A tenner does not get you much these days.
It won’t buy you a train ticket from Glasgow to Edinburgh.
It won't buy you the latest Now That’s What I Call Music CD (95, bet that makes you feel old!)
It won’t buy you a Mitre Delta Football.
It will however get you a two course dinner at a City Centre Restaurant, and by restaurant I mean somewhere with table service, wine and alcohol on offer and cutlery laid out on a table.
But it’ll be in some dreary side street miles away from anywhere..? Nope, it is right off George Square, it couldn't be any more City Centre if it tried.
But the food will uninspired, microwave reheated frozen awfulness that tastes of chicken, no matter what you order…? Oh no, this is all handmade food, cooked from proper ingredients and it’s full of flavour, because it’s a Greek restaurant and they invented Retsina so they know all about big flavours…
I met Barney for a early dinner and as he was paying I really should have found somewhere far more expensive! The door to Elia is not as obvious as Jamie's Italian or Brown's, there's no bright neon signs or full height windows, but if you look in the middle of the West side of the square you'll find it. The early dinner menu runs from 4-7 and is a choice of five starters and five main courses.
I went with the Chicken Meatballs and Barney opted for the dip and Pitta bread, after running through the options he picked the Hoummus. What arrived a short time later was a great introduction to the food of Elia, and the main course that was to come. The portion size was spot on for a starter, getting the juices flowing, without ruining your appetite for later. The chicken meatballs were succulent, well seasoned and full of flavour. The hoummus had just the right hit of garlicness and the accompanying pitta was just the right amount for mopping up all the creamy chickpea goodness.
The Chicken Souvlaki was a generous portion of chicken chunks, beautifully marinated and it smelt as good as it tasted, shame Barney ruined the authenticity by having it served with chips. I went for the Beef Kokkinsto, a traditional Beef Stew served with rice and perfect for warming you up on these driech winter days.It was slow cooked and pulled apart with the fork, the flavours simple and well rounded, with the richness of the beef balanced by the slight sweetness from the sauce.
The service was cheerful and efficient throughout and the food was fantastic value, but even at full price the menu would be reasonable.If you are looking for an authentic Greek experience, or a cheap pre-theatre dinner, and especially if you want both, then Elia is the place for you!