When a well-known restaurant chain from Mumbai decides to open a branch in Hyderabad, the curiosity factor is very high. If it lives up to its name and reputation, you can rest assured the place will become popular very soon. Minal Khona finds out that it is exactly what is happening with Olive Bistro, which was launched recently and is already packed on most days.
Despite its slightly out-of-the-way location, people are flocking to this Mediterranean style restaurant. Despite its picturesque location, the European décor and setting, it is obvious that the food is the star here.
As one enters, besides the stark white of the walls, there is lush greenery and steps lit with tiny lights to brighten the path that lead down to the seating areas. The restaurant, with indoor and outdoor seating has eclectic décor. Blue tiles on the floor, mismatched chairs and tables, the Olive trademark cup and saucer chandelier and a bar that has a telescope are part of the interiors. For the outdoor seating, there is a large fishnet and a boat on display to go with the mood of the lake below. The terrace seating is still being finished however.
Retaining most of the dishes from its flagship diner in Pune, the Olive Bistro has food that is predominantly Mediterranean with special dishes conceived by Chef Mayank Tiwari. The only tweaking done is with some seafood dishes where the fish in the original recipe has been replaced with a local one. That still doesn’t take away from any of the flavours.
Attentive staff brings out the starters and the mocktails as soon as we settle. The virgin mojito which I asked for without mint is served instead, with some raw mango deliciously garnished with roasted cumin powder.
The food follows – with the soups leading the way. We sample a cold smoked mushroom veloute served with slow cooked confit of cremini mushrooms and a roast tomato and mandarin broth which had a fresh mozzarella-filled tortellini. The mushroom veloute doesn’t have a single flavour out of place and the tomato soup had a refreshing aftertaste of orange.
This is followed by a roasted beetroot, ricotta, arugula and candied walnut salad, dressed in mild balsamic vinegar and Acacia honey dressing; and the Olive Bistro Chicken Caesar salad. The beetroot salad is a must-have, especially if you are vegetarian – you might even be tempted to try this at home. The Chicken Caesar salad served with bread baked in-house is a large enough portion to be a meal in itself.
The soup only stokes up our appetite further and if the taste is anything to go by, I know we are in for a gourmand experience with the rest of the food. Starters included the Spiked Green Harissa-marinated Prawn skewer, Chermoula spice marinated Chicken and Cottage Cheese Skewers (served separately); the House Special Falafel in pita pockets with hummus and Crumb Fried Ricotta and Thyme Stuffed Cremini Mushroom. The prawns were delicately flavoured and far tastier than the Chicken skewers. The mushrooms though were delicious as were the pita pockets.
We also tried the all-veg on a thin crust and the Smoked Jerk Chicken Pizza – both were laden with toppings and the blend of colours of the peppers, onions, jalapenos and chicken made it a very tempting option.
Mains included the fennel and chili flavored Indian basa which was pan-seared basa lined with fennel, served with a chili sauce and potato puree as well as the flash-baked stuffed chicken rubbed with thyme, where a whole deboned chicken with a stuffing of walnut and spinach, was served with herbed linguini.
The basa was cooked really well and the flavours had been absorbed by the fish completely so one could taste the herbs with every bite.
I always make it point to have dessert after every meal and this time, I was happy I stuck to my rule. The two dishes we tried left me craving for more and if I weren’t so stuffed already, I would have had a second helping. We tried the Vanilla Panacotta served with a pink peppercorn and orange sauce and milk chocolate ice cream filled Profiteroles topped with a hazelnut and bitter chocolate drizzle. The desserts were simply divine.
Now, if after eating way more than my usual quantity of food, plus desserts left me wishing I had a bigger appetite – that should tell you how good the food at Olive Bistro is. Head there at the earliest if you haven’t been there already.
Address: Road 46, Near Durgam Cheruvu, Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad
Tel: +91 40 69999127
Timings: Noon to 11.00 PM
Meal for two: Rs 2000 to Rs 2500 (excluding alcohol. The liquor license is yet to come)