Taste of Cyprus, Ashford High Street Reviews
A Taste of Cyprus looks very inviting – albeit a bit odd – in a rainy Ashford town center on a weekday midday, the constant drizzle serving as a warm-up for the severe weather warning in place for the next day.
The immediate sight of a barricaded pub next door doesn’t exactly scream “Eastern Mediterranean,” although we’re sure the Eastern Mediterranean also has its fair share of barricaded pubs. They probably look more attractive because of the weather.
Our team of journalists ventured to the Taste of Cyprus Cafe, which opened earlier this year with the promise of the escape so many need in these troubled times and with our troubled times.
The service inside is certainly sunny, while the food itself offers the sort of thing most of us have never had for lunch before (unless we had lunch in Cyprus, obviously).
Despite its name, Taste of Cyprus, on the site of a former real estate agency, offers food and drinks from around the Mediterranean.
The Cypriot breakfast chosen by a member of the group was plentiful – and a delicious taste of what could be served in the morning if you were visiting the country itself.
The large rectangular plate was filled with variety; fresh tomatoes, cucumber, salami, a boiled egg and, her favorite, delicious black olives.
The bread was accompanied by a selection of traditional dips. It was tahini, petmez and honey, as our very friendly and caring waitress explained.
Not to mention a large piece of candied apricot, which again, without inquiring, would probably let you guess, sometimes wrongly.
Overall the dish was a refreshing choice for lunch, full of flavor and intrigue – making for a great chat with friends.
The variety also makes him ideal for the kind of dinner guest who hovers hopefully above other people’s plates, their eyes crying out the question “Do you want this?” “
From a nut allergy point of view, the desserts were quite disappointing with all the Baklava containing nuts.
However, a traditional coffee, served with a cube of Turkish delight was a happy compromise.
For the main course, another reporter tried a traditional Cypriot pie called borek, which looked like a dough with a garnish of ground beef.
The alternative is a cheese filling and this main course turned out to be solid and sufficiently garnished.
For dessert, he had a tolumba, a fried donut dipped in syrup, which was incredibly sweet and won’t show up in many New Year’s diet plans.
For a drink, he chose Turkish coffee – strong and a bit grainy, the traditional way – in a tiny but concentrated cup with the added bonus of a sweet Turkish delight.
He noted that tall people like him need to be careful in one way, however: the downstairs toilet, as well as the staircase and hallway leading up to it, have incredibly low ceilings for a tall person. 6 feet or more. Thus, imposing figures, duck or grouse.
Although not on the menu, another reporter ordered humous and tzatziki with bread for their lunch.
The bread was hot and fresh, and the dips were tasty and topped with olives too. We also asked for more bread to keep soaking, which luckily was provided.
Unable to provide an ingredient list for the desserts, baklava was not on the menu for one of us, and a watermelon soft drink was enjoyed instead.
We had tried to defy the “chilli drink” that was listed, but alas, they had been sold. The taste buds are saved there.
Turkish tea was also a big hit on our table, many of us wondering how we could find it for the office.
Through our research, we learned that Turkey has the highest per capita tea consumption in the world. No wonder when it’s so good.
After mistakenly reading pastry with sesame paste as “pasta cooking” – much to the amusement of his colleagues – a member of our team opted for lahmacun, a flatbread with minced meat, served with a salad. .
It was pretty dry and in desperate need of the tzatziki yogurt dip to add some flavor, but it was a nice lunch that he wouldn’t mind having again.
For dessert, the baklava was incredibly filling, with a little too much syrup put on a piece of filo pastry.
Mixed grills and refillable coffees at Wetherspoon are more his thing, but he said it was good to try something different.
The cafe has an attractive exterior with plenty of tables on the outdoor terrace, ideal for summer. But being winter, we wisely chose to hide inside.
Inside, the place is small and intimate, and we had prompt, enthusiastic and helpful service.
The decor looked quite Cypriot to our untrained eyes, while even the entertainment was genuinely Eastern Mediterranean.
The cafe was playing a music TV channel called Kral Pop, which featured a Turkish flag in the upper right corner of the screen as well as what looked a lot like a photo of President Erdogan.
Presumably, the President had given his advanced blessing to the relentlessly joyful and rhythmic dance numbers that accompanied our lunch (at a thankfully low volume).
Looking at the boarded up John Wallis pub, it’s clear the Taste of Cyprus doesn’t offer the best view of Ashford.
But there is nothing the very friendly staff can do about it and, inside, the former Hunters Estate Agents site has been transformed into a neat cafe, complemented by an ornate balcony which has to be one of the nicest little details of the hotel. downtown.
Well worth a try if you are looking for something different for lunch. And the emphasis on pies and pastries means you don’t need Cypriot weather to enjoy it during the English winter.
Food: **** A slightly confusing but tasty selection, which takes on more meaning after asking a few questions.
To drink: *** Turkish tea and watermelon are a hit, Turkish coffee an acquired taste.
Decor: *** Mainly simple walls, with the exception of the black and white ‘archive’ photo of the building wedged at the end of our table (probably awaiting hanging).
Staff: ***** Friendly, helpful and accommodating with a table of people who clearly had never eaten in Cyprus before.
Price: *** Fairly well. Lunch cost less than £ 10 per person including lunch, drinks and dessert.
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