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Victoria Rd, Old Armenian Quarter

Nicosia is the capital of Cyprus.

Old Armenian Quarter

Victoria Road was a traditional residential neighbourhood in the western part of the walled city, to the north of the Paphos Gate. Most of the houses in the area were built in the late 19th and early 20th century as one or two story structures, with courtyards and gardens at the back.

As this area was one of the highest points of the old city, it was one of the most important districts of Nicosia, where many high officials and wealthy merchants chose to live. In order to adapt the buildings to their own culture, the Ottomans made several changes to the existing structures, like adding bay windows and building high garden walls. Many of the buildings combine Ottoman, Venetian, Armenian and Lusignan characteristics. Here was the home of many British officials after 1878. Indeed, the houses here have a colonial feel to them with their ornate balconies that hang over their front doors.

Before the troubles, Victoria Road was the Armenian quarter of Nicosia, and had been since the tenth century. On the eastern edge of the area are the ruins of the Armenian church of Notre dame de Tyre. Originally a 14th century Benedictine monastery it was handed over to the Armenians as a reward for siding with the Ottomans. They were, however, expelled from the area in 1963 on the grounds that they had allied themselves with the Greek Cypriots.


Restaurant review: Erebuni Armenian Restaurant, Nicosia By Alexander McCowan Published on November 19, 2011

Erebuni Armenian Restaurant, Nicosia Restaurant review, ReviewsRelated contentExciting menu at Erebuni

The Erebuni restaurant is designed to replicate an Armenian palace or sepulchre with brown stone walls and columns that may appeal to some because there is no accounting for taste. We arrive fairly early on a Tuesday night to find the premises empty of diners but some of the tables are occupied by groups of dark-clad heavily stubbled young men earnestly engaged in conversation. There is a dominant television portraying some form of oriental pop music; the furnishings are plain but not unattractive and we are shown to a table in a corner and given a menu by the single waiter.

He returns a few minutes later places an unasked for bottle of water on the table and seeks our order but as the menu is extensive and the compiler has gone to some length to describe the various dishes we require more time.

The starters contain many Armenian favourites such as soujuk, jajek and sarma mixed with such delicacies as smoked salmon and caviar; the companion settles for the special hummus and I select the basturma, a spicy sausage that the Armenians serve like salami. There is a hot starter section that offers blinchik, lahmadjo, which most will be familiar with: a rolled pancake filled with minced beef, and tjvjik: fried liver with onions and herbs among others. Outside on a large, illuminated board the establishment advertises its meze, which consists of practically everything on the starter menu and many more but warns that any request to replace any of the items will encounter a surcharge of 5.

Under the heading 'authentic Erebuni kebab' we find ten entries ranging from chicken wings, pork kebab to filet shish kebab and lamb chops. This is followed by the chef's specialties which include steak filet mignon garnished with tasty spices and served with baked potato and Armenian salad.

The companion originally selects the grilled chicken breast but when told by the waiter that it didn't come with fried potatoes although it clearly states such is the case on the menu, she settles on the filet mignon served rare.

The waiter recommends a Vlasidi Sauvignon, a good choice. There are no other customers yet so we are surprised to be kept waiting for the first course, however it eventually arrives accompanied by a basket containing a hot, freshly baked, hard crusted bread and some just thawed wraps; strange contrast. The hummus is very good as is the basturma and the hot bread is excellent.

Now for the interesting part of the evening: after some discussion and the passage of twenty minutes the main dishes arrive, mine contains four burnt chops a collection of cold fried potatoes and a chopped salad sitting in the middle of the plate. The companion's dish is a complete mystery as it contains something that doesn't even appear on the menu: a beef chop, which is not rare, but has been cooked close to cremation. 'What is this?' the waiter is baffled, he shrugs, he nods his head and vanishes.

Both plates are left. No comment from anyone on the premises. Time to go.

Either this establishment was suffering from a nervous breakdown on the night we visited or it is totally contemptuous of its customers, whichever; we shall not be returning soon.


SPECIALITY Armenian grills

WHERE Erebuni, Larnaca Ave, Pallouriotissa, Nicosia

CONTACT 22 730088

PRICE Kebabs around 9

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