The biggest reason apart from location on success or failure of the restaurant is its chef. Indians finally have started giving due credit to the food engineers who work behind the scene to bring out all those beautiful and soul-satisfying meals.
Olive beach needs no introduction and I shall waste no time in belabouring the same. Chef Sabyasachi Gorai (Lovingly called Saby), the man behind Olive, needs no introduction either. Winner of prestigious President’s Award, he leaves no effort in making a guest return with a smile and satisfaction of getting the value for his hard earned money. Saby’s motto, as he admits, is “Good food is indispensible, but to delight the customer it has to be accompanied with lots of drama”, which is visible in the beautiful presentation and high service standards.
Though Olive has been making waves, I only got the opportunity to visit the restaurant recently. The only restaurant in its surroundings and beautifully done as a beach side restaurant. However, given the strong heat wave in the month of June in Delhi, we preferred to be seated inside. I started with their award winning cocktail, Cinova (Grey Goose, fresh Cilantro, pineapple juice, lime and sugar). It was a summer buster. First sip tasted like it had sugarcane juice, and second sip made me change my views. Absolute delight till the last sip, I ventured to a more common Mojito. It was nice, but the peeled sugar cane stick-cum-muddler kept me occupied muddling without adding any extra zing, till the end.
Gazpacho foam soup (Classical Spanish soup, served chilled) was served in lovely cone shape glass kept over a bed of ice. First glance at the presentation made me curious and second look at the lovely presentation made me hungry. Now I knew which ‘drama’ the chef was referring to. Sizzling prawns were perhaps amongst the best I have had. The food was accompanied by lot of freebies, of which I loved the freshly baked bread topped with truffle butter. Made in a pav-type mould, the pieces would easily come off without much force or using knife. This bread was at par with any leading bakery. Wonder why they don’t sell it to the customers or market it.
I always perceived Olive Bar to be an Italian restaurant but Spanish master chef Nuria Rodriguez Parra downing an infectious smile made the meal even more enjoyable. Someone who has been in India for only six months, now can comfortable haggle with the auto rickshaws. A person, who would frown to hear vegetarian paella, works hard at the kitchen during the day and party harder at Delhi pubs at night, dishes out interesting Spanish recipes.
I tried some of her Tapas (Variety of appetisers in Spanish cuisine) followed by sea food Paella. Personally, I have never been fond of Paella but technically it fared well on the high expectations set up by the restaurant so far.
Ending the meal with tasting-size beautifully decorated desserts; Churros, Tiramisu, homemade shahtoot ice-cream, and mango semi fredo, we were a happy lot. No surprise that restaurant is flooded with expats and Indian global trotters who long for authentic Italian and Spanish food.
Ratings out of 5
Food: 4.0 | Drinks: 4.5| Ambiance: 4.5 | Service: 4.5 |Overall: 4.5
Cuisine: Italian and Spanish| Meal for Two: Rs 2500 (Without alcohol) | Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes| Timing: 12.30pm– 3.30pm (lunch) & 7.30pm-12.30Am (Dinner) |
Address: Olive Beach, Hotel Diplomat, Sardar Patel Marg, Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi | Phone: 011- 46040404/ 9971144455/ 9810877701