Continuing our blogmance (that’s ‘blog’ and ‘romance’ together…ye…), fellow blogger and long-time cynical friend Georgina Phipps and I decided to head to a Greek taverna last weekend (not my family one) and enjoy a bit of humour over some houmous without any relatives in tow.
We ended up at the delightfully named Aphrodite Taverna in Bayswater.
The restaurant was established by Greek-Cypriot owner Pantelis and his late Brazilian wife Rozanna in 1988 and continues to enjoy success over 20 years later.
Decked out with gourds, brass lamps and hanging copper pots, the taverna pays homage to Cyprus in a tasteful and inviting way and it was nice to see an authentic restaurant that stayed true to its origins and hadn’t succumbed to pressure to modernise.
Now experimenting with a vegan diet, Georgina was slightly wary about what she could and couldn’t eat, but the menu proved varied enough to cover her very non-Greek eating habits.
We were treated to a meze of starters that included a selection of the usual dips, olives, pitta bread, feta, kidney beans and a couple of slices of delicious home-made spanakopita.
Main courses range from stifado and kleftico to vegetarian dishes, plus traditional grills, quails and fillet steak as well as a fish or meat meze, both of which are equally popular. All the main courses are served with chips, rice or potatoes.
While I just couldn’t stay away from the meat and ordered the pork souvlakia with chips, Georgina had the vegetarian dolmades, washed down with a Cypriot Keo beer.
By this point we had both stuffed ourselves silly with the starters so couldn’t even finish our mains, both of which were delicious.
Desserts include various Greek sweets and coffee but we could only manage a mouthful of Greek (it’s Greek I tell you, not Turkish!) Delight before we decided that a long walk was needed in order to soothe our swollen bellies.
The Aphrodite Taverna is an absolute gem and if you are looking for the traditional Greek-Cypriot experience then this is the place.
Many thanks to Pantelis and his team for making our lunch so enjoyable.