As the afternoon went on it became apparent that everyone knew Uri, from the kids in the street to the local policemen. Shaking hands warmly with virtually every mortal who crossed his path, Uri might as well have owned the place and he actually kind of did.
“Next is ice-cream,” Uri announced, taking us to Endomela, a cosy looking ice-cream parlour overlooking the harbour. He walked round to the serving side of the counter and gave us samples of the homemade cold stuff on offer. Flavours vary according to what’s in season but will typically include apricot, fresh mint and arak, an aniseed spirit. It turned out that he owned the place which was conveniently next to his world famous Uri Buri restaurant.
“We will make some space for you,” he informed us when he noticed us salivating over the menu.
And I’m bloody glad he did. The dining rooms lacked grandeur, but more than made up for it with the food. Over the next two hours we were served a cavalcade of delights including salmon sashimi with wasabi sorbet, Scallops St Jacques, ceviche, anchovies, sea bream, gigantic prawns… it was only when we flew the proverbial white flag that the dishes stopped coming.
Entertainment was provided by Uri himself; in the middle of the meal he sat down at our table and produced a tupperware container. Uri fished out a pomegranate the size of a small football and the entire restaurant sat mesmerized as he ritualistically de-seeded it. He then handed out fistfuls to all of the diners, explaining that we should all be grateful for the simple things in life.
After the meal we went back to the hotel feeling full and thoughtful. It was a magical day rounded off perfectly with a G&T on the roof of the hotel. Watching the sun set over the city, I felt utterly energized and glad to be alive. I think that was Uri’s intention all along.