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“Phil Howard strikes gold with this stylish Chelsea gem” declares an admirer of Elystan Street – a slick yet informal affair untroubled by amuse-bouches, tasting menus and tablecloths. Having sold The Square after 25 years of critical acclaim, Howard decided to postpone retirement and return to the stove, where he is now delivering uncomplicated yet highly sophisticated food full of “clever and subtle flavours”. Expect out-and-out indulgence from, say, golden-roasted veal sweetbreads with a rich veal sauce and an autumn ‘slaw’, or grouse breasts cooked blushing pink with little croquettes of leg meat, root vegetables and elderberry sauce. Lighter options might bring mackerel rillettes with Porthilly oyster and dressed Poole prawns, while pasta is a forte – think a fat raviolo of scallop and langoustine in a delicate foaming bisque. After that, bitter chocolate mousse with milk ice cream and salted caramel sauce is the must-order pud. Prices are hardly kind (mind you, this is high-living Chelsea), but the dining room is a dream – all towering windows, polished wood and clean lines. With smart staff who get the low-fuss approach just right and a wine list that ticks all the boxes, this is the “perfect all-round package”.
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