I met local lad and qualified engineer Evi, and his wife Claire, from Brazzzzilll, back in 2015 when they opened their first Rio’s in Napa on the main strip, it was one of my regular late-night munchies because their chicken is just sooooo good, to be honest, I could eat here almost every night! … I was soooo pleased when I saw they’d moved to Paralimni, and finally I managed to sit them down for a chat.
In the Blood
Evi’s explained, “My family owned Bush Hall Hotel in Hatfield, Herts so I grew up in the hospitality industry, naturally helping out in all departments”. “I then opened an Italian-style cafe, called ‘Alfresco’ in St. Albans, doing breakfasts, lunch, and dinner”.
Move to Cyprus
I asked Evi, so why Piri Piri?; He said, “I wanted to move back to Cyprus and I really loved this style of cooking chicken, so I decided to follow this ever-growing fashion and launched Rio’s Piri Piri Chicken, first on the strip in Napa, we had all the top Dj’s in including Tim Westwood, Wiley, Stormsy, Solo 45, Lethal Bizzel, and Miss Dynamite eat with us … then we decided to move to Paralimni last year, coz its 12 months a year business here!”
As always, I asked why Rio’s … he said “We wanted a catchy name, and with Napa being Napa, and my wife coming from Brazil we thought it was a cool choice, short and catchy” … it certainly is that!
My next question was, ‘How come is your chicken soooo good’? Evi said, ” We get our chicken delivered fresh every day from a few local farms, and then we marinate it for at least 24 hours in our secret Piri Piri recipe”. I asked him to let me into the secret ingredients but he said “It’s a secret” … So you’ll have to buy me a drink if you want me to tell you 😉
Evi continued; “It all started back in 1912, when Wilbur Scoville charted the comparative heat of different chillis. The greater the number of Scouville units the hotter the chilli, but don’t worry, we have 8 Different Flavours of Piri Piri sauces, from Zesty Lemon and Herb to Extreme with everything in between!” Piri Piri of course means Pepper Pepper, my favourites are the Hot & Spicy and the Jerk Chicken, OMG!
I asked Evi to explain what happens next?, He said … “You basically choose the dish you want, it’s then cooked in our unique special way, flame-grilled over a chargrill, it’s a healthier, more tender option to deep fried chicken. Then you select your chosen Piri Piri flavour, and that’s how it’s cooked and served” … he finished; “it’s a fast-growing fashion in the UK causing many fried chicken companies to close”.
A Cut Above
The menu is just about every cut of chicken, cooked Rio’s style from the leg to the breast … so if you like wings you can just have wings and so on … I’ve tried so many of them, my favourites are the Tender 5 Fire Grilled Strips, Jerk Style … 2nd favourite the kebab style Chicken Breast in Pitta Bread, drizzled in Hot and Spicy sauce.
You can choose french fries or plain rice, but I love the Fiery Rice and the Coleslaw, soooo tangy …
It’s a great way to mix up your order … Platter 1; 8 Pieces of Chicken, 8 Wings, 4 regular Side Dishes, 2 Coleslaw, 1.5 ltr of coke … Platter 2; 12 Pieces of Chicken, 10 Wings, 5 Side Dishes, and 1.5 ltr of Coke.
On the Grill
They cook by the grill so of course they also serve a tasty 100% Beefburger in Brioche Buns, in 1/4 lb or 1/2 lb size with a regular side dish … But they also serve a Jumbo Fresh Pork Chop, all 650gm+ of it, or Belly Pork Slices or the tantalising Spare Ribs Marinated for 24 Hours and covered in the Piri Piri Sauce of your choice.
The Vegetarian Burgers are amazing, and so too is the Halloumi in Pitta Bread, but I love the Halloumi Wraps with salad … or on that note, I sometimes go for Rio’s Chicken Salad … drizzled in my choice of Piri Piri Sauce.
Evi and the crew are always happy to cater for birthday parties, and special events and will help you to create a buffet from their menu or will improvise if you book in advance.
The decor is sleek and shiny, all coloured glass with 10 wooden tables and comfy seating, inside and out, both high and low, so you can choose to dine there if you prefer. Evi and Claire are extraordinary hosts, making you feel at home … Check out their Menu here or download it via the QR Code below.
All Day Delivery
They’re open daily, serving everything from their Menu, for Takeaway or you can have it delivered to your home or office. Working with Foody, Wolt and Bolt Food Delivery services, they’re quick and reliable covering the surrounding area as far as Ayia Thekla, Sotira, Protaras and Frenaros.
It was really cool to see that Evi’s son Antony has joined the crew making it truly a family business … and naturally, families are welcome … Check out their Facebook Reviews here and their Trip Advisor Reviews here
Open all Year
Daily: 11.30 am to 10.30 pm
Closed on Wednesdays
You’ll find Rio’s at 77, Nikou Psara, aka Old Stadium Road, Paralimni, 5280 … It’s next to Koumas Donuts and opposite TTappis Tavern … Click on the Google Map icon below …
GPS: 35.030823, 33.982023
It’s Where the Magic Happens!