Monday, 7 July 2014

London’s Oldest Greek Restaurant – Elysée

Greek cuisine had never made it to the top of my favourites. Except for their amazing lamb and seafood dishes; the essentials like hummus, feta cheese and olives had never caught my attention. Eager for some Greek food after a year from my Greece getaway, I settled for Elysée.

Situated in the streets of Fitzrovia, Elysée claiming to be the oldest Greek restaurant in London serves a great fair of Greek cuisines. The Elysée opened its doors in 1936 and had played host to many acclaimed figures like HRH Prince Phillip and The Beatles. Pretty impressive huh? Alongside with its list of impressive patrons, Elysée’s food really does live up to its name.

Starting off with appetizers, the calamari is nicely done. Although the calamari did not stand out, the keftedes were to die for!

Calamari @ £7.o0
The classic favourite in my list - deep fried squid in batter. Coated with crispy batter, the calamari was crispy on the outside and not too oily for my liking. Nothing extraordinary to shout about but it's nicely done.
Keftedes@ £6.00
The 4 large lamb meatballs were to die for. Tender and juicy with the right amount of seasoning! The combination with tomato sauce made it a wonderful appetizer.
Plus, the meatballs had no gamey smell. So even those who are not a huge fan of lamb could give it a try.

Moving on to main courses, souvlaki is common in all Greek restaurants’ menu. Elysée is no exception. Other traditional Greek items like moussaka and kleftiko are part of the menu.

Lamb Souvlaki @ £15.00
A skewer of grilled lamb served with rice and salad, the lamb was not quite as tender as I would like them to be. Nevertheless, still well marinated and pleasantly executed.
The aromatic rice was a wonderful side. Well cooked grains with butter, small cubes of beans and broccoli.
Kleftiko @ £16.00
Lamb knuckle slow cooked the Greek way! My absolute favourite in Greek cuisine and something I've ordered almost every meal during my Greece trip.
The kleftiko here is spot on! The lamb was well braised, creating a juicy tender meat which falls off the bone easily.
Grilled Whole Seabass @ £18.00
Given a choice to be serve with or without bone, the seabass is a little charred but not overcooked. Fresh and still had the juiciness locked in despite the charred look.
Chose to be served without bone, BUT plenty of bones were still left in the fish. Be careful with the tiny bones especially on the sides.
Located in Percy Street, off the busy Tottenham Court Road; Elysée consist of a main restaurant, a bar and a roof garden. With high ceiling and plaster decor, the main restaurant brings a touch of class. The roof garden on the other hand is simple with rattan chair and plenty of sunshine.

Dining on two occasions using TasteCard for a 50% discount, the service is amicable. On my first visit, we were offered a table in the roof garden although it wasn’t allowed for customers using the TasteCard discount. On a second visit, the service was equally excellent.

Main restaurant interior
Elysée entrance

Elysée is pinned in red

Finding Elysée is easy. Just 5 minutes walk from the nearest tube station.

Elysée Restaurant 
13 Percy Street
London, W1T 1DP

Nearest tube station: Tottenham Court Road (Northern Line, Central Line)
GPS coordinate: 51.518396, -0.133142

Food rating: 8/10
*Whilst some dishes were heavenly, some were just mediocre.
Service rating: 8/10
*Service was great generally but calling for attention is one big problem.
Ambience rating: 8/10
Overall rating: 8/10

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