Alesta Restaurant, Girne/Kyrenia
By Kathy Martin…
After Alistair and I arrived here in May 2006, it didn’t take us long to spot “Alistair’s Restaurant aka ALESTA” and we said to ourselves “One day we HAVE to go there!”
Daily News of Life and times in North Cyprus goes around the world
By Kathy Martin…
Tuesday 14th June 2016 as I was over on the other (west) side of Girne/Kyrenia, for the NCCT coffee morning, not somewhere I frequent as usual, I took the opportunity to visit the Kervan restaurant.
By Kathy Martin…
Having written a few restaurant reviews, decided it was time I wrote about another of my favourite lunch time venues, namely the Delta Cafe-Bar and restaurant. This is hidden away in the New Harbour area. The first time Alistair and I found it was probably in 2006 when we were exploring our new home environs.
So this update stays in Alsancak (note to self to broaden my horizons a bit and go a bit further afield for the next update!), and we find ourselves at “Açmenya” to partake of that good old English tradition “The Sunday Dinner”. Now I have to be honest and say I think there is something a little bit wrong about basking in the sunshine and then ambling inside for a huge roast dinner. I think a roast just goes better with rain and clouds but maybe that is just me, because the place was very busy. The roast dinner forms part of the British heritage and it seems we are mad for it wherever in the world we are.
The “Açmenya” comes in two parts there is a patisserie and snack bar (which has a children’s playground area attached). Thinking ahead for when the grandchildren arrive in a few weeks’ time this is definitely going to be on the “places to go list” when I need to pay the kids off to give me half an hour’s peace to regain my sanity! The playground and amusements are not in the same league as Blackpool and are aimed at the younger children with rides and slides and swings etc. There was also a trampoline section which may keep the older kids off their mobile phones for a nanosecond.
Now, (my Turkish teacher will be so proud) “Aç” is the Turkish word for hungry and I am guessing that “menya” has something to do with “menu” so the translation is something like “to the hungry menu”! Açmenya sounds so much more romantic than its translation. It is also a bit ironic because I couldn’t see a menu anywhere when I visited the patisserie…..loads of cakes and a big sign outside proclaiming English breakfast/burgers/pizza….and also a “farm” breakfast. Sounds intriguing, I would like to know more but alas the Açmenya is forever (fondly) renamed in our house “no bloody menu”. Anyway, I plumped for a strawberry milkshake and (at 10TL) it really hit the spot on a sunny morning whilst taking a break from the drudgery of shopping.
Now back to the Sunday Dinner which is served in the other part of “Açmenya” a large and airy restaurant and at 25TL for three courses it came up trumps on the value for money stakes. There was a choice of starters (prawn cocktail, soup, pate) and a choice of meat for the main course. A selection of potatoes and vegetables came in a glass dish so everyone could help themselves – a touch I liked. The other part I liked was the self-service desserts laid out on a table so you could help yourself with tea, coffee and brandy also on the table. Although when we approached for our desserts I was almost rugby tackled by him indoors who had spotted the last piece of chocolate gateau winking at him.
The Açmenya can be found by turning up the road at the side of the Golden Lady statue and then taking the first left (signposted Malatya). The restaurant is on the right about 400 yards up this road.
Update number 1 -The Red Lion Alsancak
As a new resident on this beautiful island I am slowly finding my way round the good, the bad and the ugly of some of North Cyprus’s eateries and I thought it might be handy to share some of the more positive experiences with you lovely people.
Now please be assured this is not intended as a guide to fine dining as I (and him indoors) are working class northerners who frankly couldn’t tell a Pinot Grigio from a Chateau Neuf du Pape. Him indoors is a connoisseur of the “all day breakfast” – his favourite meal and I, whilst I like to consider myself a little more discerning, generally just prefer good home cooked, fresh grub that does not break the bank!
As I prepare for the onslaught of the annual deluge of relatives (did not see that much of them when I was in the UK – but strangely they suddenly have the urge to come visit) I thought I would start to compose a list (of sorts) of places worth another visit…and of course share this information so others can also benefit from the knowledge!
So the first place I would like to tell you about is the Red Lion at Alsancak. You can find the Red Lion by travelling from Girne – West along the main road. Near the Illeli supermarket look for the turning for the Deniz Kizi Hotel and turn as if going to the hotel. The restaurant is a short way down this road. The “pub” part is typically laid out and there are influences of the British pub. Efes is available on draught and particularly positive for the other half so was Strongbow cider.
