"One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested" - E.M.Forster
Doros Nearchou is both the owner and part of the chef team at Laledes and he promotes heavily the 'local roots' card both in the purchasing of ingredients, in his cooking, and within the environment he serves his dishes. Here is a restaurant which offers all the correct values of freshness, flavour and affordability with a good dash of character and culture added to the mix, delivering to customers a more rounded experience of how Cypriot food can be elevated to include some delicious modern twists.
This is a man who is passionate not only regarding his 'place' within his village but specifically the old house he converted to become both his chefs domain but also a repository for the myriad of artefacts he lovingly collected since childhood.
Walls are hung with agricultural implements, cooking pots and cleavers, hand made kitchen knives, weighing scales, paraffin lamps, mosaics, samples of local art painted on old wooden shutters , kitchen pottery, and baskets, examples of woven cloth, and some customers are privileged to be able to sit on chairs handcrafted in Kouklia over 230years ago.
"After a good dinner one can forgive anybody-even ones relatives".
- Oscar Wilde.
Doros is steeped in a great sense of belonging, whose passion for local fresh food sits squarely and honestly on your plate and always partnered by a basket of fresh from the oven bread. Bread making is yet another passion for he is a 'dough' enthusiast and loves experimenting with the magical properties of flour, water, salt, and yeast, a passion handed down from his mother who was the woman villagers called upon to hand build their unique outdoor bread ovens.
Laledes is the type of place where one can practise that very best of indoor/outdoor sport; - eating, with most of us being lucky enough to play it three times a day, here, its on offer to 'players' twice a day with some going for a less strenuous activity by settling for a simple coffee and cake come mid morning or a light lunch with delicious salad and home made bread sandwiched between slivers of perfectly cooked roast chicken.
The menu is very wel thought out and consists of fresh village ingredients. There is something on the menu to suit all food-lovers- be it a hearty Lamb Fricasse or the mouth watering Kings Prawns. For those that are undecided due to the vast amount of delicious food on the menu, there is always the special of the day! Just ask for the surprise.
Vegetarians are also well catered for and no, it's not going to be the Cypriot version of a nut cutlet as Doros genuinely relishes his veggie menus often going out on a culinary limb to ensure there is always something original to offer those of a 'green' persuasion.