Ilios, Eindhoven

Choosing where to eat in a new city can be a difficult task.
I don’t tend to use TripAdvisor, because as somebody who used to work in the food industry, I feel that so often it’s incredibly damaging to restaurants without due cause (such as when the customers are unbearable beyond belief yet somehow the restaurant gets slated…), but on one night after wandering the streets and not being sure which restaurant to embark on, my email pinged and in that email was TripAdvisor (bloody targeted ads!) telling me that one of the recommended places to visit was Ilios in the main restaurant strip in Eindhoven.

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We wandered along the strip letting our noses dictate where we went and after walking past a few that didn’t look so appealing, we smelt something incredible. Rich Mediterranean flavours drifted through the city air and before we knew it we were standing in front of Ilios. Recognising the name we decided to see if they had a table free, and luckily they did. It was just S and I for dinner as Jarad and Laura (who were on our European road trip with us) were still napping when we left, and yano… Hunger can’t wait!

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We took a table and were passed menus to peruse together with a shot of Sambuca each…
I passed and made S drink it because I hate waste, didn’t want to disflavour the gin I was about to drink and, well, tipsy S is kind of a hoot.

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Ilios’ menu is full of greek tapas, meat plates and typically greek flavours which were fresh and focussed. The decor was very much the same with exposed brickworks, flashes of white and an abundance of greenery giving it a cosy minimal and natural vibe.

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I went for the melon with Parma ham, balsamic syrup, pine nuts and pesto to start

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Which isn’t usually a combination I’d go for as parma ham and melon alone are a winning combo – but I loved trying a different variation of the dish and it was well balanced without too much of each component.

S went for the Keftedes or to you and me… Meatballs.

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Which were served in a beautifully rich tomato sauce which was lovingly mopped up afterwards with some bread by me. Gotta love dem carbs.

For my main I chose Filleto Kolonaki.
Which was pieces of pork fillet served with a rosemary sauce

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And was served with creamy dauphinoise potatoes and a side of vegetables.

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S went for a plate of chips.
With a mixed grill underneath.

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Which whilst a choice that I found a bit… boring, was actually full of flavour.
Lamb chops, pork, souvlaki and gyros all perfectly flavoured and served with good ol’ aioli.
As the waiter took the plates away he asked that age old question…
“Would you like desserts?”
Originally we weren’t planning to, but I always like to check the menu to check that I wasn’t missing out on anything, and as my eyes glossed over the menu there she was: Dame blanch.

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I’d never tried a Dame Blanch before because ice-cream, cream and molten chocolate in a bowl sounds a little bit too creamy for me, but for some reason I was in the mood for it and so I persuaded S to share one with me.

It came out with an apple slice on the side, which is kind of like ordering a diet coke to go with a large big mac and fries at McDonalds. But let’s face it, I’ve never cared about calories and after I gazed at it lovingly for a while… Things got a whole lot more naughty.

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It was such a simple combination, but a delicious one and ended our meal perfectly.

After that we went for a walk around the street lit city to try and burn some of the calories off before dosing into the deepest sleep I think I’ve ever had…

Ilios isn’t a restaurant I’d travel a country to go back to… but if simple dishes with beautiful flavours are your thing, then I’d definitely recommend popping in if you’re ever in the area!