Niazi’s Restaurant, the inventor of the “full kebab” which has become a passion for Cypriots, is beginning to get international recognition. In 1949 Mr. Niazi used to own a small convenience store in Limassol comprised of both a market and a small restaurant which used to serve mainly the British Forces personnel and their families located in the area. When he started making kebab for his customers, he did not even have enough space for any chairs and tables. In addition, he was setting the tables at a petrol station opposite the store.
In 1967 Niazi’s expanded to a more modern building again in Limassol. The events of 1974 which resulted in the partition of the island caused Niazi’s to halt its operations for four months, the longest period in its history. After this period Niazi’s moved to Kyrenia in northern part of Cyprus. In Kyrenia, in addition to the British and Cypriots, Niazi’s introduced full kebab to Turkish customers from mainland Turkey who at first found the “full kebab” service odd which is served subsequently but later loved the unique style.
The concept of the “full kebab”, which first started in Limasol, began spreading in a short time. Soon it became a concept and the number of restaurants offering full kebab in Limassol’s Turkish part increased. The Greek Cypriots were also influenced, and served Full Kebeb at other parts of the island.
Today Niazi’s is a popular restaurant in the Kyrenia City center (opposite the Dome Hotel) with a varied cliental including Cypriots and Tourists alike. Furthermore, the qualities of Niazi’s Restaurant have ensured its fame beyond the borders of Cyprus.
In 1949 in order to get over the obstacles of serving all his customers at the same time, Niyazi Aydeniz – “Niyazi Cemali” back then started serving one of each item of different kebabs following one another – using the requirements and habits of his customers when inventing the full kebab. The full kebab is a mixture of Turkish and Cypriot taste and it consists of one Seftali, one Kofte (meat ball), one Shish kebab, one Lamb chop and a Kofte on the shish accompanied by various cold and hot “mezes” served on the table which is plenty.
But in 1950s the portions were bigger. In addition to today’s; two Koftes instead of one, two Shish and a quarter of Chicken made the portions twice in size compared to the one today.
At Niazi’s Restaurant, Yogurt, Cacik, Hummus, Celery and Cabbage salad. Grilled halloumi cheese, Doner kebab, Sigara boregi and chips are the main accompaniments of the full kebab.
In Limassol, Niazi’s used to offer famous KOKINELLI barrel red wine of Cyprus complimentary with the meal.
Today, Niazi’s has a wide selection of international wines together with selected Turkish wines.
The meat which is locally produced, has its unique Cyprus flavour due to free range farming. In Niazi’s the kebabs are grilled in front of the customer on an open charcoal grill. The flavour of the kebab you have at the Niazi’s is a result of a tradition which is gained by decades of experience.
At Niazi’s, the “full kebab” today concludes with delicous home made desserts from the open buffet.