Elia, Majestic Hotel, Dubai

 

Yum!

Does anyone ever want to cook anything after spending the day at the beach?  Unless it’s a BBQ of course.  That can happen.  But regular cooking always seems so hard.  Knowing this, we planned accordingly and booked to go out for dinner.

Quite fittingly for our ‘holiday’ inspired day, we found ourselves at Elia at the Majestic Hotel in Bur Dubai.  Not somewhere I would have normally ventured to, but actually it worked out perfectly!

Elia is a little Greek restaurant that serves both traditional and contemporary dishes.  Not only that, but because of the newly refurbished courtyard, you actually can forget you are in Dubai for a while and sit back enjoying the feeling of being somewhere entirely different.  The hotel itself and the area it is in really should not put you off booking.  It is well worth it, I promise!

We arrived and once we had navigated the hotel foyer and tiny elevators, we were met by Elia’s incredibly friendly team.  We had booked to sit inside but it was quite a warm evening so asked if we could switch.  It wasn’t a problem at all and we were really pleased we did!

Heavenly

As soon as we got to the courtyard, we knew this was going to be a good experience.  Firstly, it is stunning.  It feels like it has literally been lifted from a little Taverna in Greece.  Anywhere that takes that much pride and care over their styling choices is going to take just as much care over the menu.  I was officially excited.  Also, just to help add to my anticipation, every table we had walked by had people chattering away in what sounded like Greek.  Always a good sign!

There was one slight problem once we were seated though… the menu.  I wanted to basically eat it all!

The menu is not huge, but it is very well thought out.  Naturally we had to try something from both the traditional and the contemporary menus.  That was until the main course.  I had randomly been craving Moussaka for months.  I don’t know why because I’m pretty sure it’s not something I was mad for and I literally couldn’t have told you the last time I had one, but that is what I wanted.

But I’m getting ahead of myself again!

First up were some delicious breads with olives and some form of garlicy olive spread.  No clue what it was but I was thankful that because of my nut allergy, they bought a separate basket of freshly baked bread as well so that I could try it.  Apparently the original walnut bread was divine!

I don’t love olives, but like tapenade!

The chef also sent out a beautiful little quid dish as an amuse-bouche.  I can’t remember what it was called but it was really tasty.  I like squid in pretty much any form!

I didn’t try the beans!

Then the hard choices came along.  In order to be able to try as much as possible, we decided to chose a starter each to share.  This sounded very logical at the time.  In hindsight we ordered enough for double the amount of people… again!

Mum picked the taramousalata.

Pink is a great colour!

Justine picked the tzatziki.

So much better than it looks!

I picked the freshly baked pita bread to go with them!

We ordered more!

I have never had either of those dips before that weren’t from a supermarket or a kebab shop so I was a little bit apprehensive as I didn’t really like them.

Shows how different everything tastes when it is freshly made! They were amazing!  I couldn’t believe I haven’t had them properly before!  They were just creamy, yummy goodness.  No flavour was individually overpowering.  It all just blended perfectly.

As for the bread – wow!  It’s freshly baked and bought to your table so it’s warm and aromatic, and fluffy and goooooood.  One tip though… order more than one!!!!

On top of those, Justine and I decided to order the grilled calamari stuffed with graviera cheese, fennel and tomato confit.  It wasn’t great I have to say.  It wasn’t a disaster either.  Next time I would just go with the dips though.

Strange.

Then, because Mum is allergic to squid, we also ordered the fried halloumi.  It is served on a spicy and savory marmalade with orange, apple and raisin.  It was very strange but quite nice.  I think the halloumi was quite overpowered to the point that it could have been a block of anything really. I did like the sweet and savory mix though which is quite unusual for me.

Sweet and savory!

By the time we had worked our way through that little mountain of food, we were really starting to feel quite full.  We are however nothing if not dedicated, so we gamely carried on to the exciting main course!

I would at this point like to apologise because all three of us chose the moussaka!  There isn’t going to be a comparison of dishes or a hint of food envy.  Just a picture of the second best moussaka I have every had.

Drooooool

It was so just what the doctor had ordered! Personally I would have liked a little more of the main body against the amount of white sauce, but it was really very good.  When it first arrived I thought “is that it” but it was hugely filling and actually, perfectly portioned.

We did try our hand at balance and ordered a salad to go with it…

Best. Ever.

… a Greek salad!  It was quite literally by far the best I have ever had.  So much so that the memory of the feta and the perfectly ripe tomatoes is making my mouth water all over again.  I wonder how quickly I can go back there!?

I sadly didn’t take a photo of the bill so have no clue how much it cost now. I do remember thinking that it wasn’t too bad of a cost and that I would happily go back again anytime. I think it was about ARD 600 with additional tip? That sounds about right!

So, who fancies a moussaka sometime soon!?

Beautiful mural

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