. This is seriously one of my favourite places in the world!
The Old Days
It was way back in 1971 that local Artist Irini and her husband decided to build a little beach shack, high up on the rocks of Sirena Bay, mainly to get away from the maddening crowds of Famagusta, btw that shack is now the food bar … Then through the 80’s and 90’s the rest of this magnificent villa was completed and so, this extraordinary and in fact unique venue was born!
Under the Trees
It’s a little off the beaten track, once our little hidden secret retreat from the heat, because it really is a little paradise on earth. Recently, George and the crew have taken it to a new level, a bit more Greek, contemporary, and a little more sophisticated, leaning more towards a cosmopolitan Cypriot home at party time, favoured by the older crew, 23+, and families are very welcome. The decor brings you back to nature and complements the stunning location with spectacular views, it’s one of my favourite places to go if you’re looking for pure chill-out.
I love the crazy paved terrace, shaded by tall mature trees, that twinkle delightfully as the sun sets. Mustard-coloured sails up high, creating gorgeous relief from the heat by day and a stunning compliment to the setting by night … scattered wicker lanterns create delicious lighting effects ’til the early hours … the masterpiece, with no expense spared, the hand-carved, solid wood tables and chairs, little alcoves of comfy seating, gorgeous bamboo and wicker light shades high in the trees, and scattered decorations an obvious sign of minimalist interior design.
On the Rocks
Golden sanded Sirena Bay is just down the wooden steps, off the sun terrace lined in mustard-coloured comfy sunbeds and umbrellas. Whilst down a tier, skirting the rocks, a pathway leading to the almost private beach on the left, with lovely lighting down the steps to the sea and there’s more sunbeds, spaciously set, all with a view to die for, the sea of serenity at Sirena Bay.
Behind the Bar
The Mixologists will mix you any of the classic cocktails or maybe a speciality cocktail, like a tantalizing Old Fashioned or a perfect Mojito, they really are delicious. You really must try one of the Signature Cocktails … I’ve tried the Summer Wave; Midori, Choya, Spiced Rum, Melon Juice, Sugar and Lemon … and the Mediterranean Splash a blend of Gin, Masticha, Basil, Lemon and Sugar … my must try next, is the Serena Watermelon; a blend of Masticha, Tequila, Watermelon Juice, Lemon Juice and Sugar syrup … and for the kids, it has to be a Hugo, Soda, Elderflower Syrup, Lemon Juice …
I once watched the barman make a Flaming Lamborgini … Naturally, you’ll find your fav tipples from an extensive range of branded spirits, including an excellent choice of Whiskeys, and premium Gins along with a multitude of flavoured tonics … oh and, they’ll be introducing a few more signature cocktails based on white spirits and I’ve been invited for the tasting … how could I refuse?
You must check out their beach bar on the sun terrace, open on special events days … and you can use my favourite sunbed if I’m not there … 😉 … oh, btw, they also prepare an array of exotic flavours, ‘na kabnizede’, chilled with your favourite shot, for you to share with your friends 😉
The wines are International, although many are carefully selected, from Cyprus and Greece, to compliment their unique cuisine … my favourites, are the Miraval or the Whispering Angel from France and the Kyperounda Akte Rose from Cyprus … There’s 7 Beers on draught including; San Miguel, ice-cold Apple flavour Somersby Cider and Barcelona … Naturally they also serve a nice bottle of Champaign, Moet, Don Perignon, and Brut to mention but a few
On the Menu
They’ve stepped it up in the kitchen and the head chef, from Mykonos, Greece has become very creative with a selection of contemporary and traditional fusion. He said; it’s sort of Mediterranean with a Japanese twist. You’ll find culinary delights like classic Cypriot cuisine maybe you fancy something to share, I just love the Ouzo Platters! oh and, make sure you ask for some White Tarama It’s unique and very different, and I have to say ‘just delicious’!
You’ll even be able to order something very special in advance, all you have to do is ask … but if you don’t, the Spicy Crispy Squid is so tender and not forgetting the meat-eaters my absolute favourite has to be the Chateaubriand, cooked with a unique recipe that head chef wouldn’t even tell me, but all I can say is, ‘it’s just to die for’! … or enjoy a Homemade Beefburger with Black Angus beef or the Flamed Black Angus Rib-eye Steak, cooked slowly over real charcoal … Mmm!
Following the latest fashion, the head chef adds the Japanese touch and conjures up some Raw Delights … The Sushi Rolls are already a top seller … I just love the Beef Carpaccio with Truffle, balsamic cream, basil and graviera … or the Tuna Tartare … but first on your ‘must-try’ list has to be the Octopus Carpaccio with caper sauce and creamy lemon aioli.
They love their seafood here, the Fresh Steamed Mussels and Fresh Lobster and Shrimp Pasta delightfully teased with fresh lemon zest and fresh basil both picked from their orchard … much the same as the Thyme used to compliment the Fresh Roasted Seabass Fillet
I always like to find out what the owner’s favourite is and of course, it was the seafood, but George said the Ravioli filled with eggplant was amazing, it’s fast becoming everyone’s fav … and quick as a flash, the head chef brought me and Zilli a platter to share with the girls, along with warm pitta bread and a lovely Cypriot salad with feta, sprinkled with lemon and lots of homemade olive oil from their own olive trees.
Desserts are very seasonal here, so expect the Fresh Fruit Platter to change a bit through the summer … but just wait til you try the Greek Custard Pie with cinnamon and Icecream … or the Homemade Cheesecake with Blackberry Sorbet is just OMG!
George told me; “We’ve planned the whole season’s calendar, and we’ll always have regular events, from Naughty Rembetika Nights to top international DJ’s, and Live Greek Jazz … On Friday and Saturday nights, the very famous Stavros Constantinou from Nicosia will help create the ambience.
Then DJ sets on Saturday afternoon from 12.30 til 7 pm with regular live radio links, to pure Sunday Chillout Sessions and the occasional top singers and live bands from Greece, some with a cultural twist, tbh These days, at Serena Bay, you should expect the unexpected!
During the week it is more of a family thing, locals and tourists, some returning for their thirty-something year, but tbh, it tends to get a tad crazy down here at weekends, as they get joined by the cosmopolitan Nicosia crew who swarm to the coast and because it’s so special, occasionally the rich and famous who come down to indulge in a little bit of paradise and recharge their system … This place really is pure chill-out!!!
Weddings & Parties
It’s an absolutely stunning venue, quite unique, just perfect for your wedding reception, christening, birthday party, anniversary or divorce and naturally, they welcome inquiries for private parties, small weddings, and corporate events, with catering from their a’la carte menu … btw, there may be a limit on the number of guests so please call them for a chat.
George did mention that to avoid disappointment it’s advisable to call ahead and book a table …
Open Long Summer Season
May ’til October
Daily: 9 am ’til 1.30 am ‘ish
You’ll find them at 115 Vrisoudion, Pernera area, Ammochostos, it’s a small slip road style turning off the main road, beachside, but it’s easier to just hit the Google map icon below … with limited off-street parking …
GPS: 35.041042, 34.033463
Expect the Unexpected!