You can’t help but be impressed as you descend the stairs of this basement bar/restaurant - solid stone steps lined with ostentatious polished brass candlesticks lead you between intricately carved wooden screens; giant clay urns cast atmospheric shadows, and coloured-glass lampshades emanate a hushed kaleidoscopic glow. We sunk comfortably into our booth, strewn with plump patterned cushions. Had we inadvertently stumbled into a sultan’s palace?
The scene having been set so spectacularly, we were naturally expectant. We opted to for a selection of mezze to start. The falafels coated in sesame seeds were tasty, and the hummus had just the right consistency and flavour, but nothing really jumped off the table. After a pleasant pause our mains arrived - my companion’s grilled sea-bass was very fresh but showed little sign of the herbs and garlic promised on the menu. I plumped for the mixed grill which fittingly, if rather disappointingly, lived up to its title; lacklustre lamb seemed incongruous on the same plate as such exceptional chicken. The spicy Arabic salad offered a clever counterpoint to our mains, but the mixed vegetables were disappointing in the extreme. - a dish of peas and carrots, quite clearly cooked from frozen. No thank you. A platter of fresh fruit and a selection of nutty miniature pastries was a pleasing, refreshing way to finish the meal.
From a broad wine list we ended up drinking a delectable Rioja. Their cocktails deserve a recommendation too – my mango, vanilla and rum combo was a spectacular explosion of flavour which had you hanging around for the gratifying aftertaste.
You can tell that this former club hasn’t broken from its past completely; the relaxed music gets livelier as the evening progresses (the belly dancing show was an entertaining distraction), but this is where the problem lies. We loved the atmosphere, but this is a classic tale of style over substance. When visiting a restaurant you expect to be struck by the quality of the food, to say to your companion ‘you’ve got to try this’. With more attention in the kitchen, they could be on to something.
LondonTown.com - Isis Location Map
Further articles featuring Isis on LondonTown.com
Make the most of your precious time off with the LondonTown weekend guide, which gives you the lowdown on the best weekend events in...
David Hockney is the subject of a solo show at Tate Britain, Robots take over the Science Museum and there's a...
With subjects such as David Hockney and Wolfgang Tillmans, there are some blockbuster art exhibitions in London this year. From watercolours to photography, LondonTown lists...
Easter, the London Marathon and the Queen's birthday all feature in LondonTown's guide to April 2017 when Lenny Henry treads the boards at the...
Damian Lewis, Imelda Staunton and Griff Rhys Jones tread the boards in London's West End in 2017. Discover the hottest theatre tickets in town...
With an exciting calendar of entertainment, 2017 is another special year in London. Find out what's happening throughout the capital with our thorough guide to the best 2017 London events.
Hotels near Isis
London > Restaurants > Middle Eastern restaurants
51 - 52 Hertford Street, Mayfair, Mayfair, London W1J | 5 minutes from Isis
Another excellent restaurant in the Shepherd’s Market area, Al Sultan is nearly as good as local rival Al Hamra, but not quite. The menu is extensive ... More
London > Events > Exhibitions Dates: 18th, 19th and 20th February 2017 - 10am-6pm
Isis, Burlington House, W1J | 3 minutes from Isis
Works for sale made using a variety of block printing techniques by Royal Academicians including Grayson Perry, Eileen Cooper, Vanessa Jackson and Stephen Chambers alongside a ...More
Entertainment near Isis
London > Entertainment > Theatres
218-223 Piccadilly, Piccadilly Circus, Soho, London W1V | 7 minutes from Isis
The tiny entrance of the Criterion Theatre is almost invisible among the massive advertisements, traffic and crowds of Piccadilly Circus. To ignore it, however, is to ... More
London > Business > Venue Hire
8-10 Dover Street, Mayfair, Mayfair, London W1S | 1 minute from Isis
This long established night spot in Mayfair's Dover Street has been providing Londoners with a sophisticated setting to enjoy food, drink and live entertainment for 30 ... More
Also in Dover Street
Our recommendations in the same street as Isis
What's On Today
Yinka Shonibare: Globe Head Ballerina
Exhibitions | Until 19th June 2017
Royal Opera House 1 minute walk from Isis
A new piece of artwork by Yinka Shonibare will be displayed on the exterior of the Royal Opera House this ...More
Matilda The Musical
Theatre | Until 15th October 2017
Cambridge Theatre 3 minutes walk from Isis
The Royal Shakespeare Company's multiple award-winning musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's celebrated children's book Matilda is a big hit at ...More
The Lion King
Theatre | Until 4th June 2017
The Lyceum Theatre 3 minutes walk from Isis
The Lion King tells the story of Simba - the epic adventure of his battles, his friendships, his dreams and ...More
School of Rock
Theatre | Until 28th May 2017
New London Theatre 4 minutes walk from Isis
Students at a prestigious prep school "stick it to the man" with encouragement from their substitute teacher - wannabe rock ...More
Theatre | Until 11th March 2017
Savoy Theatre 4 minutes walk from Isis
A multi-award winning hit on Broadway and a 2006 film starring Beyonce, Dreamgirls returns thirty-five years after the original 1981Tony ...More
Fashions Finest Catwalks And Pop Up During London Fashion Week
Exhibitions | On 19th February 2017
Grand Connaught Rooms 4 minutes walk from Isis
Exhibitions & Art, Fashion....More
New on LondonTown
Hair The Musical
Theatre | From 3rd December
Celebrating its 50th year, Hair comes to London this year. The acclaimed musical will be ...More
The Natural History Museum invites visitors to dine with the dinosaurs at its new restaurant, ...More
Concerts | On 31st March
Funk and acid jazz outfit, fronted by lead singer Jay Kay, perform works from their ...More
The Spring Knitting And Stitching Show
Exhibitions | From 5th March
Craft consumer show where more than 200 companies ...More
The Tattoo Collective
Exhibitions | Until 19th February
A partnership between Tattoo Life and The London Tattoo Convention, The Tattoo Collective at The ...More
Oxford v Cambridge Boat Races
Sporting Events | On 2nd April
The women's and men's crews of Oxford and ...More
The Pancakes & Booze Art Show
Exhibitions | On 17th February
With a name like The Pancakes and Booze ...More
Chiswick House Camellia Festival
Exhibitions | From 2nd April
Known as the Queen of the Winter Flowers, ...More
Royal Opera: Die Meistersinger Von Nurnberg
Concerts | From 31st March
Bryn Terfel stars in Wagner's opera about a ...More
Mother's Day at the Museum of Brands
Tours | On 26th March
Explore the history of Mother's Day, and how ...More
London Events 2017
Imelda Staunton stars in two London stage shows in 2017, David Tennant and Damian Lewis ...More
New Hotels in London 2019
Robert De Niro's Covent Garden luxury boutique hotel, The Wellington Hotel, opens in 2019, brought ...More
Hotels near Isis
From cheap budget places to stay to luxury 5 star hotels see our discounts for Isis hotels, including The May Fair Hotel London from 95% off.