Northern Cyprus Food Specialities
If you know the food of Turkey, then you know Cyprus food, but there are one or two things that you won't find in Turkey. Probably the most famous of Cypriot culinary specialities is hellim cheese. This full-fat soft cheese is made from whole goats milk, salt, mint and is typically served with salads.
Another speciality is molohiya, a green leafy vegetable, which grows only in Cyprus and on the banks of the Nile. It is usually cooked with chicken or meat and is deliciously wholesome.
Another interesting vegetable unknown outside Cyprus is kolokas, a root vegetable which when cooked (again with lamb or chicken) has the texture of potato, but has a much sweeter taste.
In addition to the usual Turkish kebabs, there are two, which are only to be found in Cyprus. One is kup kebab. This involves wrapping lamb or goat, potatoes and herbs in foil. The wrap is then cooked for hours in a clay oven. The other is sheftali kebabs which are small, spicy, sausage-like lumps of meat that are skewered and cooked over hot charcoal.
Restaurants and Cafes in Kyrenia
In places frequented by tourists, an example being the old harbour, one or two good standard restaurants can be found. However, most are little more than cafes and are in Cypriot terms, fairly expensive. Their saving grace is that you can dine by the sea under a star-lit sky.
If you move away from the tourist areas and explore the back streets you will find cafes that offer real Cypriot cuisine at astonishingly low prices. Generally, in these cafes, there is no menu, or if there is, you may have difficulty understanding it.
What you do in these places is to examine the contents of the hot and cold cabinets and order a little of this and a little of that, making a meal to your own liking. There are for example three of these types of cafe located in the town square.
In your travels you may find the Girne Restaurant, which is tucked away on a square close to the harbour. This café is open 24 hours a day, serves real Turkish food, and the most delicious freshly cooked naan bread. If you are looking for real Cypriot food, then you need to search a little harder.
Find the street where the two stores 1001 and Ordu Pazari (Army Stores) are situated, walk (away from the harbour) until you come to a small parade of shops set back from the pavement on your left, and take the first left. This brings you into a street of various shops and a selection of cafes. These cafes, which are exceptionally inexpensive, cater almost exclusively for Cypriots and provide extremely good food.
Because there are many English and Germans living in Cyprus (particularly in Kyrenia), you will also find restaurants - mainly out of town - offering all types of cuisine : English/French, Indian, and Italian, sometimes all three plus Turkish! There are also one or two Chinese restaurants. Some of the fish restaurants, which abound, are of a very high standard.
Malcolm Pout's Favourite Restaurants
Our guest Malcolm Pout chose these as his favourite restaurants, and explains why.
SEVKETS: This is my favourite restaurant not just because of the food, which is excellent, but because Sevket is a fantastic host. The restaurant is completely family run. It has very good facilities including a nice pool, which you are more than welcome to use. This restaurant is about 3 minutes from the hotel by car.
SERA PIZZA HOUSE: A must if you want a great pizza in somewhere totally different. The place is run by Alex, who must be one of the happiest people I know, and who you will definitely find amusing. The place is set in gardens with Ducks and Chickens and other animals, some roaming about during the day. You will find this lovely little place just 2 minutes' walk from the hotel.
THE HUT: This is the local English restaurant run by Dean & Edna. The Hut is frequented by a lot of the English people in the area. You are guaranteed a warm reception and very good food (try the steak sandwich). You will find them about 5 minutes' walk from the hotel.
CAFE DE PARIS: This place does good food at a very cheap price. You will recieve very friendly welcome by Hussan. It is as secluded as the other places as it is located right on the edge of Girne (kyrenia), but don't let this put you off; the price makes up for it. It can be found opposite the main Dolmus car park.
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Discover a Hidden Treasure
You may not have heard much about North Cyprus, but we can assure you it does exist. Those discerning travellers who have discovered it often prefer to keep it to themselves. Who can blame them, when there are so few places left which are this unspoilt and untouched by commercialism.
Daily Diving and PADI courses
Our hotel offers Daily Diving and PADI courses through Cyprus Underwater Explorers, a PADI Dive resort, based at the hotel for your total convenience. You can enjoy a mornings diving in the warm Mediterraneanwaters followed by lunch poolside and even an afternoon dive if you so wish. Please look at their website cyprusunderwaterexplorers.com for full details of courses and diving prices. Jonathan and Carole will be happy to assist.
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