Taste of Cyprus, 145 Croydon Road, Beckenham, BR3 3RB
27 July 2016
Taste of Cyprus is the 2nd-best restaurant in Beckenham, according to TripAdvisor, and has a palindromic postcode to boot, so we arrive expecting great things. Or rather, Joe and Sophie arrive, while Steve gets on the wrong train and ends up the wrong side of Orpington.
When he finally turns up, we contemplate an aperitif. We have heard of Zivania, a grappa-like drink but our jolly waiter instead suggests Filfar, an excellent orange liqueur similar to Cointreau. Drink in hand, we contemplate the surroundings, which certainly look the part: Half-columns stand in the corners, draped in foliage; the Venus de Milo is also here, presumably lost; bouzouki music plays throughout our visit. In the gents we find a big map of Cyprus on the wall, where we learn that Troodos, the name of the Cypriot red wine we’ve ordered, is also the name of the mountain range in the centre of Cyprus.
Steve and Joe share the Meat Meze, which provides a range of Cypriot delights for starters and main. To begin we have hummus, tzatziki, taramosalata, garlic Mushrooms, beetroot, courgettes with
sundried tomatoes, feta & spinach filo pie, prawns in Marie Rose sauce, and pitta on the side. Sophie helps herself to all this and to make up for it the boys get extra calamari. It’s all very good.
The for main course, Joe & Steve’s Meze continues with a meat bombardment: Lamb keftedes (meatballs), loundza (traditional Cypriot smoked bacon), loukanika (smoked pork sausages marinated in wine), grilled halloumi, chicken kebabs and lamb cutlets. This abattoir’s worth is served with rice and greek salad, and it’s all great. Meanwhile Sophie, about to move into vegetarianism in a big way, has a last meaty hurrah with a serving of kleftiko, lamb on the bone cooked in red wine, which she declares excellent.
It’s all very good; not world-beating, but plucky Cyprus has acquitted itself very well with very good food and a great atmosphere. Let’s hope the #1 restaurant in Beckenham is also going to turn up on our list.