Friday, February 04, 2011

πιατάκια *by JS*

πιατάκια(pronounce PIATAKIA) simply means little plates in Greek. As we all know cypriot dishes are very mezze like and comes in small plates hence the name piatakia but however when you come to this restaurant, you can forget about all the traditional cypriot tasting dishes(eg:- kebabs, mousaka, meatballs, etc)and start thinking international instead!
Owned by celebrity chef Roddy Damalis(who is Cypriot offcourse!)the restaurant is situated just off the famous Makarios Avenue in downtown Limassol in a very hip setting and environment.
Having stayed in South Africa for many years, chef Damalis is also a well travelled man and this is reflected in the dishes he created. He uses classic Cypriot ingredients and spices and employ techniques used by other cultures to create unique dishes. For most of us Asians, the taste and flavors of traditional cypriot dishes is somewhat "unfamiliar and sometimes quite lost" if i may sum it up that way......but for dishes created by Chef Damalis, i am treading on familiar grounds.

The external of the restaurant is decorated with olive trees.
It is winter so obviously there was no one sitting outside!

As you enter the restaurant you will notice the decor......the walls are decorated with plates ....all sorts of plates actually.
The red walls also give the restaurant a cosy atmosphere.
Very clever....the specials of the day are written on the beam that stretches across the restaurant......yes, BTW, thats Dinos the great!
our host for the night is none other than hotshot lawyer come developer Artemis(far right).
smooth operator this guy :)
and that's the chef/owner Roddy Damalis. hotshot Artemis trying to explain how to ride a horse to her royal highness and she does looked impressed.....or was it too many drinks :)
that's kebab and it's a traditional cypriot accompaniment during meals.
this one is very special. It's actually celery leaves dipped in a batter and deep fried. Like a tempura i suppose and i sense middle eastern spices in the batter.
A very nice salad incorporating seasonal fruits on a bed of greens and for this season it's figs. Pomegranate and probably pomegranate molasses was used in the dressing.
A very refreshing salad for the winter months.
Baked Feta cheese wrapped in filo pastry and drizzled with honey. This is indeed one of chef Damalis signature dishes.
Feta cheese is very common in this part of the world but unfamiliar for the far east.
The use of filo pastry and honey neutralizes the saltiness and richness of the feta cheese. superb!!
This is the deep fried soft shell crab and it's served with a chutney like sauce. The japs love to eat this small soft shell crabs. It's a different species from the ones we have in South East Asia.
Octopus is widely eaten in Europe and Cyprus is no exception. This grilled octopus drizzled with olive oil and lemon juice is soft and succulent and tasty.
Roast potatoes drizzled with freshly squeeze lemon juice. Here in Cyprus it's common to drizzle almost everything you eat with lemon juice. Quite refreshing actually.
this is actually minced goat meat NOT lamb. i like the texture and flavor of the goat meat. Middle eastern spices was used as seasoning.
Duck meat cooked with walnut skin. Very unique!
Gammon ham with some chutney.
Lamb shank cooked to perfection.
berries and sorbet.
a pavlova

It was definitely a hearty meal. Thank you hotshot Artemis for hosting this dinner and thank you chef Damalis for your recommendation and your creations. It was an adventurous evening of many surprises and I must say....pleasant ones too. The total dining experience was unique in its own special way. The food was superb. The service was up to the mark. Well done!!
We will definitely return and would not hesitate to recommend to our friends in the far east!
Chef Damalis has also just published a book. We actually brought our own copy to the restaurant and asked the man himself to sign on it!

Last but not least, how can you go to a restaurant and say you have met the celebrity chef himself if there was no pictures taken with him as here you go sister!

yes, that my sister Eveline with chef Damalis and the book too!!
Noticed how tall is my sister next to chef Damalis :)


CHER-RY said...

the salad and grilled octupus looked so yummy!!!!

js said...'s kiwi fruit salad and not figs :))