North Cyprus Restaurants | most have inconsistent quality so how can you review them?

I have finally reached the point where I will not go out to eat in restaurants in TRNC any more. Not because I’m tight fisted, but because they just do not produce value for money. You cannot replace quality with quantity, nor can you cover it up with loud music, be it Karaoke or someone doing a cover version of Engelbert Humpedink.  I’m sorry for the gastronomic industry in North Cyprus but after many years of crossing ever more restaurants off the list, or should I say adding them to the list of “never to go back again”, I’ve decided to give them all a miss.

I am not a trained cook, I am not a barkeeper or waiter, nor am I a snob when it comes to eating out, but I object to poor or indifferent food, crap service and the couldn’t care less attitudes of most of the establishments I have had the misfortune to visit. Being ever-so friendly to people when they enter you establishment doesn’t mean that you can charge what you like for any old dross you choose to serve up. I could do a list in order of crappiness but the list of places to recommend is easier as it’s empty.

The worst I have come across so far has been The Lagoon in Girne: a 4-people Full Fish Mezes served with 3 fish and the attitude get on with it, no manager available to complain to nor a reduction in the bill, plus we had to wait while all the locals got served first with much more food than we had. Sirin Yali in Karsiyaka is next on the list: no food, just excuses and a debate about whether 2 x 7 starters (i.e. 2 lots of the same starters) was OK for the 15 Mezes advertised on the menu.

I could go on but every time I’ve been somewhere where I thought , “OK, not bad”, when I go back it’s crap and unfortunately I’ve recommended it on the basis of a few visits. The argument that the meat is not good here, or there is a poor selection of fish, is rubbish. Why can’t they make a decent salad? Is there a lack of ingredients ? No Olive oil? No Vinegar? No Herbs? The real problem is that the restaurants have no trained staff and no trained cooks. They try to offer a very wide selection of dishes even if they have no idea how to prepare them. I travel around in the countryside and see lots of people selling wild mushroom and fresh wild asparagus. Has any one ever seen these in a restaurant? Then they get upset that trade is slack. If they had a tourist trade like Majorca or the Costa Del Sol then they may have been able to survive. But guess what North Cyprus doesn’t have?

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