That night at Café Resto Fico, we tasted vegetarian and vegan cuisine and we found ourselves in a very interesting, new world. – By Maria Th. Massoura
I’m not a vegetarian. Not only this, but once I considered vegetarianism and vegan cuisine, boring and vegetarians, people from another planet (at least, not from mine). However, in the past few years, the number of vegetarian friends have become bigger, I ‘ve met chefs specializing in vegetarian and vegan cuisine and I have tried their food. In this way, I changed my mind and It was obvious that this new world was waiting to be explored.
So, one evening, I made my way to Fico Resto Café in Limassol.
Fico Resto Café, a new restaurant ,serves vegetarian and vegan cuisine. The only thing I was certain about, was that the specific cuisine was missing from the city’s gastronomic scene and, therefore, the menu would be something special. I also knew that the owners had been travelling a lot, had lived in New York for many years and the menu was made by Charlotte aka Chef Yaa Pierce, a New Yorker Chef specialized in this kind of cuisine.
Fico is located away from the old town of Limassol and the seaside. Its location, in a non- commercial area, implies that we would go there specifically to visit it and not because we were passing by. That was a positive element itself.
By getting inside, we were immediately ‘transferred’ to another era. The space is gorgeous , carefully and eclectically decorated with well-preserved furniture and accessories coming out of the 50’s and 60’s.With pop art paintings on the walls and many houseplants, Fico gives you the impression that you have found yourself in the luxurious penthouse of your eccentric, elegant and, of course, cosmopolitan aunt who ,in her youth, made smashing appearances in cosmic cocktail parties where the martinis-with two olives-flowed abundantly!
We sat and ordered Cypriot white house wine coming from organic cultivated vineyards, and, as we were eating, we had a look at the menu. Salads, soups, dips, sandwiches and wrap, starters, main dishes and desserts in a very interesting- and not at all boring- menu. I liked the emphasis given on very good raw materials (with biological and organic products starring) while, as we discovered later by tasting the dishes, everything was well chosen and nothing was accidental.
We started with delightful Mercimek. Red lentil kofte, with bulgur, scallion, parsley and various aromatic herbs served with lemon slices and lettuce. A nice start! We continued with soups, a delicious Asian Tom Yum Thai and a fragrant one with ginger and carrot.
Next, some various dips were served on an elegant bar cart that stood by the side of the table. A Mediterranean Cilantro Tahini, a Middle Eastern Baba Ghanoush with grilled eggplants, lemon zest, mint, parsley and pomegranate and a Halloumi spread, made from bio haloumi cheese and herbs, a gorgeous “foam”.
The next dish was a Kale Nori Caesar Salad with organic kale and lettuce, cherry tomatoes, crispy Nori seaweed and whole grain croutons topped with a wonderful egg free Caesar dressing. The vegetarians can accompany this salad with Parmesan flakes, while the vegans with nutritional yeast flakes.
Next to this there was the impressive Creamy Potato Avocado Salad, a creative combination of potato, avocado, wild asparagus and scallions. Here, you had the option to add a quail egg.
I liked in the menu those small details analysed by Marios Neokleous, one of the owners, who has deep knowledge of the philosophy of the vegetarian and vegan cuisine
Somewhere in the middle of the dinner I thought that I began to love this cuisine …
My thoughts were interrupted by the main dishes that ‘landed’, gracefully, on the table.
An impressive tower with Moroccan couscous, with oven baked eggplant, pumpkin, raisins and herbs, topped with a humus layer and served with a light mint sauce, took me to the souks of Marrakech in a cool evening in spring.
The creative Mushroom Quinotto, a very interesting variation of risotto, highlighted successfully the quinoa with the help of three kinds of mushrooms and a little bit of coconut and truffle cream.
Besides, the Melitzanokeftedes served with celeriac and cauliflower mash, brought me back to Middle East where, as in many of the above dishes, herbs and especially cumin, gave a very tasty result.
The end of the second part of our meal was impressive. In the middle of the table, the Fico pizza was served made with a variety of mushrooms and a sunny side up organic egg that covered the mushrooms by cutting it in the middle.
I couldn’t imagine a better way to finish the evening until desserts arrived.
We said that we could not eat anything else, but we were wrong.
The refreshing cheesecake made with anari, honey and fruit jam was a must but, on the other hand, I fell in love with the double chocolate cake.
Finally we tasted two scoops of dulce de leche, each with a different flavor but both of them very … sexy. When Marios said that none of the sweets contained sugar and explained how they were made I admitted that the chef was very creative.
The time was 12 but we did n’t want to leave Fico. I couldn’t imagine how fascinating a vegetarian and vegan restaurant could be!
Fico Café Resto: 1, Onisillou str., Kantara Block, Ayios Tychonas, Limassol. Tel. 25 311 032. Open from 18.00, Closed every Monday.