What was meant to be a local small drinking place in the village Gaziveren, has today grown into a big rustic restaurant that welcomes all who wish to experience Cypriot hospitality.
The story of Çiftlik begins in 2011, when Mustafa Polatkan returned to his home country of Cyprus, having been living in England for 37 years.
– I wanted to create a gathering place for locals, a small simple place where people could sit together, have a drink and just hang out. The desire to make people feel joy and fellowship is the major driving force for me, says Mustafa, who has extensive experience in the restaurant industry.
From being a small restaurant with six tables Çiftlik grew quickly, so quickly that not long after opening the restaurant I had to move out of the room and into his apartment building next door.
– What initially was the restaurant is now the part we use as the restaurant kitchens, smiling Mustafa.
The house where the restaurant is located today is an old house which for several years has been in the family estate. When you walk in the door you are greeted by a large room with high ceilings. The décor is traditional Cypriot design with dark wooden tables adorned with checked tablecloths welcomes guests to sit down. Gold Yellow lanterns spread an ambient glow in the room and at the front of the room crackles a warming fire.
Çiftlik is a perfect place to spend the day. On Sundays, the garden’s outdoor terrace is full of guests who come to relax and enjoy the weekend. Something that attracts families and school classes is Çiftliks own little farm. Çiftlik means farm in Turkish, and here you have the chance to meet the horses, sheep, goats, peacocks, turkeys, ducks and squirrels.
– We also have many cats that live here, says Mustafa.
The farm’s newest addition is a puppy named Princess, who happily toddles around and shows off her new pink scarf to guests.
– We have about 30 different kinds of animals on the farm, says Mustafa after a moment’s reflection.
At Çiftlik you can enjoy local Cypriot cuisine. The menu includes hot and cold meze, small starters you should definitely try out. It also serves all kinds of meat and fish, and of course kebabs. Much of the produce is from his farm.
Previously they used television commercials to advertise, but it is now no longer necessary. Each week, busloads of tourists from all over find their way here, those who are curious about the Cypriot cuisine and culture, from the local schools and university classes that want to see and pet the animals. Many people choose to celebrate birthdays and other celebrations here. Some weekends they have live bands performing.
Çiftlik is open from noon to midnight every day except Mondays when it is closed. On weekends you can come here and have breakfast from nine o’clock.