Elia – the Greek restaurant as authentic as authentic can be.
When you visit Elia, who is your hostess? The beautiful Ms Pispirigou, of course. That’s a Greek name, in case you didn’t know.
Who handles the PR? Well, Ms Economides does. Also sounds Greek to me.
And who manages the kitchen? Chef Ilia Kokoroskos from Greece.
Indeed, you ARE in Greece at Elia, there is no doubt about that!
As globalization and professional training allows for a Chef to reach high standards regardless of location, we find that nationality is not a hindrance for cooks any more. For example, a Laotian Chef with a good recipe, the proper ingredients, and the culinary techniques can dish up a fluffy Yorkshire Pudding of good quality, and a Nigerian Chef, never having set foot out of his native Lagos, could even present a super-fresh Fugu-Chiri (though, since that is the toxic Japanese blow fish, which if not prepared properly will be your last meal on Earth, I might diplomatically avoid that one…)
Not so at Elia – this is the real thing. This is where thousands of years of culinary culture from the Greek Isles deliver a fantastic ethnic dining experience that I challenge any restaurant in the Gulf to match.
And your Chef, the young and affable Ilia Kokoroskos is passionate… you can tell he has a lot of fun at work and he is not just there because it’s a job: “I change the menu items every season,” he beams, “I follow the seasonal changes in Greece. I know here in Dubai we don’t really have seasons, but I am here to represent my country and our food, so when in Greece it’s Spring, then I bring the Spring to Elia!”
We thoroughly enjoyed his dishes.
Not experts on Greek cuisine, we were imagining enormous servings of heavy and fully-saturated dishes. We must apologize. Chef Kokoroskos’ menu was nothing like that: it was fresh and tasty, each dish leaving you smiling and cleaning the plate with bread to get the last flavor, looking forward to the next one.
Very cleverly, the Elia menu proposes three special set menus leaving the Chef to arrange a complete meal for you: they are themed from The Sea, The Earth, and The Garden (seafood, meat, and vegetarian; respectively Dhs 115, 127, and 90) and they consist of 5 dishes each – I say, trust the Chef.
If you prefer to order à la carte, you will find an excellent selection of both traditional Greek dishes, even regional specialities, as well as contemporary interpretations. The starters are 17 from the “Traditional Favorites’ page, plus 9 others from the ‘Contemporary Interpretations’ page… yes, they are having fun in that kitchen!
I told you, Elia is not just a Greek restaurant – it is the culinary ambassador to Greece in the United Arab Emirates. I’m not kidding.
The main dishes were also superb, as were the home-made breads.
And the desserts closed the meal with fanfare. Ever tried fried orange? You must. Try also the Galaktobureko, the Loukoumades, and the Halva. If you don’t know what they are… again, trust the Chef.
Besides the marvels streaming out of the kitchen, and Ms Pispirigou’s friendly yet professional care to our table, I must take a moment to comment on the ambience.
Visiting Elia was like taking a trip to Greece, not only via the palate, but also the other senses. The interior dining space is light and airy, and the outside terrace, enclosed in air-conditioned glass, is like dining in a mature orchard, surrounded by the freshness of tall trees.
All in all, Elia was one of the nicest culinary trips we’ve taken; in fact, we are now considering a vacation to Greece.
Think about it, how good can a restaurant be that after dining there you want to visit their country? That was Elia for us.
So, when you are thinking about where you could possibly have a nice dinner in Dubai, perhaps ticking off your usual places on your finger-tips, go to Greece instead – go to Elia.
Elia restaurant is part of the Majestic Tower Hotel Dubai, a 4-star deluxe hotel located in Bur Dubai with 252 rooms and suites over 28 floors.
Mankhool Road, Bur Dubai,
P.O. Box 122235,
United Arab Emirates
Tel: + 971 (0) 4 501 2666,