Nisiotiko Taverna, Tigaki, Kos Island, Greece

This restaurant is about halfway along the main Tigaki strip towards the beach from Hercules and where the cocktail bars begin to proliferate. We asked the waiter, who looked a bit like Justin Timberlake, for cheesy garlic bread as a starter in Nisiotiko but got plain stuff instead. A cat looked on mockingly.

The bread was buttery, both soft and crunchy, and just the right side of garlicy. We helped it along with two large glasses of Mythos. Served in glasses kept in freezers, the beer is certainly refreshing especially when you get little bits of ice floating in it. I felt like I wanted to swim in the stuff.

There was an open square of sky in the roof of the taverna which also helped with the temperature. The toilets were host to multiple mosquitos hungry for blood so I didn’t linger too long in there when I had to use them.

Siggy ordered a pork chop from the multilingual menu (Greek, German and English) in the knowledge that this would no doubt take on biblical proportions – much like the spare ribs. Greek butchery cuts seem like British cuts on steroids although the animals themselves (unlike the fruit and vegetables which remind me of the Woody Allen film Sleeper) aren’t any bigger.

The homemade burger in the mixed grill was referred to on the menu as a biteki – the first time I had seen this terminology. Along with the burger was a pile of pork gyros cuttings, half a crispy sausage, a lamb chop (something I look forward to as I very rarely eat lamb in the UK and it reminds me of my childhood in Wales), chicken steak, pork souvlaki, fried potatoes and tzatziki.

The pork gyros were better than what was included at Sunshine Taverna and also what I had eaten for lunch in a pitta on one day when we were at the beach. The lamb chop was lovely.

The grill costs 14 euros and we got a good sized complimentary glass of ouzo or schnapps at the end of the meal. I don’t like ouzo than much so we had schnapps. Ouzo and raki (which I tend to associate more with Turkey) are equally popular local drinks along with the brandy based Metaxa which comes in various strengths.

So which taverna did the best mixed grill? For the price I would have to say Hercules, but maybe I missed out not having one at Sagittarius this year.

All photography (c) Matthew Haynes.