My 10 year old’s mid-year exams put me in the no-human-should-mess zone. Like the universal plight of all mothers a child’s exams are to be taken more seriously than our own ever were. I become a cross between a boorish bear and a headless chicken – yes imagine a headless boorish bear and you will get the picture! It is not the best times for anyone who plays around with my schedules or disturbs my well planned day. Hence when I was invited for the European week to Olive Bar & kitchen and the schedules kept getting changed from one day to another and then from lunch to dinner, I was ready to explode with exasperation but my little one was happy for any respite from his tyrannical dictator of a mom and so we set off for a dinner. What followed took away all the frustration and exasperation leaving us with a culinary experience only to be repeated.
So at Olive Bar & Kitchen my European journey started with a French twist of Carrot and Pepper Vichyssoise; thick soup of white Bean, pickled carrot, Kalamata Olive oil surrounding a croquette. The first thing that one noticed is the visual impact of the dish. The orange sauce surrounding the croquette looked deceptively simple but the flavours were complex and every spoonful was a savoury discovery. Panzarosalata; a salad with arugula, sprouts, marinated beetroot, caramelised walnuts, ricotta with fennel citrus dressing , was fresh, delicious and reminiscent of the sunny Italian summers ! Next came the German dependability of a Lyoner; charcuterie of pork, provencal olives, pineapple and peaches. While the menu said roasted cherry apples we were served with the pineapple and peaches. Just a minor adjustment as the whole dish went quite well.
The main course comprised of Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie, Bacon and Parmesan Crumbed Haddock and Scallops with Pork. The pie, a truly delicious combination of sweet potato, aged English cheddar, Puy lentils, Fricasse of mushrooms, was a bite-a-burst in the mouth. The humble shepherd’s pie was wearing some glamourous garb that night. With something like that even a die-hard non vegetarian like me could be converted. The haddock, crisp on the outside, flaky and soft inside served with creamed corn and lightly tossed asparagus was what all those European Fish-Ports could be thriving on. The slow cooked Belgian pork belly and light caramelised scallops served with vanilla butter, squash puree, apple chip and mint was easily the star of the evening. The pork was tender, lightly sweet. The scallops were cooked just right and not overdone, with a bit of vanilla butter they simply melted in the mouth in a riot of taste!
Then we had the desserts – Decadent Eclairs and Orange Infused Crème Brulee. This is where i have a gripe with the chef. After an astounding dinner these were a let-down! The chocolate Eclairs with raspberry and rhubarb custard were simply bitter and a little off in taste. I was looking forward to these after that great a meal and besides rhubarb is so rare to come by in India. The custard in the brulee had curdled. The berry coulis again were bitter and tart which coupled with the curdled custard was not a very pleasant taste, I had to return them both back.
Thus my European journey ended literally on a sour note. It was like you are cruising down the Alps and suddenly you get hit by a flying shoe. Would I go to Olive Bar & Kitchen again? Of course! Would I try the desserts? Only if they promise not to kill my taste-buds! But for just their Appetisers and Mains, Olive Bar & Kitchen is a winner all the way!
Meal for Two without Alcohol: Rs. 4000 Approximately plus taxes| Alcohol: Yes | Credit Card: Yes|
Timing: 12:30 to 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm to 1 am | Wheelchair access : No
Address: 14, union Park Road, Union Park, Mumbai – 400 052
Telephone : 022 43408229
Disclaimer : This review was done on an invitation from the restaurant. Due judgment and care has been applied by the author to remain objective and unbiased in the review; however readers may exercise their own discretion.