In a nutshell: Spent a wonderful memorable evening with super ambiance, very good service, peppy music & some really exotic marvellous food.
Address & other details: Olive Bar & Kitchen
Meal for 2: Rs. 4000 onwards
Cuisine type : Vegetarian & nonvegetarian
Disclaimer: All restaurants / eateries reviewed by YUMMRAJ were visited by YUMMRAJ himself & he has paid for the full Bill & tips also. http://www.yummraj.com does not have even one featured / sponsored reviews. YUMMRAJ believes in going to a restaurant in anonymity, as a normal guest, experience everything & give a honest account of the same to you.
I rate all the food items & then give a final overall rating which is a simple average of the individual item ratings. What the ratings stand for: 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Fair, 1 = Disaster.
Short description – in case u r in a hurry:
Olive is located just beside Qutub Minar in the area called Mehrauli – one of the oldest continuous habitations of Delhi.
For the uninitiated, Qutub Minar is the tallest brick tower in the world. This was made by Qutubuddin Aibak & his successor Iltutmish. Named after a famous sufi saint of that time, Qutubuddin Bakhtiyar Kaki, this Minar has been there for the last 800 years & so has the area surrounding it.
The ‘campus’ of Olive houses two remarkable things – one a 100+ year old Banyan tree right in the middle of the courtyard & a 150 (approx) year old Haveli. People say there r Djinns in this area & that they hear sounds of jhumkas in the night – I guess pretty cool thing to happen after a few drinks at Olive.
The look & feel of Olive is amazing – over simplified, white, effortless & yet beautiful. There is no similarity in the buildings but then the whole place comes across together very well. There is an open seating area that has mist fans for hot summer evenings & heaters for cold winters. The closed area is simple yet beautiful.
Olive has a cult following. I hv heard people swear by it.
When it started long back, Olive was the place for cool trendy people – designers & all. It was talked about more for the Page 3 crowd than its food. Today food (& beverages from Dirty Martini) is at an elevated pedestral. Food rocks……I am amazed how everything that we ate was made with so much thought & passion – how one tried to be different, put a twist & yet got it consistently right. I felt that ‘someone wanted genuine smiles’ at the exit……..
The menu card was simple, uncomplicated, had good description of the dishes & a few sketches here & there.
Service was really nice. The people at service did not come from Mars. They were the same people that u find in other restaurants. The only difference was that they were rigorously trained on the menu options & also trained to b warm, natural & nice to customers – rather than being overtly ‘plastic sweet’.
We loved the food. We were pleasantly shocked to find dish after dish being consistently excellent. Very unusual for most restaurant experiences. That makes this review seem unidirectional but that is what it was…..
Detailed description – in case u have the time to njoy reading:
As we sat after ordering, we were served complimentary freshly baked bread. It turned out to b one of the best I hv had in years in delhi. It had a crispy outer & super soft inside -the contrast was unbelievable. Salt on the top layer was a bit over the top and that balanced well with lower salt inside. The bread was pretty light. It was served warm – perfect temperature. Rate just the bread 4.75/5.
This bread was served with a freshly made pesto served in a mortar and pestle. The lady serving us mixed olive oil in front of us on the ingredients and made the pesto. Very good. Rate it 4/5.
I being a responsible citizen 🙂 chose a drink from ‘Dedicated driver’ section – Milano smooch, a Mock tail. It was a drink that separates master brewers from the ordinary. Few people can get a mock tail so good. It had Salt, a hint of sugar, hint of sour, flavor of mint. Slit green chillies made their presence felt as the drink matured. As good as it cud get. Rate it 4.5/5
My co-diner had Vesper martini – a drink from James Bond movie Casino Royale. ‘Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel’ says Bond in the movie. It was not too sweet, was potent, very balanced to taste and had an enjoyable flavorful bitter aftertaste. One of the best cocktails she said she had recently had, outside of Cocktails and dreams speakeasy. Rate it 4.5/5.
The second drink was pineapple & cardamom martini. This was again very good but cud not match up to its predecessor. Rate it 3.5/5
We started our evening with Salad – olive signature seared tuna nicoise. It had, in addition to Tuna, quail eggs, kalamata, green beans, semi dried tomatoes, pickled onions & new potato.
