Review: Olive Bistro and Bar’s new menu in Hyderabad is served with a flourish and makes the best use of fresh vegetables
Olive Bistro and Bar, the go-to place for Mediterranean cuisine, is now offering its patrons a whole new summer menu. On our previous trips to this place, we have always enjoyed their pizzas and roasts, so we were looking forward to the new offerings! As we stopped by there for lunch on a hot summer Friday, we felt more in need of cold comfort than food. It was as if the heavens had answered our prayers as the head chef Micheal Alexander presented the first dish — the Chilled Cucumber and Honeydew Melon Gazpacho. The soup, loaded with fresh sunflower and basil seeds, the sweetness of the honeydew melon and hydrating cucumbers was an absolute panacea for our parched throats. The antique-themed windows offer views of the Durgam Cheruvu outside, glistening in the sun, while we thanked our stars for the Gazpacho that kept us cool. That paired with the Chilled Watermelon and Feta salad soothed us even more.
From the appetisers, we chose to go for The Charred Cauliflower and Cauliflower Hummus. We wouldn’t be exaggerating if we said that the oven-roasted cauliflower with cauliflower hummus and baby potatoes can be called soul food. “Normally, when you order hummus, you expect a chickpea variant, or maybe a beetroot one. But we wanted to surprise you,” says Micheal, who has curated the menu with consultant chef Viraf Patel. The preparations were a ready reckoner of the delicious and nutritious veggies that one can get from a local farmer’s market! Who would have thought that it is possible to work such wonders with the humble cauliflower?
Up next was the crispy Polenta Crusted Chicken Tenders with spicy marinated chicken morsels coated in fried crumbs. Served with a tangy and spicy sauce, this dish is an instant pick me up, even when paired with a simple Ginger Ale. Post that, we dived straight into the main course with the aroma of the freshly sprinkled rosemary filling the room as the Rosemary Chicken Pizza arrived.
The tandoor-roasted Rosemary chicken on a bed of Roma tomatoes with fresh mozzarella was slightly underwhelming. We think the cheese might have smothered the flavours of the rosemary and tomatoes. But the disappointment following the dish was soon brushed away at the first sight of the Roasted Chicken —spring chicken marinated overnight in pomegranate molasses and roasted and served over herbed baby potatoes, and a side of freshly chopped radish and grapefruit salad. By then, we couldn’t get enough of the salads and sides that was full of fruits and veggies in different hues.
Time had finally come to wind up this fiesta with the desserts that we picked. We polished off the Panacotta — an elevated version of a simple cream custard served with wild berries. It took us a few quick seconds to wipe it clean, and go for Olive’s signature Tiramisu. The perfect blend of mascarpone cheese, layered sponge doused in coffee and a splash of Kahlua, was nothing but the fitting finale
Price for two: Rs 2,000.
— Paulami Sen
Photos: R Satish Babu