A taste of Italy with a piece of Francis Ford Coppola’s popular movies about the mafia boss Don Corleone and his family – there you have the new Italian restaurant The Sicilian in a nutshell. With its perfect location in the middle of a residential area, but only a few hundred metres from the town’s main street, The Sicilian has every chance of becoming “the Italian on the corner” to Kyrenia’s inhabitants.
We step into the restaurant that is simple and welcoming, with sturdy wooden tables and bare light bulbs that spread a pleasant light. The walls are adorned with pictures from the Godfather films. Most guests have chosen to settle down inside the glass-enclosed terrace facing out to the road. At the far end of the room sits a group completely focused on the football match on TV.
A lively and friendly waitress arrives and takes our orders. We get a delicious seafood pasta, burgers with curly fries and pizza baked in a thin and crispy base. To the eye, it looks very promising and certainly does it taste quite excellent!
After the meal, we meet Oktay Kin, who together with his business partner Bugra Tengiz runs the place. He crosses his arms over his chest and laughs a little when we excitedly describe our happiness to have finally found a restaurant with great curly fries! We ask him how the idea of The Sicilian came to life.
“I was travelling in England when I came in contact with Frankie & Benny’s, an American Italian restaurant chain. There and then the idea was born to start something similar in North Cyprus,” he says.
Oktay has previously worked as deputy head of Mehmet Ezic (who owns the Ezic restaurants in North Cyprus), and knows how important it is with high quality and standard. Everything from great service and cleanliness to tasty food and good atmosphere should be in place. It is a winning concept that rubs off on the guests and make them want to return.
“I have always loved the Italian cuisine. At The Sicilian, we have a wide range of dishes on the menu, designed to cater to all tastes and preferences,” he says. “We have, for example, several kinds of pizza, steaks, risotto and pasta, and we also serve dishes like fish and chips and fajitas. One of the absolute favourites, that I recommend all our guests to try, is Robert Pierre’s pizza. It should be said that several of the dishes on our menu bear the names of characters from The Godfather films!”
The spacious restaurant has a capacity of 180 people and is perfect for larger groups, as well as for those who want to eat an undisturbed dinner for two. Here you can get a breakfast in the sun, a coffee out on the terrace, a beer during football or a delicious dinner accompanied by international wines – there are 65 varieties to choose from!
The Sicilian opened its doors on January 6 this year and Oktay is very pleased with the positive feedback received from visitors. The grand opening of the restaurant has had to wait but will probably take place sometime at the end of the month. So for all of you who want to enjoy the Italian flavours à la Don Corleone – welcome to Kyrenia’s new Italian!
Opening hours: 9am to 2am (kitchen closes at 1am)
There are plenty of parking spaces outside the restaurant.