We came across this restaurant by accident on our first search for dinner. I actually thought we were being directed to the first floor of a street-level restaurant but they were two completely different establishments. It was one of those happy chances which make life more interesting.
We’d already scanned the menu, and noted an interesting mix of dishes. A deeper study confirmed our first impression, and it was a bit difficult to settle on a single dish, but we decided to give the local seafood a try – fish platter for two, and to wash it down, what better than a bottle of their best wine? We kept thinking how extravagant we were being, but the actual cost was about £19 for the fish and £11 for the wine. At home we pay as much in our local Chinese buffet and there’s just no comparison.
The waiter was very helpful and efficient. Within a minute of taking our order he was back with the wine, and then a short time later with some bowls of an unknown food which we later discovered was lamb soup, accompanied by fiery tomato dip, olives, a plate with squares of tortilla and a couple of those fried pastries the Turks call borek, a pot of herb butter, and a basket of wonderful country-style bread. This was the “cover”. In a lot of places you’d be lucky to get the butter to go with the bread but this was serious nibbling and the only thing which reined us back was the thought of the main course to come.
The fish platter consisted of spanking fresh swordfish, mussels, prawns (those lovely, big, sweet ones), calamari and tiny tender clams, with fresh salad and vegetables. There was so much of everything we were unable to finish – what a shame. We ate looking down on the street below where a never-ending stream of traffic passed, completely content.
The following night and every night afterwards we made our way straight there to sample more of the menu – each time we got our delicious warm lamb soup and all the accompaniments to nibble on whilst waiting for the main course to be prepared. Every meal was interesting, delicious, and great value, the service could not have been bettered, and we had cheery greetings from all the staff as we walked through the door – they really made you feel that you were welcome guests.
El Ons is situated diagonally opposite the Riyadh Palms and the Movenpick hotels, on the main road to Port El Kantaoui.