Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Chloe Likes To Eat: Elystan Street
Given that there's just the three of us- mum, dad & I in our office, our work Christmas party isn't exactly... traditional. As you can imagine, hiring a DJ or renting a mixologist isn't really on my to-do list when it comes to organising anything to do with the festive period business-wise.
What we have taken to doing, and it's so much more fun, is selecting restaurant to visit, sometimes fine dining, sometimes a regional cuisine we've not tried before, sometimes a new opening as was the case this year. Elystan Street is Phil Howard's latest opening in Chelsea and one look at the menu ticked all the boxes- seasonal, unpretentious food with exciting ingredients and exciting vegetarian choices. So what did we think....
The first thing you should know about Elystan Street it's that it's distinctly unstuffy. A cool, modern and comfortable interior with stained wood tables and gentle lighting made it very comfortable for the four of us to sit down in in casual shirts at 2.30 in the afternoon and not feel like we needed to whisper. The front of house staff dressed in aprons and chambray is the perfect balance of attentive service and relaxed dining that allows the food to speak for itself. Or should I say sing, because oh, the food.
With a vegetarian in our group, we pay close attention to vegetarian choices on menus and it was one reason we chose Elystan Street from our short list- more of the starters on the lunch menu are vegetarian than not (5 of 8) and the 2 (of 7) main course listed exciting and ingredients without a hint of being the afterthought they so often can be. The vegetarian food completely stole the show with it's complexity, interest and innovation and my (long suffering) mother has billed it as the best and most memorable main course she's eaten in many years-
Autumn spring roll with roasted onion squash, hispi cabbage, pickled walnut and pumpkin oil
Amongst the rest of us, we all opted for fish main courses, the simplicity of these dishes seemed a little at odds with the complexity of the autumn roll dish above, but the ingredients were really allowed to shine with soft, meaty cod, crispy bream skin and buttery risotto- Phil Howard is definitely not shy with the butter.
R: Sea Bream with risotto nero & green olives
The desserts are worth noting and leaving room for, having got a distinctly intense waft of dark chocolate from the table next to us early on in the afternoon, the chocolate tart with milk ice cream & dulche de leche was a no brainer so far as I was concerned, but the sharp & sweet citrus notes of meringue in the blackberry cheesecake cream dish did leave me a little torn... until I discovered a sprinkle of popping candy underneath the icecream!
R: Cheesecake cream & blackberry with oat crumble
We wrapped up our afternoon with a very enjoyable espresso before being not quite the last table to wander out into the rain, having been able to congratulate the man himself, Phil Howard on his newest opening. Elystan Street has only been open for about 6 weeks but it's not hard to see why the write-ups are overwhelmingly positive.
If you're looking for a chilled out slice of exceptional food that clearly demonstrates Phil Howard's many years working at height of fine dining, you've got it. I think it would be fair to say he has nothing to prove, and it shows, because the elegance of everything we tried this weekend spoke for itself with none of the ego that so often accompanies fine dining.
Elystan Street is located at 43 Elystan Street SW3, details of their menus and reservations can be found here: www.elystanstreet.com we ate from the lunch menu at £42.50 for 3 courses. This isn't a sponsored post and I have not been otherwise compensated to write this post, we just had a really memorable and fabulous meal.
© Chloe Likes To Talk. All rights reserved.