Claiming that Ta Piatakia is a traditional Cypriot cuisine restaurant is like saying everything and nothing at the same time. Indeed, they use all the basic ingredients of Cypriot cooking in every one of their well-known dishes and even that special atmosphere of a simple traditional Cypriot tavern with warm and welcoming hospitality is evident, but still…
Ta Piatakia cuisine is much wider, more captivating and so diverse. If you are looking for a traditional keftedes or mousaka you are heading for disappointment because Ta Piatakia is an exclusive gourmet boutique owned and run by Roddy Damalis. Roddy, a proud professional chef, wrote a recipe book called My Small Dishes which won outstanding acclaim in Cyprus. Branded as the local Jamie Oliver, he constructed the restaurant menu with his own recipes. Deeply rooted in traditional Cypriot cuisine, each dish has its own unique character: the spices and cooking techniques and the majestic combination of flavours and textures is all the proof you need that Cyprus lies at the centre of the world. That and being soaked with the scents of Africa and the Middle East makes each meal a gastronomic exploration.
Review by Cyprus Inform
On a typical Monday evening, Ta Piataki is packed to capacity. The restaurant has no outdoor sign but the classically red interior behind the large glass walls is the gourmet kingdom of Roddy. There is logic there: Ta Piataki is a hospitable home for friends and families who are looking forward to sharing a feast.
Roddy is everywhere! He meets his guests and gives orders in the kitchen, he comes out to the dining room in his apron to cordially greet restaurant regulars, he shares advice on wine selection and makes jokes and laughs with his diners. The restaurant enjoys a friendly atmosphere, which is obvious from the time the guests walk through the door. But this is just a run-up to the main show, the reason why the gourmets come here. It is the laconic menu consolidated into just one large laminated page. In addition to the daily choice of main dishes from the menu, Roddy offers several dishes from his own vast collection: the names and prices of which are written in chalk on slates that fit perfectly into the design of the venue.
Ta Piatakia offers plenty of air and light with a red palette to provoke a healthy appetite. In general, the setting is not exactly an example of exquisite luxury: plain tables and chairs and simple paper serviettes. The centre stage is taken by the food. The food and the special atmosphere of a hospitable home promoted by the waiters and Roddy, the master of the house.
So, what could our small company of visitors devour at Roddy’s hospitable establishment?
Whilst we were deciding what to order for dinner, an unusual dish appeared on the table in a tall glass vase called crumbed sautéed celery leaves (Selfino, €3.50). I named this dish “green chips” – so crispy but they were not calorie rich potatoes.
We were served tiny complimentary starters: round rice crackers with quails eggs and homemade mayonnaise. This is almost like a Russian dish, a definite hit to start off any Russian feast, but with a zest of its own.
Green Salad, €9.50: fresh crispy salad with sweet sliced strawberries and traditional Greek kefalotyri cheese. The honey and mustard dressing makes this dish mouth-watering. This is what we call a combination of tradition and vintage! Ingenious Cypriot products with a contemporary interpretation in every dish!
Selection of three dips, €5.90. Any Cyprus tavern serves taramasalata, tahini and tzatziki but this is not the case with Roddy! The table is filled with small dishes with a distinct hot white sauce – feta cheese with chilli, a spread made from grilled aubergines and a wonderful dip made with butter, onion jam and cherry tomatoes. This combination of dips leaves a magical aftertaste and makes a perfect overture to the meal.
Halloumi wrapped in bacon, €1.30. Grilled halloumi cheese… what could be a more traditional dish for Cyprus? However Roddy adds his own twist to the dish and serves a slice of cheese wrapped in thin bacon and fried in oil, with sweet mango chutney to complement this combination. This is what we call the vintage approach and the perfection of traditions. This combination of salt and sweet is truly extraordinary.
Brie cheese with sweet berry sauce is purely classical and there is nothing more to say!
Seafood lovers will appreciate the Prawn Souvlaki, €3.00 per skewer. Tender prawns with wasabi and ginger sauce. This light, freshly soured dish is such a treat with cold white wine on a hot night.
Grilled salmon with oyster and soy sauce: tender crispy fish with a savoury sweet sauce, with wakame seaweed to complete the flavour and add colour to the dish.
Meat. Definitely the hit of the restaurant for over a dozen years is the duck with sauce and walnut jam (Duck, €9.90). Walnut jam is a famous Cypriot product that often goes unnoticed by the local public. But here it acquires new gourmet life in combination with tender slices of grilled duck breast. Duck generally goes very well with sweet sauce but Roddy produces a real masterpiece, so this dish is highly recommended.
On this night we were treated with the dish of the day – Pork Shank, €12.40. Stewed, soft meat in a thick, mouth-watering herb flavoured sauce. For a side dish we were offered slices of baked potatoes with lemon sauce and baked Brussels sprouts with sesame seeds.
My description of the dishes and ingredients alone will prove to you that Roddy indeed offers extraordinary service but the gourmet proof is in the taste and that can only be experienced by you personally.
Roddy offers a fantastic selection of wines, which includes the very best local examples as well as a South African range. Ask Roddy and he will be happy to give you his expert advice! Now my review is finished, I am just left to envy those who still have to experience Ta Piataki.
Directions7 Nikodimou Mylona Street Limassol 3095 Cyprus
Monday – Saturday:
19:00 – until late
- [email protected]
- +357 25 74 50 17