New Beach Bar
I was delighted to be invited to ‘Rocas Experience’, the newest beach bar in Protaras, by the eminent Spiros, manager of this wonderful, new eatery on the far left of Protaras Bay, near the jetty, and yes, it was once Nissiotis Tavern, which was raised to the ground, with a total purposely design and rebuild, this place is now on another level … just wait ’til you check out their menu …
Solid as a Rock
As usual, I asked why Rocas? … Spiros said; “we’re at the end of the bay it’s sort of ‘on the rocks’ style, Rocas is Spanish for Rocks, so we thought it was perfect”, I have to agree! … I asked how it all started … he said; “The idea was George Theodoros’, the designer Fivos from Nicosia, the theme hand carved solid wood and bamboo, beach hut influence with a touch of luxury”.
The enticing menu was creatively designed by consultant Chef Andreas Andreou, it’s International with a Mediterranean twist, with hints of Japan and even Puru, and maybe a little bit of Spain … Spiros explained; “It’s not fine dining, it’s simple plates with very beautiful presentation. The menu and especially the Platters will change seasonally and are best shared” … He continued, “We want to stay in touch, learn our clients and mold the platters menu to their tastes”
We talked about the perfect setting at the far left of Protaras Bay, Spiros said; “We wanted to create somewhere really special, a relaxing ambiance, comfy seating, cozy, little more private areas, and a really good sound system and very cool lighting … the location was perfect, replacing a landmark of old with somewhere a little more modern, somewhere to enjoy a refreshing drink, a delicious coffee, and really good cuisine, presented with passion”.
We talked about the menu; Spiros said; “We’re on the sea, so expect to find the freshest seafood, and one of our specialties will be ‘Raw’ … everything from freshly made Sushi to Sea Bass Crudo, with soy caramel sauce, ginger, lemongrass, coriander, spring onion, olive oil, and sweet potato crisp” … sounds delicious … “or one of our top sellers and it seems, everyone’s favourite, the ‘Salmon Tartar Taquitos’, crispy wontons, soy, olive oil, avocado, lime zest, coriander, and carrot slow” … Straight away I could tell I’d found something a little bit special … but, it gets better …
There’s 5 Salads to choose from the Salmon poke caught my eye, Asian style salad with raw salmon … plus a selection of Appetizers … and if they were anything to go by, I knew I was in for a treat … The chef is famous for his Taramaz, a must-try, and just wait ’til the chef cooks the Fried Baby Calamari, with smoked sweet chili sauce, Florina pepper, and lime mayonnaise, the aromas fill the restaurant … btw, the Dolmades a traditional Cypriot dish, made traditionally with lahanna.
I really must try the Steamed Mussels in coconut milk, lemongrass, lime, ginger, chives, coriander, yellow curry, red chili, and crisp bread, they sound like a tastebud explosion! oh, and if you like Octopus, I’m led to believe, it’s soooo soft, you’ll be in heaven!
Pasta & Risoto
I tried the Orzo with Calamari it was delicious, so to the Prawn Risotto, grilled tiger prawns and inside, more prawns, and the Rigatoni Pomodoro but next visit it has to be the Beef Ragout Pappardelle, slow-cooked prime beef, mushrooms, soy sauce, parsley, mizithra cheese, olive oil, and black pepper … I imagine by now, you’re getting my drift, it’s going to be so hard to choose, so you’re definitely going to have to go back.
Most days there’s a selection of Fish, from the catch of the day to locally farmed fish, generally, Sea Bass, Sea Bream, and occasionally Grouper. If you like your meat, try one of their Rocas Prime Uruguayan Angus Beef Burgers, semi-smashed, in a homemade brioche … or the USDA Beef Strip Loin Tagliatta or maybe the huge Grilled Tomapork Tagliatta, all 500gsm, it’s that Jamaican Pepper that does it for me, oh, and the french local fries.
Sides & Vegan
I could just pop in for a couple of these … Grilled Seasonal Wild Greens, Baby Broccolini with some local potato fries, or local Truffle Potato fries topped with grated Parmesan cheese … There are vegan and fasting options too … the Nourish Bowl sounds delightful, humus, inside lime, with the taste of pomegranate, I bet that’s amazing!
If you haven’t been naughty enough and you’ve still got some room you’ll be in for a treat … Spiros was telling me, “The Pistachio Ekmek is our best seller” … but I liked the sound of the Lemon & Raspberry Mess, it’s Lemon creme, lemon & poppy seed cake, and raspberry sorbet … Naturally, they serve lovely seasonal fruit platters too … Click here for their full seasonal Menu
Behind the Bar
I asked about their coffee, and Spiros said; we blend our own fresh coffee, it’s strong and a little bitter, and in time we will add more choices … I tried one of their signature cocktails designed by George, ‘Rocas Martini’, it was sweet and served with strawberry, fresh cream, and lime … I wanted another!
I noted a few of their signature cocktails to try on my next visit, ‘Chilcano’, a blend of barsol pisco, lime juice, angostura, and ginger ale … another made with 8 ingredients ‘Mai Experience, hennessy vs, plantation3, plantation overproof, lime, orgeat syrup, and pineapple … or the ‘Pingroni’, Tanqueray infused, Cinzano, Campari, … and that’s just to mention but a few of the 13 unique mixologist blends!
Bubbles & More
There’s just 3 Beers on draught and Sommersby Cider because they tend mostly to serve bottles of 10 in Ice buckets, to share. Choose, Sam Miguel, Sol, Carlsberg, Paul Lancer, plus Zero Alcohol Beers … Alternatively crack open a bottle of Bubbles, mix a Pink Spritz, Tanqueray Gin, Campari, and Prosecco, topped with pink grapefruit.
Spiros explained; “We only opened in May but the crew just jelled together immediately and it’s like we’ve always been here” … The hospitality, traditionally Cypriot, the ambiance, a Mediterranean Beach Bar, chill-out sounds, the menu International and on another level, and the location, just perfect! … Check out my Live Video
With plans to hold regular events, like top DJs, and Live Bands on weekends, and the occasional Bouzouki … They also welcome inquiries for birthday parties and any special event and will help you create a buffet for your guests and promise you you’ll remember it forever! … it’s gorgeous by day, and absolutely fabulous by night … but gets busy on weekends so it’s best to book …
Open Long Summer Season
April ’til November
Daily: 9 am ‘to 1 am
You’ll find Rocas Experience at 23, Lefkolas, Protaras … It’s on the far left side of Protaras Bay, at the old Nissiotis Site, opposite the Protaras jetty … with ample off-street private parking … See google Maps below …
GPS: 35.020907, 34.050256
Rocas is more than just an experience!