We’ll see you at Efendi Gastro Bar!
We have just received the following review and great pictures from Tom Roche of Living Magazine and would like to share them with our readers.
The culinary delights and easygoing atmosphere of the gastro-style pub/restaurant can now be enjoyed in Girne. It’s taken some time, you might think. Actually, it’s been here all along.
For the past 12 years, Efendi has figured highly in any discerning diner’s list of places to go. This old Ottoman house on a corner in the traditional Turkish quarter, established itself as a “satisfaction guaranteed” venue, fusing modern cooking styles with good wine and friendly service.
But according to proprietor Andy Radford and his partner, Amy Hurn, their high standards led to a perception of Efendi as a “special occasion” dining experience, rather than a neighbourhood restaurant for all to enjoy. To put this right, they have remodelled it as Efendi Gastro Bar.
This has meant redecoration, a simplified menu – and away with the white tablecloths, to create a more “pub-like” atmosphere.
“We wanted to make it more comfortable, so people can feel they can come any time, to bring a bit of London gastro to the place. We still offer exceptionally good food, and we have kept some of the à la carte items such as pan-fried duck breast, but you can also have just a beer and a burger, or fish and chips,” Amy said.
Efendi fans won’t need to be told that this means a superior sort of homemade burger and exceptional beer battered fish. Nor will they be surprised at the bold new colours of their favourite place. As a former theatre set designer and pop video producer, Andy has never been afraid to order a revamp and Efendi has enjoyed many different ‘looks.’
Andy is a self-taught, inventive and skilled cook. Since arriving in North Cyprus in 1986, he has established a number of bars and restaurants. Some may remember the Cellar Bar in Özanköy. With its nightly offerings of goulash, stroganoff and spaghetti bolognaise, it was a sort of gastro pub before the term was invented.
These days he prefers to leave the kitchen in the capable hands of nephew and chef Sam Heath, while he plays host – and takes time out to keep the creative juices flowing, Currently he is building a life-size replica of a Sopwith Camel, First World War aircraft, for a wealthy neighbour who wants it as the centrepiece of his home basement bar.
It is, you might say, a piece of cake for a restaurateur who also holds an Honours Degree in Design from London’s St. Martin’s College of Art. “There was no computer generation in my day so we had to make all our own models with cardboard. This plane is great fun. I am building it with wood and metal and parts from a dustbin and an old washing machine motor. It will have a proper turning propeller and set off lights and smoke effects when you press buttons in the cockpit.”
You won’t find any pyrotechnics at Efendi, but Amy is hoping new innovations such as Happy Hours and a Quiz Night (Wednesdays) will prove attractive. She said: “There are new things on the menu, such as our Moroccan lamb tagine with flat bread and couscous, and some old favourites.
“Most of all, we will still be a top place with excellent friendly service, but also somewhere people can just come for a drink and a bar snack after work on a Friday afternoon, if they feel like it.
“We have always been an informal, happy place. The staff joke around with each other and customers love it. We want people to say: ‘Where shall we meet? I know, we’ll see you at Efendi,’ and not be a place people think of only for birthdays and anniversaries.”