The food on offer was a combination of Chinese/Thai and some Indian dishes. Prices were very reasonable with starters coming in around 8-10TL and mains from 20TL upwards. There were some specials available too. When it was time to eat we were invited to the restaurant at the rear of the pub. It was lovely, small and intimate but nicely decorated with crimson lanterns and fans and an oriental statue taking centre stage. The lighting contributed effectively to the ambience and the music was pleasant and as it should be (in the background).
The service was pleasant and prompt and the food was delicious. It tasted really “fresh and light” and not the congealed gloop of sodium monoglutamate that often arrives in Chinese inspired restaurants. It was a delight. The portions were not huge but they were sufficient and we enjoyed every mouthful. I was told by other regulars in the bar to try the sushi….I was not brave enough this time but I was assured that it was fab and if you have not (like me) ever experienced it, then ask the chef to prepare you a small plate. The best accolade I can give this restaurant is that him indoors, did not even complain that “there were no chips”. Now this might not seem like a big issue to most of you but, I can assure you it is often fatal for the culinary experience of my other half.
I once selected one of the best restaurants in Manchester for his birthday meal and invited a number of close friends and family to join us…most of whom complimented it on being one of the best meals they had ever had….him indoors.???.”What do you mean you don’t serve chips?” with a face like a smacked arse! Note to self…book Frankie and Benny’s next year!
Finally, for the girly’s out there….the toilets were spotless and smelled sweet too….very important. If a place can’t keep their loos clean what chance of the kitchen being maintained hygienically?
All in all four stars from me!
(pictures courtesy of Red Lion Bar and Mandarin Oriental Bistro Facebook page)
By Margaret Sheard…..
What nicer on a warm Sunday afternoon in North Cyprus than to go out for Sunday Lunch and this week we chose Whiskey Joe’s which is situated in the picturesque side-streets of old Kyrenia between the harbour and the main street near the mosque.
We knew Jamie, the Man in Black, would be providing some music for the diners so this was an added bonus and he was already playing his guitar and singing from his wide repertoire of popular songs when we arrived.
We settled ourselves down in the covered outside walled area which was very pleasant. I am not sure I have ever visited this venue before, although I had heard about it from other people, so I took the opportunity of wandering around. There is a really nice bar area which is based on a traditional pub with a separate entrance and a further dining area for those who prefer to have a meal inside.
From where we were seated we could see the kitchen through an open window and there we spotted Tony Elsey, the chef for the day. I remember Tony as the chef at our local restaurant many years ago and have bumped into him from time to time over the years, so I knew we were going to have an excellent lunch.
We ordered our starters of prawn cocktail and chicken goujons and the main course of one chicken and one beef which arrived with a huge plate of 4 different vegetables and mashed potato to accompany the meat, roast potatoes and Yorkshire pudding already on the plate. An excellent meal. We were served by Louisa, a student from Kurdistan who has been in North Cyprus for 3½ years and is studying international relations, with her ability to speak 3 or more languages she should do well.
I spoke with John Herring and his wife Tracey Penhaligon-Herring who took over the bar/restaurant in March 2015 having moved from the south where they had lived for 4½ years. John is originally from Newcastle and Tracey is from Penzance. They are very happy with their new venture and Whiskey Joe’s is becoming a very popular venue, with karaoke every Friday and other entertainment at various times, as well as sport and other features on their multi screen TVs in the bar. John is proud to display the award from Trip Advisor – Certificate of Excellence in 2014 and 2015 and also there is a 2016 certificate on its way.
John is the chef during the week and Tracey runs the bar and at weekends they have Tony who comes to help out with his culinary skills. Whiskey Joe’s is open 6 days a week – Tuesday to Saturday from 4pm and on Sundays 2pm to 10pm, closed on Mondays.
You can see more on Whiskey Joe’s facebook page by clicking here and for more information or bookings Tel: 0533 858 2183
By Ralph Kratzer
The Classic Film Evenings at The Food Lodge Bakery and Bistro in Catalköy continue and have become a regular popular event! Our TFR members Sonja and Latifa just sent me the latest programme for March.
