I Love my Job
I really enjoy my job, even more so when I find something a little different and was thrilled when Valentina and Yiannis invited me to meet them at their Traditional Romanian Restaurant in Paphos … They asked me if I’d like to try one of Yiannis’ Soups for lunch, and I said “just a little please” and they served me Meat Ball Soup with some warm pitta and green chili peppers on the side … I just have to say; “I wish I hadn’t said ‘just a little’ … it really was delicious!”
It’s café restaurant style, minimalistic, with a covered terrace out front with comfy seating, just inside more of the same … Yiannis has been in Cyprus almost 15 years, a baker by trade, with 25 years experience. He worked at Papantonia Bakery for 10 years and also worked as head chef in the Mare Mare Restaurant in Paphos … his favourite dish is Halloumi & Aubergine Salad, next on my list to try.
Yiannis met his wife Valentina just after she moved here 8 years ago. Valentina grew up in the kitchen from age 6 she was helping her granny cook, using her great grandmothers recipes, so expect nothing but authentic Romania cuisine here, perfected over 4 generations … she laughed as she told me “my Bounika aka yia-yia, would give me homework about the ingredients and cooking process to make sure I knew exactly how to cook each dish she made”.
Love to Cook
Wanting a better life, they chose Cyprus, partly for the weather but mostly because we grow some of the finest vegetable in the world here. Yiannis said “we both love to cook, so Cyprus was perfect because Cypriots live for the table” and they got that bit right because many locals go there repeatedly!
Please let me just correct myself on the ‘nothing but authentic Romanian dishes’, as they introduced a traditional Grill here too … So you’ll find things like Pork Chops, Lamb Chops, Spare Ribs, Burgers, Chicken and Pork Souvlaki and gorgeous Steaks, with or without sauces … Check out their Menu here.
Yiannis told me We don’t use artificial flavours or colourings and only select the best produce and prefer to go shopping together for our ingredients to look for the freshest local products” … He continued ” we select our meat from the excellent ‘Butcher Boy’ in Paphos”. Their meat is imported from New Zealand, especially the Lamb, so too the Beef, Black Angus, the Rib Eye and fillet all from New Zealand.
Herbs & Spices
They also import their herbs from Romania especially the Romanian Thyme, that explodes with flavour all over your taste buds and ‘Lovage’ which is essential in their soups. Even their Mustards come from Romania … why not check out their Reviews on Facebook.
Looking through the menu, I noticed one of their specialities is ‘Marinated Lamb Pastrama’ … Marinated in a fridge for 6 to 7 days in a secret recipe of herbs and spices, turned every day, cooked on the grill, served with Polenta, a gluten free dish made with boiled corn meal, feta cheese and red onion salad. It sounded so nice I had to try it and it was better than it sounded.
While I was interviewing them they were serving Meat Balls, made with minced pork, garlic, Romanian thyme and egg, cooked in the oven and served on a bed of mashed potato. One or two other dishes went on my tick list; The Romanian Sausage dish and the Mince Meat rolls and the Pork & Sausage casserole, hmm or the Stuffed Peppers
One of their specialities is soups … The Beef and vegetable soup everybody’s favourite … But the Beef Tripe Soup, blended with sour cream and marinated for 3 days, simmered over low heat for 6 to 7 hours is as traditional as it gets, I had a little taster and it was just delicious.
They just love their seafood in here … Their unique and traditional Fish Saramare is Sea Bass or Sea Bream cooked with peppers, tomato and garlic a best seller but you’ll find a cool selection, sometimes seasonal and steamed, grilled or fried.
Serving a variety of fruit but you really must try their very special cheese donuts, Mmm!
Just in case
I loved the way they note all the allergens in their dishes on the last page of the menu …
You can dine in or takeaway … if there’s a group of you it’s best to book but not always necessary.
Yiannis is happy to cater for small parties and welcomes enquiries for birthdays, anniversary’s, small wedding receptions and special events … Wait ’til you see what happens here on 1st December … Romanian National Day.
Open All Year
Daily: 11 am ’til 10 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11 am ’til 11.45 pm
You’ll find them at 7, Adamentiou Korai, Paphos 8046 … close to the Farmers Market and next to the Thai Massage & Spa … click on the Google map below