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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Restaurant review by Alix Norman ]

Restaurant review by Alix Norman

Worth the drive

RYAN'S RESTAURANT
 
When I was at college in Winchester, I lived with my aunt and uncle and various members of the extended family. The aged couple were retired – he had been something high in the army, and she a nurse – and it wasn't the easiest of homes for a 16-year-old wild child. I was more used to sandy beaches, thongs and rays rather than Sunday churches and Songs of Praise. In fact, the only thing that made it worth getting out of bed for at the weekend was the cracking Sunday roast – my aunt was a mean cook. Despite the added extras – a great uncle who'd bore us with war stories until his dentures fell into the mash, the church-going boy next door whose idea of a good time was matching cutlery – suffering through sixth form was made just about bearable by those mouth-watering Sunday meals. Once I left England, I never thought I'd see their like again... My mother – who ascribed to the Make Yourself a Sandwich School of Culinary Art – did, on occasion, try to reproduce the Sunday fare, but never quite pulled it off. And over the years, various friends and boyfriends invited me to the family Sunday lunch: sometimes the beef was perfect but the broccoli was soggy, sometimes there was pork but the apple sauce was missing, mostly the potatoes were drowning in oil and would sink like the Titanic at the first gentle prod.

Then, I met the perfect man, who dispensed with the whole strained family lunch business and whisked me off for the real thing – a genuine three course Sunday lunch – complete in every detail. At Ryan's.
For anyone who doesn't live in Limassol, getting to Ryan's is a bit of a trip, but one that's well worth the drive. We came down the highway from Nicosia, through Fasouri, turned right through the Lanitis plantation and straight on to the restaurant. The alternative is to spend the morning on Ladies Mile, soaking up the sun and working up an appetite, then drive along to the very end of the beach, follow the fence to the right and Ryan's is there on the hilltop above you. You can't miss it.

Once through the entrance you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd entered a traditional English pub. Hundreds of hats – everything from baseball caps to Stetsons – hang from the heavy rafters, retro Coca-Cola and Guinness signs adorn the cream walls and regiments of sparkling bottles glitter behind the bar. In fact, the only way in which it really differs from a traditional English establishment is in the staff. Never in my Cotswold local have I been welcomed by a Lebanese manager, shown to my table by a Belarusian waitress and eaten food cooked by an English-Cypriot and served by a Polish chef.

Ryan's has a wide selection of dishes on the menu, but the only thing worth sampling on a Sunday is the carvery. Eight different salads – everything from fresh pasta concoctions to crisp traditional village – plus king prawns and baked salmon were on offer for the first course. (A starter is also included in the price, but we decided to pace ourselves and declined the day's offer of hot pumpkin soup.)

The fare is beautifully laid out, reminiscent of a five-star hotel buffet, and the dishes are constantly topped up by the attentive staff; the mainly British clientele lacked for nothing.

We moved onto the main course with watering mouths. The carvery boasts five different meats: lamb, gammon, beef, pork and chicken. Not being epicurean in my tastes, I had a little of everything on offer, while my companion was more discerning in his choice and plumped for the chicken and gammon - there were absolutely no complaints on his part.
We both agreed that the best part of the meal were the individual Yorkshire puds – in fact we enthused to such an extent that the chef actually piled high a separate plate for us, covering it in thick gravy. The roast potatoes were exactly as I remembered them from my college days: crisp and golden on the outside and meltingly soft once bitten.

Along with the main course came all the extras: rice, creamy mash, boiled veg and every sauce needed to complement the meal as well as two types of gravy.

Although we erred on the side of caution - bearing in mind our return journey - and both had soft drinks, Ryan's boasts a decent wine menu with all the usual suspects priced between €13.50 for local Cypriot to €30 for Italian wines.

Dessert came as part of the meal, and while my other half was thrilled to discover Ryan's "real apple pie, not apple crumble thank goodness", I lingered over a more waist-friendly caff? latte (my only complaint being that it took rather a long time to arrive).

The carvery opens at noon and closes at about 4pm on Sunday, while on weekdays it opens at 5.30pm.

On asking for the bill, we were surprised to find that the full Sunday lunch was very reasonable: €13.75 per person. Drinks cost extra, though the management kindly gave us the coffee on the house.

Although such a splendid and filling meal is not something that one could manage every Sunday – especially in the hot summer months – Ryan's is perfect for those who want to fill up on gorgeous food at a great price. Some meals are worth the journey, and this is definitely one of them.

VITAL STATISTICS

SPECIALITY the carvery
WHERE Just before the gates to Akrotiri Base
CONTACT 25 952562
PRICE €13.75 per person (drinks extra)
BOOKING advisable, especially for Sunday lunch


(Source: Cyprus Mail)



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