So, come and enjoy a good old blockbuster and tasty snacks together with friends and like-minded movie fans!
You´ll find The Food Lodge easily on the main road Girne – Catalköy after Tempo Supermarket on the right hand side.
Get more information about The Food Lodge – click here!
By Ralph Kratzer
Bavaria is world famous for its beer, the association The Foreign Residents in the TRNC,short TFR, is known for its diverse social events for its members.
Last Sunday 40 members of the club set off to enjoy original Bavarian beer and authentic Bavarian food in the Munich Hofbräuhaus (HB).
Of course, we did not travel from Northern Cyprus to Munich, where the original HB building stands, which is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Bavarian capital.
But the treasurer of the TFR, Horst Gutowski, and the Events Manager “Brad” Bradley knew the Munich Hofbräuhaus Cyprus in the Greek part of Nicosia, because from there they obtain every year the beer barrels for the popular “Oktoberfest” event of the association.
By bus we went to the Metehan border crossing in Nicosia, and there two smaller buses were waiting, which deposed the thirsty and hungry TFR-group, after a short drive, at the final destination of the trip.
After initial organizational difficulties of the staff of the beer cellar/restaurant (they probably had not expected such a rush), everybody then had his/her drink standing on the table.
I was happy to finally have – after a longer period not having been back to Bavaria – once again my favorite beer in front of me, “Dunkles Weißbier” on tap. The term “Dunkles Weißbier” is actually a paradox, as “weiß” means in German language the colour “white” and “dunkel” means “dark”. So how can something white at the same time be dark? The explanation is relatively simple: “Weiß” in connection with beer does not come from the colour but from the main ingredient in the brewing process of the delicacy, which is the cereal wheat.
The food came relatively quickly to the tables. Most had opted for pork knuckle or sausage plate or pork chop. The portions arriving were enormous and I must say, my pork knuckle did not only look good, it also tasted simply delicious. Apart from the fact that in Bavaria you do not get potato wedges (American invention) with the pork, but either dumplings and red cabbage or a hearty potato salad. And a slice of orange as decoration I have never seen before in my life… But so what? We are living in Cyprus!
After supper, a few more glasses of beer and cheerful conversation, the merry fellowship had to find their way home later in the evening.
Another successful event of the TFR, my personal thanks to the organizers!
I am convinced that the Hofbräuhaus Cyprus has not seen us for the last time …
By Ralph Kratzer
Again Shrove Tuesday is coming and again our TFR-members Sonja and Latifa plan a nice event at their Food Lodge Bakery & Bistro in Catalköy. To remember The Food Lodge, the paradise for breads, cakes and sweets – click here!
Shrove Tuesday is also known as Pancake Day or Fat Tuesday by our British community members, simply as Faschingsdienstag (Carnival Tuesday) by the Germans.
This day is preceding the Christian Ash Wednesday (the first day of lent) and is celebrated in many countries by consuming pancakes.
To learn more about “Shrove Tuesday” – click here!
We were told about an unusual Tulips fundraiser which came about when Barbara and Jeff Osborne invited a handful of friends to a Prosecco and Cake Party one afternoon. It proved to be a very successful afternoon and they decided that it would be a great idea to run one of these in aid of Tulips/HTWCA.
So, on Friday 11th December approximately 35 people turned up at Barbara and Jeff’s beautiful house eagerly looking forward to the treats to follow. Everyone willing paid their 20TL, in return they each received a glass of Prosecco and as many of the delightful looking cakes as they could possibly eat! 15tl of each entrance fee was donated to Tulips and in addition anyone wishing to indulge in further glasses of Prosecco could do so for an extra charge of 10tl per glass.
The Prosecco was carefully guarded and monitored by Jeff Osborne, so no cheating was allowed!
The whole event raised a fantastic 1,800TL.
Both Barbara and Jeff are looking forward to organising another Prosecco and Cake party in May when the weather is warmer and everyone can sit outside. Details will be announced a little nearer the time.
Incidentally the day also coincided with Becky Gale’s birthday, hence the birthday cake you see in the picture.
Tulips would like to say a huge thank you to Barbara and Jeff for coming up with such a novel way to raise so much money and to everyone who donated a cake and to those who came along to drink, eat and be merry and who are now all waiting for the next one!