At the height of the recent Liverpool riots – as the mob neared Myrtle Parade, firebombing cars and breaking windows – an anguished cry rang out on Facebook: “Dear God, not Kimos”.
What is Kimos? Well, it’s a Mediterranean cafe kebab house thing. Or a Middle Eastern restaurant. Look, it’s fusion alright?
There are at least two that SevenStreets is aware of, the original on Myrtle Parade that we first ate in at least ten years ago. And a second, larger outlet on Mount Pleasant a couple of doors down from the previous one. There may be more – we just don’t know. But we do know that we always liked the Mrytle Parade one and that it fits the area – multicultural, no-nonsense – extremely well.
Is it a cafe? is it a restaurant? It’s not really clear but the Mount Pleasant one is called the Restaurant and the Myrtle Parade one the Cafe – even though they seems to share a menu.
The latter is a bit like a neighbourhood drop-in centre, as everyone who comes and goes seems to know the staff and other patrons. It’s a friendly place, but we came for the food first and foremost.
Some of the items on the menu could walk straight off a takeaway menu – fitting since that’s exactly how Kimos started out in life. Kebabs, burgers, pizza. But there are fry-ups – and fish and chips and the like – and a much more fascinating dimension to the menu too.
Kebdah, an African dish consisting of fried, diced lamb’s liver was tempting, as were Foule Mudammas – otherwise known as African baked beans. Mendy, a fragrant, sweet curry was going to be our choice but we plumped for an old favourite – chicken kebab.
This might sound like an odd choice at a restaurant but the chicken is wonderfully tasty, well cooked and clearly well marinaded. There are fries, a salad, pitta, rice, mayo and a scorchingly hot chili sauce. We actually found the latter virtually inedible due to its heat, as did our dining companion, who had a very tasty falafel and feta pitta.
Excellent food then – uncomplicated but flavoursome and hearty. What’s more, Kimos really is exceptionally cheap. Our meal came, with drinks, to a tenner.
The vibe is relaxed; the decor cool and vaguely North African without trying too hard; a low-hanging ceiling specked with what look like fairy lights.
A couple of words of warning. The cafe does not accept cards, serve booze or include any pork on the menu (the food is halal). As far as we can remember the same goes for the restaurant.
One last word. On the way out we realised we’d paid with a twenty, but were leaving without any change. We went over to to the till to query the bill to find the staff baffling over an extra £10 note in the till, which they happily passed over. We had no doubt this was an oversight. Everyone bade cheery farewells.
Kimos then. For love. For life. Falafel.
6 Myrtle Street