Sunshine Traditional Restaurant Cafe, Tigaki, Kos Island, Greece (June 22 and 27)

Last year the mosquitos were a real pain in the rear end at Sunshine taverna. The food was middling, the prices average and the service very friendly and almost too chatty. This year we went to Sunshine twice and the first thing to mention is that all the staff front-of-house and in the kitchen have changed. For the better it seems.

The restaurant is set back from the strip and has a bright sign to make it visible across the small field that separates it from the main road. The field holds a couple of cows that perhaps may end up on tourists’ plates. The restaurant is attached to apartments and has a pool beside it which coupled with the field might explain the insects. That said, despite the heat wave, there didn’t seem to be too many flies around when we ate there. We sat at the front where we could enjoy the cooling breeze (and I could see the Euro 2016 football).

During our first visit there were lots of families eating there and a local chap playing an electronic keyboard and having a bit of a sing every now and again. Later it turned into a full ‘Greek night’ with traditional dancing and we made a sharp exit. The young waitress and waiter were both very friendly – genuinely without any of the slick smarminess that you sometimes get from young over-trained restaurant staff in the UK.

The mixed grill was 12.50 euros and so was only slightly more expensive than Hercules – you did get a whole sausage though – which I shared with Siggy. She had the pastitsio. The homemade burger was great, the chips even better (possibly the best all holiday), the chicken steak juicy and the pork gyros passable (no spare rib) and the lamb chop was a bit on the skinny side but nice all the same.

Sunshine’s mixed grill

After saying we were both too full for dessert, we were offered one on the house. An offer we couldn’t refuse. I’m glad we didn’t because on reflection I think it was the best we had all holiday. It was a little like a cross between strudel and spotted dick served with vanilla ice cream. It was made by the waitress’s mum and given that I was clearly making notes I explained I would be blogging and gave her the website address she wrote down the name of the pudding – sweet patsavouropita. There’s a recipe here but this doesn’t include any dried fruit and I’m sure we had sultanas and possibly apple in ours.

Sweet patsavouropita at the Sunshine Restaurant

During our second visit, I had a BBQ Special that was on for the night (no doubt to get shot of some accumulated leftovers from previous nights) for 22 euros for two people – Siggy wasn’t interested so they let me have it for 11 euros. Siggy instead had a jacket potato with tzatziki and garlic bread (she seemed obsessed with both the jackets and the garlic).

The BBQ special consisted of pork souvlaki, an elongated burger and a whole traditional sausage all cooked on an open air barbecue – all nice and crispy but not dried out.

The chips were again fantastic and I even tried the brown rice which was wholesome and moreish. The tzatziki wasn’t overloaded with garlic or dill and the accompanying Greek salad had more cucumber than tomatoes for a change and salty/creamy feta. A bargain for 11 euros imo, and we got complementary schnapps instead of sweet patsavouropita.

All photography (c) Matthew Haynes.