My focus on here recently has been about fitness. I guess with my ongoing quest to shift some pounds and run a half marathon this year means that is what I’m mostly focused on. I apologise for this, as I’ve been slacking on the other topics I write about on my blog. So to make a change, I thought I’d write about my experience to a local Greek Cypriot restaurant last night, on the outskirts of Leicester.
My parents have been telling me about a restaurant called Troodos Taverna for a long time, saying how good the food is and how friendly the staff are. Finally they decided to take me there last night (well, I drove but they treated me). The interior decor was charming, with painted walls of features around the Greek islands. The restaurant is family run and they originate from Cyprus.
Troodos Taverna offer a meze night on Saturdays. This means that you get to try lots of different types of Greek/Cypriot food. My parents ordered a meze to share for three people. Everything on the menu sounded amazing so I was excited for the food to come to the table. We had to ask the waitress to clarify some words on the menu as they were Greek, which sounded even more amazing when she told us what they were.
The meze consisted of five courses, which came along in succession when we were ready for the next course. I will go through each course and explain what food was included in each one.
The first course was a mixture of cold foods, including a basket of warm pitta bread. There was a large bowl of salad which contained lettuce, tomato, cucumber, red onion and feta cheese drizzled with salad dressing. In one tray there were three dips, one of them being hummus and I can’t remember the other two. The other tray had new potatoes with red onion, large butter beans in a tomato sauce and some beetroot. My favourite part was the butter beans, and the dressing on the salad was delicious too inside a warm pitta bread.
With so much food for the first course, I resisted from eating too much as there were still four more courses to go. However, we could keep all of the food from the first course on the table while we munched our way through the next courses.
The second course was the first dish of warm food. There was some thin pork steaks with grilled halloumi cheese, Greek sausages and Greek chorizo. This pork dish was delicious and it was my first time trying some halloumi, which I enjoyed. I find that sausages outside of the UK always taste much more meatier, and these Greek sausages were full of so much flavour.
The third course moved from food on land to food of the sea. I do love seafood, and the Greeks/Cypriots certainly do. My mum absolutely loves mussels, so she went for the largest one as soon as they were placed on the table. The mussels were cooked in a delicious tomato sauce. The other plate had a variety of battered seafood, including calamari (a Greek favourite), prawns, scamp and crab claws. It felt like I was in seafood heaven. The batter was light and not stodgy, and it was my first time eating crab claws. The scampi was the best I’ve ever had last night; it tasted fresh.
So after three courses of tasty food, I was wondering how we’d all cope with two more courses. The next course was the most anticipated and is a Greek specialty.
Lamb is my favourite type of meat, and kleftiko is very special indeed. The lamb was so tender that it melted in your mouth. The meat was also so succulent that it fell apart when you took some for your own plate. The only thing I didn’t like was the asparagus as I’m not a fan of it, so my dad had the asparagus.
There wasn’t just kleftiko lamb for the fourth course. There was also a plate of pork and chicken kebabs on a bed of couscous topped with cooked mushrooms and more red onion. I do enjoy a kebab and these ones last night were very tasty indeed.
After a short rest, we had the final course…
The dessert was unusual, but in a good way. I haven’t eaten baklava much before (I’d only really tried it for the first time on New Year’s Day) and I’m not a fan of pistachios and nuts in general. However, I did enjoy the baklava last night. The bottom of these pastries were soaked in honey which made them taste really sweet and the pastry was nice. The baklavas with the wiry sort of pastry were quite funny to eat as bits of pastry kept falling off with each bite I took. Alongside the baklava was also a plate of fruit, including green grapes, slices of orange and chunks of melon.
My first experience of Greek/Cypriot food at a family run restaurant in the UK was fantastic! I visited some of the Greek islands during my childhood and had Greek food there; the food last night reminded me of those memories. I was very full after so much food and I was pleasantly surprised at the variety offered on the meze menu. I’ve already been recommending this restaurant to friends and I’d love to go again. I will have to try another night when the full menu is offered.
Happy reading and blogging!
Clare Bear 🙂