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“The Old Town Restaurant is one of those precious places that instil confidence the moment you walk through the door. A bit like meeting Mr Right, sometimes you just know, its the same with Old Town restaurant especially after being seated within their beautiful ‘secret garden’ dining area, I defy anyone not to know within 30 seconds that they are indeed smitten.food-table

It’s got to be one of the most romantic spots this side of the island with tables set under cooling trees, entirely enclosed with high banks of plants, and wafting through the warm night air there is the scent of mint, lavender, and oregano. It’s a truly discreet rendezvous (adulterers take note) and certainly not a place for people watching, here, you only have to concentrate on the companionship of friends (and lovers) and simultaneously get stuck in to what is a truly superb menu.

Here resides a genuine Mediterranean kitchen but please – instantly remove from your mind any memories of stereotypical over cooked lamb, sloppy moussaka, and taramasalata the colour known on the Dulux chart as Carcino-Addictive Electric Pink, all these classic horrors have no place in the Old Town repertoire instead you are offered vibrant, elegant, richly inventive and wholly memorable Mediterranean food.

In a purer, gentler, world restaurants like the Old Town would be deemed as a national treasure the same way important archaeological sites have been so listed. So what makes me want to get up on my soap box and make a rallying cry for this particular obscure little gem of an eatery.event-three

First, Vangelis the Chef and owner wins gold by following the most opaque of formulae: he takes local ingredients of top quality, cooks them simply and accurately and serves them (via exceedingly friendly professional waiters) without a trace of poncery.

The result is a dazzling mosaic of a meal enlivened with a Mediterranean touch that is perfectly judged every time.

First up were selections of home made dips with a sharp green salad, petite rosettes of tomato filled with anchovies, followed by a delicate melt in the mouth Carpaccio of fish with raspberry vinaigrette.

The perfectly cooked marinated octopus with olive oil and oregano became the star of the show until it was instantly replaced by the taste delight offered by gentle yet succulent lobster pasta.

This is a dish which invariably comes with rubber lobster so overcooked it could be tied with strong string and used as a yo yo here, there had been no such culinary abuse only a very happy marriage.

Other options included partridge ravioli, or proper crispy duck spring rolls with honey and chilli, we could also have been seriously tempted by the Greek lamb kleftico before feasting on proper moussaka or one of the house specialities wild roasted duck cooked in Commandaria.night-dinner

But , that evening we were all on a serious piscatorial mission and continued on to clean plates that had once offered wood grilled Sea bass with a lemon butter sauce, not forgetting the grilled prawns marinated with lemon grass olive oil and with just the right splash of lime.

Carnivores can with confidence sink teeth into Vangelis’s wood grilled rib eye steak which at 22 Euros a pop isn’t that bad considering the prime quality of the raw ingredients. It’s also nice to see rabbit stifado on the menu. Here it’s cooked with wild mushrooms and juniper berries and even on a warm summers evening the kitchen was turning out several plates of this home cooked speciality to eager Thumper fans.

There is also a gourmet mezze on offer for folk who wish to sample most of the menu in miniature and although the prices aren’t exactly on a par with a standard mezze house the superior quality and cooking you get here makes Old Town quite rightly an upmarket eatery, and you can eat here for under 25 EU and still have a memorable meal for all the right reasons.

For pudding don’t mess around just go straight for the cake of the day either honey or homemade almond, after all, one might just need an instant sugar rush if travelling back to Pafos. The next morning a neighbour asked why I would drive all that way just to have supper, (he by the way eats only frozen chips).  My response – ‘If I was a few decades younger and bereft of transport, I’d damn-well jog the 29.3 kilometres to Polis just to relish this man’s cooking’.”  –Jill Campbell Mackay, Cyprus Mail

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