We visited the Syrian Arab Friendship Club in Limassol on the evening of Friday 12 August 2016 to provide this restaurant review.
Niki phoned to confirm they were open, with an available table, we booked for eight o’clock. On arrival, it was a busy night. If you plan to go, book in advance to avoid disappointment.
Arriving by car, there is some parking at the front of the restaurant but the car park fills quickly and later parking can become chaotic. Further parking can be found nearby.
There is level easy going at the entrance and to the tables which will be appreciated by wheelchair users and those with limited mobility or limited sight.
The main seating is in an open court, set beneath mature fruit trees, a grapefruit laden with green, ripening fruits, grape vines – I counted two varieties – with the plump grapes covered to protect them from predators. I could imagine the scent of the grapefruit when it is in flower. Alternative seating is available in an enclosed area but why would you on a beautiful, balmy, summer evening?
As you would expect they serve a great selection of fresh, delicious, authentic Middle Eastern cuisine. Halal, fresh and natural ingredients are used in the dishes. As well as a selection of sodas, and water, alcohol is served the restaurant. They also make a tangy lemon and mint lemonade which we didn’t sample – perhaps on our next visit.
What we ate
This was not our first visit to a Syrian / Lebanese restaurant and so we had a good idea of what to expect. The meze option offers a large variety of dishes with salads – fattoush and tabouleh.
There are dips ready to be tasted with a corner of a piece of freshly baked pitta! Hummus – a blend of chick peas, tahini and lemon juice, shawandar – beetroot, tahini and yoghurt dip, moutabhal – smoky grilled aubergines with tahini and yoghurt, muhammara – a spicy red pepper and walnut dip made with pomegranate molasses, baba ghanoush – finely chopped mixture of grilled aubergine, tomatoes, green pepper and parsley, patata bili thoum – creamed mash potato with garlic.
Falafel and pastries filled with cheese or spiced minced meat. Top this off with char grilled chicken and lamb and some skewers of lamb mince and you have a feast. If there are four of you, I’d order for three. If there are two or three of you order normally and always be prepared to be over-faced by the deceptive quantities of food.
Niki’s ability to eat pudding is legendary and so it was no surprise that she overcame her lactose intolerance to indulge in Mahallebi, a creamy pudding, similar to blancmange, made in this instance with rose water.
Meze per person € 18.00
Tonic water €2.00
Mineral Water €2.00
Syrian coffee €2.00
An incredible dining experience that provides great food and good value for money
Maroni and surrounding area tavernas reviewed
Offering amazing, inexpensive food this venue has been described as ‘the perfect vegan option in Limassol’ by a vegan reviewer I researched over at Happy Cow. Since I was so impressed I joined the Happy Cow site and was delighted to find that they have an amazing collection of Mediterranean recipes.
Shisha, hubble bubble or hookah pipes
Intrigued that many of those dining with us were indulging in a pipe as a non-smoker I found I have questions. Why do so many people use a pipe? Is the smoke is harmful?
On the night, the smoke was almost inconsequential to our experience. If like me, you want to know more, I found this helpful factual video produced by the British Heart Foundation.
Whilst there are loos here. we did not check to see if they have an accessible wc.
Address: 3 Iliados Street, Limassol, 4046, Cyprus
Phone: +357 25328838