Elia, with a new Greek menu

Elia's wooden-decked terrace

Elia’s wooden-decked terrace

Dubai; FooDiva was most excited when a good Greek friend invited her to Elia to sample their new menu last night. Now Elia is Dubai’s only true Greek restaurant located at the Majestic Hotel in Bur Dubai.

Throw out any preconceptions about the neighbourhood’s hotels, and prepare yourself for a surprise as you walk into a bright and airy restaurant with a wonderful split-level terrace, just perfect for al fresco dining at this time of year. Elia translates to ‘olive’ and the restaurant is overseen by celebrity Greek Chef Yiannis Baxevanis. I say overseen, because he’s based out of Athens and flies in occasionally. In typical Greek fashion, our table of seven took a while to congregate. In the meantime, my friend took the lead (again so lovingly Greek-like), and ordered a selection of appetisers, or meze as us Greeks and Cypriots like to call it:

Oven baked saganaki with gruyere cheese and spicy tomato; charcoal grilled calamari stuffed with tomato and cheese; meatballs accompanied by a salad of fine beans, roasted red peppers, fresh herbs and yoghurt sauce; greek salad with tomato, cucumber, onion, olives and fetta cheese seasoned with aromatic herbs; green salad.

 Elia's bread offeringStuffed calamari & traditional Greek saladThe green (and purple!) saladElia's meatballs
 
Now Greeks can’t dine without bread, so Elia provides two types; an unusual carob bread, and what I’d like to call a Greek version of a cheese sambousek, but twice the size, round, warm and drizzled with cheese – divine!

The saganaki was definitely a highlight; melted cheese with tomatoes and spices thrown in, I can still savour the flavour. The calamari (squid) was not as tender as I would have liked, but to be expected in this region – compensated by the tasty tomato and cheese stuffing. You can sense a theme developing here…yes the Greeks do love their tomatoes and cheese.

Slow-baked lamb in parchment paperAnd the lamb unwrapped!Potatoes baked in their skin

We each ordered our own main course and I opted for the lamb (as did two others), slow-baked in parchment paper with herbs and Greek cheeses, accompanied with potatoes baked in their skins. Wow, what a stunning presentation – as I unwrapped the parchment paper, I felt like a kid opening Christmas pressies. I was greeted to a wonderful aroma transporting me back to my homeland. The pieces of lamb were tender, all-be-it a tad too salty for my liking and my friends too – mixed with melted cheese, slithers of red pepper and plenty of herbs. The potatoes served separately were infused with a little lemon, just enough to make you savour every morsel…so scrumptious.

I wish I’d left room for dessert. Service was not as smooth as it could be, so there’s definitely room for improvement. Elia surpassed every expectation, and has certainly moved on from the restaurant it opened to a few years ago. If you’re looking for Greek cuisine or simply want to try some good home-cooked food in a relaxed environment, then definitely choose Elia over the other Greek restaurants in town. I’ll be back, and will be sure to leave room for the loukoumades (teeny doughnuts drizzled in a honey syrup).

Elia is located at the Majestic hotel in Bur Dubai. T; +971 4 5012529. Dinner per head with soft drinks, tea and coffee AED160. Open daily for dinner only and brunch every Friday. Licensed.

Gia mas.

FooDiva. x

Reserve with RoundMenu
  • Posted under
    Bur Dubai, Dubai, Greek, Hotels, Restaurant Reviews, Restaurants

  • Pin It

7 Responses to “Elia, with a new Greek menu”

  1. John Podaras December 23, 2010 at 5:15 pm

    Excellent review and so true! However may I take this opportunity to raise the delicate issue of salad? Greek salad to be precise, or indeed what it definitely isn’t. For all of you, take a trip down to Elia and see their Greek salad. Now compare it to the equivalent menu entry being offered at most places around town.

    See what I mean? NO LETTUCE!!!

    Why is it that restauranteurs in this town believe that anything can be represented as Greek salad by the mere addition of white cheese is beyond me.

    And while on the topic of white cheese; if it didn’t come out of a sheep/goat in certain parts of Greece it ain’t Feta. It’s the law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protected_designation_of_origin).

    So please, next time someone dishes out that rubbish claiming it is Greek, repeat after me. NO LETTUCE. Say it loudly. Say it proudly!

  2. FooDiva December 23, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    I couldn’t agree more. Some are, but I sincerely wish more restaurants in town would take a serious and patriotic note of their cuisine. It will drive more business long term.

  3. Greek Restaurant Owner December 23, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Greeks are big meat eaters. Lamb, beef, pork, chicken, and even goat and rabbit are all consumed regularly. Meat is often made with garlic, onions and potatoes.
    If you are a Greek or one who wants to taste the delicious Greek food, try it from a White plains restaurant.

    • FooDiva January 5, 2011 at 5:49 pm

      Gia sas!

      For some reason your comment ended up in my spam, so I have only just retrieved it. Yes I am Greek-Cypriot, and will be sure to visit you when am next in the US. In the meantime, kali orexi!
      x

  4. kelly January 16, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    I do like the above comments especially when they come from people who know the greek cuisine.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. Bloggers' Favorite Restaurants in Dubai Which Reminds Them of Home | pinay flying high - December 7, 2013

    […] Foodiva is half Greek/Cypriot and half British and she recommends the Greek restaurant Elia as her favorite. […]

  2. Bloggers' Favorite Restaurant in Dubai Which Reminds Them of Home | pinay flying high - December 7, 2013

    […] Foodiva is half Greek/Cypriot and half British and she recommends the Greek restaurant Elia as her favorite. […]

I’d love to receive your feedback, so feel free to comment any time.