Eat & DrinkLarnacaTried and Tasted: Bistro 961

Tried and Tasted: Bistro 961

The wonderful, aromatic flavours of the Middle East are an eternally welcome guest in my stomach. So when I found out that a sweet shop opened in Larnaca that specializes in Lebanese cuisine, I ran like a bird.

At first I got lost in the streets of Larnaca, simply because I always get lost, wherever I go. In case you are like me, let me tell you in advance that the store is located just opposite of the Next store which all the habitants of Larnaca know and can easily help you find. When I entered, I had the feeling that the owner literally took the title ‘Paris of the East’ and applied it to the space since it strongly resembles a typical French bistro. A French bistro that instead of oysters and steak tartar serves you moutabbal and shawarma, a concept I liked. Since I went alone I told myself not to overdo it and so I only ordered salad tabulleh, mutabbal, tahini, potatoes 961, shish taouk, shawarma and mahalepi.

I started with the salad, tahini and mutabbal. The ointments were nice, the mutabbal was creamy and had a distinctive smoky aubergine flavour, while the tahini was a tiny burst of flavour and I really liked it because it had a clear and distinct character. The salad was fresh and delicious and the chopped parsley broke my nostrils. The shish taouk, marinated chicken skewer, was soft and aromatic, very tasty.

The shawarma was extremely soft, it seemed that it was cooked for many hours. It smelled beautiful, with the most distinct smell of cinnamon and reminded me a little of the texture and taste of an aromatic stew. It matched nicely with the tahini. The last dish was the 961 potatoes, potato cubes fried with fresh coriander and garlic. I am not used to eating fries but they were terribly delicious, aromatic, and even though the dish was so simple, it stood out. The mahalepi at the end was very good.

Soon an incredibly large variety of baked goods is expected to be baked in a traditional oven, where once can choose the filling that he/she likes. We speak from traditional Lebanese flavours, up to Cypriot, Greek, American and Czech. The store’s menu is friendly to all food choices as there are several vegetarian and vegan options. The owner was very friendly and relaxed (he was playing backgammon with the neighbour) and the waitress was helpful and smiley. If you are a fan of Lebanese cuisine and prefer a simpler and more relaxed atmosphere, this space is especially suitable for this.

Evanthias Pieridi 31, Larnaca, 24644961, Tuesday to Sunday 11:00-23:00.

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