I’ll keep this one short & sweet but I wanted to report back on a great unsung hero on my wider West Midlands food map, not least as some of my pals have been asking for ‘Han Eats’ recommendations for restaurants specifically in Leamington recently.
This was a bit of a random choice a while back as it hadn’t previously been high on my radar, or that of my family and friends. I’d heard good things nonetheless, particularly on TripAdvisor, so I took a punt with some visiting friends one Saturday night.
Elma is a Mediterranean restaurant, inspired by ‘broad East Mediterranean cultures and spirits’ (largely Greek and Turkish I’d say), on Augusta Place in the centre of Leamington Spa. It’s a stunning white building, partially in keeping with the centre of Leam, but also offering a distinctly Mediterranean feel to your evening.
The interior is simply decorated and not overly themed or tacky; a lot of wood, cut glass accessories, local produce and decorative wine bottles scatter the place to give it a ‘traditional’ feel.
A bottle of the prosecco to start (annoyingly, the name now escapes me and it’s not listed on their website but it was really, really nice, not too sweet and very enjoyable to drink from these lovely margarita glasses – ooh dahhling.)
On this occasion, however, we opted for a few separate starters to share, effectively creating our own mini mezze; calamari, king prawns and grilled halloumi. All very good, seafood so lightly battered you barely knew it was there, squid, prawns and halloumi all cooked to perfection giving every item that lovely bite. The accompanying saffron aioli was particularly 👌🏻 Strong portions too.
Mains followed suit and only one disappointed.
So, you may have guessed it. Sadly, of the three we ordered, I wouldn’t recommend the lamb shank.
Unusually yet disappointingly, the sauce was not the lovely thick and meaty sort you’d expect with a shank, as was served with my slow cooked duck leg. Instead it was so watery, tasteless and even with (a huge amount of) tender meat that fell off the bone, without a proper sauce it left it lacking any real flavour. And no sauce to dip those lovely chunky chips in *sad face*.
Anyhow, desserts followed and were largely satisfying.
All went down pretty well. Not mind-blowing, but a satisfying sweet end to the meal nonetheless.
So, despite one disappointing main (obviously more so for the orderer of the dish), I would definitely recommend a dinner here.
All in all, Elma’s a really atmospheric place for a Saturday night; cosy, friendly, homely and with a menu made to mezze. There’s a lovely big window table on the immediate left of the entrance too – a great spot for a big group or family occasion.
8-10 Augusta Place, Royal Leamington Spa, CV32 5EL
FB, tweets & insta: @elma_leamington
Disclosure: just a girl, taking her girls out for dinner on a Saturday night. All our own cash.