Designed with Mediterranean hospitality and family get-togethers in mind, Éla Éla is the latest culinary addition to Yas Marina. The concept by renowned restauranteurs Hamdan Al Khafaji and Layla Kardan is the power duo’s fourth restaurant in the city, following the phenomenal success of La Carnita in Yas Bay, Penelope’s Brasserie & Jazz Bar Américain, also in Yas Marina, and the newly opened Mr Moto, which neighbours Éla Éla.
A Comfortable and Inviting Ambience
“Éla Éla feels comfortable – dancing the fine line between luxe and charming, with finishings and textures that create a cosy inviting atmosphere and subtle touches that elevate the ambience,” explains Hamdan Al Khafaji of the concept. “This fusion encapsulates the dance between heritage and modernity that is the heartbeat of Éla Éla.”
A Venue that Beckons You In
The name, an everyday expression which means ‘come now’ in Greek is used as a greeting, to ask someone a question or as an expression of disbelief. Much like its namesake, Éla Éla is a venue that beckons you in. It has spirit, soul, sea and salt.
A Taste of Greece in Abu Dhabi
Inspired by the sun-drenched shores of Crete and overlooking Yas Marina and the Arabian Gulf, you’ll be forgiven for momentarily forgetting that you are not on a charming Greek island when visiting Éla Éla. A feast of togetherness and flavour, the dining experience at Éla Éla is like eating at Yiayia’s house…only better. It’s engaging and exciting while still offering the comfort of traditions – all served up in family heirlooms.
“Our menu is a journey of taste, an exploration of delightful twists on classic favourites,” explains executive chef Omar Jahangir. “Visually, Éla Éla is a light and bright space with traditional values and modern sensibility. Naturally, the food matches this formula. The food at Éla Éla stays true to its Greek roots with dishes like our Greek mezze trio served with light and fluffy house-made pita bread and octopus, without which no Greek menu is complete. Ours is chargrilled on the barbeque, tossed in spicy chilli vinaigrette, then served with fresh herb salsa verde.”
A Shared Culinary Experience
Of course, in true Éla Éla style, all of the dishes are designed to be shared. Begin your culinary journey with enticing mezzes where small plates unveil big flavours. Options include tzatziki with dill, taramasalata with pita chips and spicy harissa yoghurt with roasted red pepper. Then, indulge in seafood like chargrilled octopus and dive into main courses that pay homage to the heartiness of Cretan fare, including a delectable roasted lamb shoulder with braised chickpeas and a healthy dollop of house-made tzatziki. Complete your voyage with sweet and decadent indulgences such as Éla Éla’s signature baklava ice cream or classic loukoumades – Greek doughnuts with honey and walnut crumble.
Greek Wines and Crafted Cocktails
Éla Éla also has a short but sweet wine list offering Greek wines that celebrate the rich viticultural heritage of the Mediterranean, as well as a selection of carefully crafted cocktails that incorporate all the zing, zest and freshness of a European summer.
An Entertainment Complex
And, just like at grandma’s house, when Yiayia goes to sleep, the party really starts. The musical journey begins at sunset with laid-back lounge sounds of the Mediterranean before transporting you to Europe’s favourite summer beach clubs with vibrant tunes.
Al Khafaji and Kardan’s third restaurant in Yas Marina, Éla Éla will join Penelope’s and Mr Moto to create a mega entertainment complex centered around good food, drinks and entertainment, with the encompassing focus firmly on affordability and accessibility.
Affordability and Accessibility
“With developments, it often gets to a point where landlords charge a premium,” Al Khafaji explains. “This creates a barrier of entry and that’s when you get to the point where only the heavily backed chains of the world can afford to do business in a certain area. But you’re in capable hands – the emphasis of our complex is affordability and accessibility.”