Wow. Just wow. Elysee is a sight to behold. When you first arrive, it’s a little quiet (unless you hail from the Southern Mediterranean and you got the memo to arrive at 10pm) and mildly resembling an empty hotel restaurant. However, time it better than we did, and you can have a delicious meal then watch as the evening builds to a crescendo and finally descends into pure madness. It’s raucous, full of life, a little touristy, yet charming and completely off the wall. London in a nutshell, then.
In typical Greek fashion, Elysee are very proud of their food, and rightly so because it’s simple, delicious and hearty. There’s nothing groundbreaking here but sure, the Greeks did all of that thousands of years ago… If it ain’t broke etc. So, you can count on the food being well prepared and moreish. We tried a range of mezedes including the tzatziki, courgette fritters with mint, grilled halloumi and spanakopita. We opted for classic Kleftiko (slow cooked knuckle of lamb) served with vegetables and potatoes and Souvla for mains (lamb best end or slow spit roasted boned chicken leg) served with aromatic rice and salad The wine list is classic: lots of French and a couple of Greek wines on there to try too.
Crikey, where to start. Well, as I said before, arriving before 9pm is a no-no in terms of atmos so gauge that well to get off to a flying start. In summer, the rooftop bar is well worth a look so pop up there for an aperitif al fresco. Once the meal is underway, you will then find that your date has been thrown wide open to the inimitable tune of Zorba the Greek being belted out by the live band and a man dancing around balancing glasses on his bonce, followed by a couple of rounds of plate smashing (you can join in!), some Greek folk singing and rounded off nicely with some belly dancing. I didn’t stay longer than this point in the evening but I’d say that it turns into a veritable disco once everyone is suitably sozzled. It’s a great way to find out what mettle your date is made from. Once you’re a few dates in with someone who has a good sense of humour, this could be great for a laugh.
Bit of a head melting experience for a normal Friday evening supper. Save it, as I say, for special occasions or crew dates.