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Restaurant review: Beat, Nicosia
"Go forth,” said the editor, “assess the cuisine, and don’t mention the Wahbenzi (my term for the fashionable Nicosia well to do)”, which is a shame because this is just the place I’d expect to find them.
The first thing that strikes the late night diner seeking Beat, is where the hell is it. The press release claims it can be found on Stasikratou Street 37d; the ‘d’ should have been a clue. After trawling the length of our most celebrated shopping route on foot, with an increasingly irritated companion, in rain forest conditions, the proprietor responded to my call with ‘its behind the building opposite Flo Cafι’ - and so it was.
A string of lanterns lining the alleyway led us to the gleaming white edifice that is Beat.
There are high tables and low tables, everything is polished and white; we took a high stool which gave us a chance to look down on the other diners - they are a mixed group - a party of six, late middle aged; a table of four, media folk, smooth and glossy; nearby high-tablers just off daddy’s yacht and into the Mojitos.
We are approached by Andri with the menus, everything in English and Greek: five neat pages of starters and main courses: page one offers five salads; page two six sandwiches, and so on. It’s all very straight forward and gives no cause for confusion. Entry two, page one: Goat Cheese salad - mixed greens, goat’s cheese, wrapped in kataifi phyllo, cherry tomatoes, chives, toasted walnuts, raspberry vinaigrette. Andri didn’t mention that the cheese was warm, the very best way to eat it, if embraced by the kataifi; the companion selects this and off we go.
It occurred to me that the main menu was a little on the famine side but no matter. Then I perused the drinks carte and discovered that among the Blue Labels and Dom Perignons were concealed a series of platters of nachos, wraps, cheeses and fruits, but more interestingly, a batch of sushi and maki that are made on the premises by the chef. I have a weakness for the orient and will risk many things for a freshly made sushi. The secret is in virgin nori, and consuming the dish immediately after preparation; imagine finding this on a Tuesday night in Stasikratos.
The companion chose the stuffed chicken with halloumi (can you imagine), sun dried tomatoes, fresh mint, wild mushrooms and steamed vegetables; she is going through a domestic regime of steamed veg, which we are assured is the only way, so she was pleased to discover that the restaurant was following her recommendations.
The salad was excellent, and a huge amount for two - the raspberry drizzle sealed it. Before delivery, we were given a basket of warm bread with an accompanying dish of soft chive butter. My hosomaki, comprising ten pieces, with an overload of pickled ginger, wasabi, and a separate dish of soya, was exactly right. The companion’s chicken was so good she wanted the chef, Stefanos, to reveal his recipe - I had to drag her away.
Stelios the man of the evening, revealed his programme for the rest of the week, which involved something called DJs, that will appear on a Wednesday and Sunday, so you have been warned. I don’t think the management know their target audience at the moment. There are pestos, sandwiches, and many main dishes including steaks on the menu; if Japan is your preference, try it out.
We selected a very reasonably priced Kyperounda rose to accompany the evening which is a sensible choice in these conditions. I really like this place, I hope you do.
SPECIALTY international cuisine
WHERE Beat, 36d, Stasikratos, Nicosia
CONTACT 22 100350