The interplay of many flavours, tastes, textures and even temperature was what made this salad great. Every bite wud b different. Super loved the tiny quail eggs, the crunchy beans in particular. Rate the dish 4.5/5
Next came Foie gras and chicken liver parfait. It also had Peach puree (droplets), vanilla pear, served with toasted brioche .The parfait was super rich, creamy, had very goofd flavors & was intense & excellent to taste.
The crunchy poached pear was excellent in taste as well as flavor, so were the peach droplets. Each of these were good indepemdently and also as permutations & combinations. Rate it 4.75/5.
Post starters we were served Palate cleanser – with limoncello Liqueur in it. Perfect cleanser. Not too sour but hint of sour, lemon flavor and a hint of bitter aftertaste. Loved it. Rate it 4.25/5
For main course we peeped into the Fish & Seafood section. Unlike most non 5 star Continental restaurants in Delhi NCR, there were quite a few very good & also ‘exotic’ options in this section at Olive.
We chose zucchini wrapped steamed reef cod to begin with. It was accompanied with Leek nage, potato spagetti, prawn mousse stuffing, super thin slices of zucchini fried.
The Cod wrapped with zucchini was surperb. Burnt leek had a marvellous flavor & the burnt part felt really good. The sauce was thin, was bursting out ith flavors & just marvellous. We tilted our plate to finish the soup till the last drop – going against table manners that r expected at a Dine out like this. The fish was robust in both flavours and taste. Prawn mouse augmented the taste. Just loved it. Zucchini wrapped around was very thin. It felt like zucchini but at the same time, did not.
Potato was sliced thin & long like pasta. Visually u cud not say it was not pasta till the time u bit it. See pic. The potato was still crunchy as we wud bite into it – it was just too good. Overall rate the dish 4.5/5
Second dish in main course was Lavender scented Australian lamb rump with baby vegetables, semi fried tomatoes, broad beans & white onion jus. The lamb rump was placed on a grainy thick sauce base that was very good to taste. The server poured thick brown sauce from the top after serving the dish to us. Loved the crunchy broad beans & the baby carrots.
The meat was outstanding. Intense flavors & taste, this meat was just too good as it is & also by dipping in the white sauce. Perfect texture. Rate it 4.5/5.
After finishing off our initial main course order, we thought of trying out the signature dish – Olive crusted Chilean seabass with tomato salsa & fennel. The sea bass (fish) was so juicy that at one point I thought ‘ r we drinking the fish or eating it’. Crust of olive on the top of fish made it different & very good. Needless to say the fish excelled in taste. We were floored by the fish.
The dish was presented in the most unique way – like a modern painting. The crunchy and perfectly baked broccoli were outstanding. Rate the dish 4.75/5.
Unbelievable how all dishes were consistently good. It felt like an unusual dream run.
For dessert we had Mille Feville of Mango – Mango pieces and mascarpone in a jar, alongside mango sorbet. The interplay of texture and tastes in this dish was again marvellous.
The stuff in the jar was sweet and I loved mixing it up with the sour sorbet. I liked the mix much more than what was just in the jar. Rate this dish 4/5.
Chef was doing his rounds to the tables and reached our table by the time when the Chilean seabass arrived. We asked for suggestion for dessert & had a short chat on how it was so difficult to choose from a dessert menu where all of them looked mighty attractive. By the time we finished the main course we forgot the conversation & ordered dessert. The Mango came. By the time we were done with the mango dessert, we were served a dessert sampler as a complimentary dish from the Chef.
It had two unique items – Earl grey infused dark chocolate with popcorns and sorbet. Loved the dark chocolate & am impressed at the fact that people have the courage to serve such serious bitter chocolate in the largely sweet toothed Delhi NCR.
Another interesting item was Traditional cheesecake with candied rhubarb , rhubarb sorbet, macaroon. Outstanding , intense, dense cheesecake with nice sorbet & enjoyable macaron. Rate the complimentary desserts 4.25/5.
Overall rating of food at Olive averages out to 4.35/5. Needless to say I will keep going there. Look forward to hearing about ur experiences.