You all know Sawa: the little palace behind Pindarou with the magnificent Syrian food, the belly dancers, the hookahs and more generally the Thousand and one nights’ atmosphere.

Their meze is tremendous. Start off with the hummus which is incredibly creamy and light, like a beige little cloud, with its characteristic deep earthy taste of tahini and chickpeas.

The mutabbal is also creamy and fresh with an intense smoky taste. The mixture of baked aubergine, yoghurt and tahini is tasteful.  The mouhamarah is the ‘ruby’ (as it is bright red) of the meze. Made of red peppers, ground with walnuts and molasse of pomegranate it is delightfully sweet and sour with a thick texture and rich in colour.

The patata bill thoun, is very similar to Greek skordalia (garlic dip) but with a stronger lemon touch.  The baba gannouj, with aubergine, tahini, tomato, parsley and lemon is superb, fragrant and very fresh.

The falafel, chickpea patties, were the crispy and the fatayer bill jobne, fried cheese in filo pastry was light and tasty. The colourful  fattoush, a simple lemon-tinged salad with tomatoes, cucumber and plenty of garlic, is very tasty, with lots of garlic that is pleasing to the palate and the eye. The tabbouli, the well-known salad with finely chopped parsley and bulgar wheat is refreshing. There are many choices for vegetarians and vegans.

For meat lovers there is the mixed grill with Syrian lamb kofta as well as lamb and chicken  kebab marinated in spices.

End the meal on a sweet note with a light, silky mahalepi sprinkled with rose water . The small, powerful coffee is scented with cardamon which gives it a special, bitter kick. Besides the great food, the restaurant has friendly and polite service.

Klimentos 31, Nicosia, 22766777, Monday Sunday11:00-00:00

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