This post is about Christmas brunch 2012 at Olive Beach…………………….
In a nutshell:
Today’s Christmas brunch got me back to Olive Beach after many years & filled me with some good foodie moments that I wud remember for some time to come.
Address & other details: Olive Beach
Meal for 2: Rs. 2000 onwards (usually). Special pricing for Christmas Brunch.
Cuisine type: vegetarian & nonvegetarian
Short Description – in case u r in a hurry:
The advantage of having a huge spread is that people can choose what they like. This is what exactly the situation was like, at today’s Christmas brunch at Olive beach. However what is important is not just the width of the spread but also some winners & some ‘item numbers’/ show stoppers that people take home memories of. The good thing is Olive Beach had more than expected number of winners & of course they had ‘item numbers’ – Roasted suckling pig & Roasted Turkey.
The Restaurant specializes in Mediterranean cuisine & hence its interiors r done according to the theme. The guys serving us were quite efficient till the peak hours, after which they needed reminding on few occasions. The Chefs at the live counters were very interactive & I enjoyed little chats with few of them.
Music was obviously Christmas themed.
Detailed description – In case u have the time to njoy reading:
We started the mammoth menu with coldcuts & starters. Prawn cocktail with flavours of citrus & rum was enjoyable. The prawn itself was good & of perfect texture. The citrus flavour was clearly there but rum cud not make its presence felt. I wud rate this 4/5.
I loved the mild flavours of Polenta. For the uninitiated, Polenta is coarsely or finely ground yellow or white cornmeal, either eaten directly or baked, fried or grilled before serving. I wud rate this 4/5.
Fish roulade, Chicken roulade & Lamb roulade were quite bland – no twist or story to them. I wud rate these 3/5.
Loved the ‘Grilled chicken salad with mandarin & apple with aromas of saffron’ for its taste, citrus & green apple flavours. This is inspite of the fact that the saffron was lost somewhere. I wud rate this 4/5.
We were pleasantly surprised to find Truffle butter, Paprika butter etc & enjoyed them with crackers. Enjoyed Olive Tapenade with crackers as well. There was a sizeable Cheese platter that I had to give a miss.
Herb marinated Olives with exotic vegetables was very enjoyable. Crunchy veggies with flavourful herbs & good olives. I wud rate this 4/5.
We ordered a Super slim hand made Four cheese pizza. The base was uneven & some corners charred, the way it is eaten in many parts of Europe. This was perfect texture, good to taste but I still find the four cheese pizza at Mediterraneo, Khajuraho to b better than this in terms of sheer ‘presence’ of the four cheeses. I wud give this a 3.5/5.
Liked the cold cuts with prunes & enjoyed a slice of pizza by topping it up with the cold cut!!!!
Super loved the simple, creamy, mild flavoured Scrambled eggs served with assorted mushrooms infused in champagne & also baked beans in tomato sauce. I wud give this a 4.5/5
The Grill section had loads of superb offerings – We started with the Vegetarian section — Zucchini, bell pepper, broccoli, cottage cheese & polenta cakes. While all the veggies were crunchy, perfectly salted, perfectly sauced & perfectly charred, the grilled broccoli stood out & was way ahead of the rest. Very few vegetarian grills have been able to impress me as much as this one. I wud rate this 4/5 for all the veggies & 4.5/5 for the broccoli.
Cottage cheese & polenta grills both were very good. I wud rate this 4/5.
In the Non vegetarian section were German sausages, chicken, jumbo prawn, fish. The thick skinned sausages were a bit dry & non juicy but were very good to taste.
The chicken grill was a revelation – I am not a fan of poultry chicken but this one was just too good. The subtle marination, the citrus flavours, the soft non-fibrous texture, right amount of charred effect & perfect seasoning made this a great dish. I wud rate this 4.5/5.
Fish grill was super soft, flaky, unbelievably juicy & full of herb flavours. Loved this one. I wud rate this 4.5/5.
Jumbo Prawn grill was magical – soft, mildly juicy, bursting with flavours of the prawn as well of marination. I cud not help but going for more helpings of this. I wud rate this 5/5.
Suckling pig roast turned out to be less exciting that what visually it was. Part 1: We tried this first with rice, baby carrots, gravy & a sauce atop the meat. Loved all of these & rate them 4.5/5.
The meat was soft & creamy as a cheesecake.
Part 2: Next we thought of trying this with the skin on – this was however a disappointment. The skin was hard – unlike the crispy one I enjoyed a few months back at a popular joint , Hai Lua , Ho Chi Minh City. Was it due to the constant rotating by the Guy at Hai Lua vs. occassional rotating at Olive Beach? I do not know. Whatever be the cause, I wud rate the pig roast with skin at 3.5/5. Overall it adds up to 4/5.
A big attraction for me was the Roasted Turkey with gravy & cranberry sauce. However, as it was served, I realized it was different than what I was thinking it wud be. The meat was piled up with a gravy & a sweet cranberry sauce served aside. I liked the cranberry sauce but the gravy did not appeal at all. It simply lacked a punch. The meat however was tasty & good. I wud rate this 3/5.
Seafood Paella (Spanish Khichdi, if I may say so) served here was excellent. The Chef added a bit of paprika, a pinch on chilli flakes & tailormade it according to the discussion we had. The seafood in the paella were soft & nice to taste & they retained their flavors. I wud rate this 4.25/5. The paella served here was much better here than what I had at a stall of Olive Kitchen few days back.
We super loved a lamb preparation (I forgot the name) that had brussel sprouts & red radishes. The flavor & taste of the meat was robust & intense. I fell flat for it & wud rate this 4.75/5.
Thyme flavoured Basa fish was again outstanding. The fish was just too good & so were the subtle flavours. I wud rate this 4.5/5.
For dessert, we had Traditional Yule log, Opera, Raspberry Crumble panacotta, Mince pie with dry fruits & lemon & orange peel, freshly made churros with an intense chocolate sauce.
The traditional Yule log looked great but turned out to be just good to taste. The Opera served at L’ Opera, Khan Market is much better than the one served here. Infact this is true for some of the other baked items as well. I wud rate these collectively at 3/5.
The mince pie was also very good with clear flavours & taste of the peel within & a flaky crispy crust. I wud rate this 4/5.
What ‘made our day’ in the dessert section was freshly made churros – awesome.
Mildly salty & fluffy within, crispy outside & coated with sugar – a perfect balance of sweet & salt. Loved it as it is & also with the thick dark intense chocolate sauce. I wud rate this at 4.5/5.
What a meal!!!! Wow. Loved the whole outdoor experience & the live stations. That took the experience much beyond ordinary.
Enjoyed the meal with freshly made mulled Wine. For the uninitiated, Mulled wine is a beverage usually made with red wine along with various spices and raisins. It is served hot or warm. The aromas of the spices & the perfect temperature in which this was served added a touch of excellence to the mulled wine. I wud rate this 4.5/5
So the total rating for food at Olive beach adds up to 4.1/5 (simple average).
In case u r wondering how we had so much – the secret is that this was enjoyed over a period of close to two & half hours & everything that we tasted was in small portions.
Loved the overall experience & look forward to experience Olive Beach in its usual Mediterranean, European & Italian avatar.