One of the highlights of our recent trip to Cyprus was visiting ‘Ta Piatakia’ (Little Plates) in Limassol. There were five in our family party – the Scribblaire, the husband, a niece and two sisters. The restaurant had been recommended to the niece by friends as somewhere special to go.
Our taxi dropped us at the door of the restaurant, which, in typical Mediterranean style has tables outside at the front. Once through the door, we were greeted enthusiastically by the owner and chef, Roddy Damalis, who showed us to our table and talked through the menu and how it worked. As well as the menu, there were a number of ‘specials’ written across a beam in the middle of the room. Roddy suggested that we each select two choices from the menu so that we could experience a variety of dishes.
Whilst our bottle of very acceptable South African Sauvignon Blanc was being organised, we had a look at the menu and took in our surroundings. Sitting in the middle of the restaurant, we had a panoramic view of the room. The tables and chairs were fairly plain; red plastic chairs adding a splash of colour. The walls and ceilings, however, are anything but plain. Metallic plates of different colours and sizes fill the walls and reflect the light from the tables and from the striking chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, which add a touch of drama to the room. Stairs in the corner of the restaurant lead to another floor, which wasn’t in use when we visited.
Roddy came back to take our order and joked and chatted to us about the food, his South African background and how long it took him to learn Greek. He was attentive and fun and spent a lot of time at our table. He suggested what we should order, taking into account our likes and dislikes. He has a larger than life personality and is very approachable and funny, which I’m sure helps with his celebrity status on the island.
After a complimentary starter of deep fried celery, served in what seemed to be a vase, our dishes started to arrive. As well as a salad and some garlic flatbread, our selection consisted of:
- Soutzoukakia – goat burgers stuffed with a little feta. Delicious, but quite rich.
- Mushrooms in cammandaria and rosemary. I’m not a huge fan of the local commandaria wine, so this wasn’t one of my favourites. An interesting way to liven up the humble mushroom though.
- Feta parcels drizzled in honey. A personal favourite and something that we discovered on our trip to Santorini last year. The salt and sweet combination is perfect. I mistakenly thought that we had this without the filo pastry in Santorini, but I was mistaken.
- The feta and chilli dip is inspired, albeit that the consistency takes a bit of getting used to.
- Baked camembert with chilli syrup is delicious and I’ll be trying this recipe myself.
- We ordered baby crab with satay sauce, which Roddy suggests is popped in the mouth ‘like popcorn’. I confess that I had to take the legs off mine before eating it! I left the rest to everyone else.
- We also had the halloumi wrapped in bacon with mango chutney. I could have eaten it all!
- We also ordered a fish dish and some prawns, which everyone enjoyed.
After our main courses, Roddy came to say goodbye. Before he left I bought his cook book, which he signed for me. I’ll definitely be trying out some of the recipes.
If you’re in Cyprus, I’d highly recommend Little Plates for Cypriot food with a modern twist, a good atmosphere and lovely surroundings. I’d give it four stars….