The true flavors of Cyprus | Matthaios Georgiou

Culture, Cyprus unlocked, Food & Drink, People

Text: Romina Xyda 

Photos: Panayiotis Mina 

For a half-century, Matthaios has remained true to his culinary philosophy, and that is why his faithful clientele keep coming back for more!

A plate of radishes, fresh spring onions, tomatoes and cucumbers, along with crushed green olives and a side of sourdough bread: that’s how Matthaios Georgiou welcomes his customers to his taverna beside the Faneromeni, a church in Nicosia’s Οld Τown. Simple, authentic and faithful to his culinary roots: “I come from a big family: eleven brothers and sisters. Hard times... I was raised by someone who used to cook for the Archbishop. That’s where I started. When I opened my place, I wanted to treat people to the tastes of my youth: pure, simple flavours unadorned and timeless. Simplicity makes a dish unique, and that can be hard to come by these days. Modern cuisine is a mix of old and new jumbled up with too many ingredients – way too many. My flavours are straightforward like they used to be, back when I was a kid.” That is where his flavours will take you – back to a past of pure, traditional Cypriot cuisine.

   At first, you may be overwhelmed by the options. Fear not, Matthaios will happily offer his assistance: “ Lamb Tava (Cypriot style) with onions and tomatoes, Hostes (wild greens) with egg-lemon sauce served with spicy lamb, Koupepia (spicy-stuffed grape leaves), Kolokassi Yiahni (taro root ragout), Moussaka with or without béchamel and, to round it off, a syrupy almond confection paired with oriental coffee on the house. From four in the morning, I start cooking in my taverna, which means I have plenty of time to prepare everything by hand.”

   Many have sat down at his tables (ten inside, ten out): prime ministers, movie stars, businessmen, and friends. From photo-covered walls pose known and unknown characters, all with smiling faces and full stomachs; in every picture in abundance, Matthaios’ cuisine steals the show!

There are no comments yet.
Add Comment

* Indicates a required field

Accepted Formats: mp4,mov,png,jpg,gif

I hereby consent to the storing and processing of the data provided in this form in accordance to the guidelines set out in this website's Privacy Policy.

Please check the box to declare your consent