I was pretty sure that South Cypriot food would be similar to Greek food but as Cyprus has it’s own flag, it’s own culture, and is usually an entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest then it counts for me as a new country and cuisine. We cycled over to Ta Panta Ri on a Saturday in April via Tempelhofer Feld and Golgatha biergarten. After a good 45 minutes cycling with intermittent drinking we were quite hungry and perhaps this was why we overordered.
We chose the Cyprus plate to share to start which included lots of litttle things, mainly in a paste or deep-fried. For main courses Richard went for Exochiko which is lamb slow cooked with mushroom and feta, and I took the Gyros Kleftiko on account of being constantly denied this when we were in Greece. We also tried some of the well priced Cypriot red wine although I was disappointed not to find Keo the national beer on the menu. Like most Greek wine I have tried, it was either too sweet or too tart with no middle ground.
When the starter plate arrived we realised why the waitress had raised her eyebrow when we ordered as it seemed large enough for four people to share. There was grilled hallumi, roasted vegetables, keftedes (meat balls), taramasalata, tsatsiki and cheese pastry parcels. Most things were in batter which made it all a bit too rich to finish and as Richard doesn’t like roasted vegetables I ended up eating the majority of the plate which filled me up too much to enjoy my main.
I was disappointed when the kleftiko arrived as I had forgotten that gyros is pork meat rather than lamb, it was okay but a bit too salty with the seasoned pork meat and sheep’s cheese combined. Richard’s dish was a bit better with pieces of slow cooked lamb that melted in your mouth but again I found the cheese detracted from the dish rather than augmenting it. As I had eaten most of the starter plate I could not eat much and Richard gladly finished mine off as well as his. We both left the restaurant well fed although Rich was happier about it than I was. Not sure I would come back again as it is so far out of the way and there was nothing outstanding about Ta Panta Ri which offers just decent, simple and comforting cooking.
There are no photos of my own for this as my memory card decided to wipe itself.