[Wilmslow, Cheshire] Stolen Lamb

There’s a dearth of decent Cypriot restaurants in the area. I can think of the Stolen Lamb and, erm. Well, that’s it.

There’s a full menu which most folk seemed to be tucking in to, but we’ve always found it impossible to get past the fixed mezze. The dishes owe their allegiance to Cyprus but there’s more of an elegance in construction and plating than you’d see in a village tavena. There’s dips to start, of course. A black bean and tahini houmous was as different as it was good. A feta and chilli dip didn’t really taste of either and was all overwhelmed by lemon. There was lots of good flatbread and some indifferent pre-stoned olives, straight from the jar.

Halloumi came with a crisp coating and oozing centre – just as you’d hope it would. It sits on a little onion and kale which work well with it. Small dice of salmon are cured in ouzo – alongside some dice of kohlrabi (perhaps the most pointless of vegetables). The third offering on this platter is loukaniko sausage, alongside shredded apple in a honey & mustard dressing - it works well.

Next up, is a standard chicken souvlaki. This is properly cooked – nice & moist with just a hint of charring on the outside. There’s a different sausage – sheftalia (not as good as the one as I had in Paphos earlier in the year). And a village salad – lettuce, cucumber, tomato, etc.

There’s then three more mezze offerings, but plated as a main course. There’s kleftiko – the long braised stolen lamb of the restaurant name. It’s delicious. It’s always been delicious. I expect it always to be delicious in the future. There’s a lovely, if slightly incongruous, dolmade. And oven roasted vegetables are a dice of potato, aubergine and carrot.

Dessert is also a plated version of the three mezze items listed on the menu. Almond and coconut baklava may not be traditional flavourings but it was a knockout couple of mouthfuls – sweet but not the cloying, sickly sweet baklava can often be. It comes with a perfectly poached pear and some vanilla ice cream.

Not a bad way of ending the dining out for 2015.

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