Olive turned 17 recently. The “reharvested” Olive Bar & Kitchen has come up with a new menu and a totally revamped bar, as a part of this special celebration. In addition, there are interesting design and decor changes in the restaurant. Head Chef Rishim Sachdeva, who helms the Olive Mumbai kitchen, is very passionate about his dishes. I still remember our last official review of Olive, where we were served excellent dishes. This time around, the menu has changed. Although we missed some of the old dishes, we did love the new menu a lot. These are dishes with an interplay of different ingredients, techniques, flavours, colours and textures. The brilliance and the ability of Chef Rishim to churn out a modern, edgy menu cannot be understated. His love towards good food shines through each of the dishes that we tried from the new menu. He has given traditional preservation methods (pickling, salting, fermenting, etc.) much importance in his dishes. The dishes portray classic flavours. At the same time, the dishes are inspired by modern European flavours.
At Olive, Chef Rishim encourages eating clean by using produce from Olive’s own herb garden. Those fruits, microgreens or herbs that land up on your plate are plucked fresh right before your dish gets ready, and that means a lot! Heirloom tomatoes, heritage carrots, wild-grown sorrel, wild green peppercorns, all freshly harvested and served.
The beverage scene has been given a whole new dimension here. The bar stands cosy and revamped, with a whole new menu. The drink menu has been created by the drink-industry expert John Leese, who is now the Beverage Development & Bar Manager at Olive Bar & Kitchen, Bandra. The cocktail menu has a good amount of innovation thrown around house-made infusions, cordials, bitters and fresh herbs from Olive’s kitchen garden.
Chef Rishim Sachdeva learnt traditional French cuisine at Marco Pierre White’s Michelin starred “The Oak Room.” At Olive, he makes apt use of his culinary expertise to create dishes that are not only flavourful, but also picture-perfect! The Chef has come up with a Pickle Bar, where you can spot many ingredients like different kinds of vinegars (including a 22-month-old one), preserves, 90-day-fermented black garlic, 6-day-aged sweet corn miso, pickled seasonal veggies and fruits, etc. Some of his creations of pickles and ferments are more than two years old!
The New Menu Signatures include dishes such as the Mushroom Soup, which has mushroom dumplings (made using fresh, organic oyster mushrooms), mascarpone cheese, mushroom puree and truffle oil. Then there is a Tomato Salad with heirloom tomatoes, house-grown lettuce, artisan-style burrata, 4-week fermented apricot puree, completed with a dressing made from elderflower and tomato leaves.
We always love the Boho-chic vibe at Olive. As we checked out the bar menu and placed our orders, Chef Rishim served us some sourdough bread with a yum miso butter and a red bell pepper sauce. Then came a refreshing salad of Fresh Figs with caramelised walnuts and powdered goat cheese.
Sometime later, we tasted a brilliant vegan Trio of Beetroot Salad, where beetroot was cooked in three ways (braised, pickled and roasted). The trio rested on a bed of red and green butter-head lettuce, served with deliciously fresh coconut carpaccio, yogurt made from young, fermented coconut juice and flesh, and fresh serrano chili and pepper salsa.
Among the vegetarian appetisers, we had the Mushroom and Feta. This had organic and pickled pink and white oyster mushrooms in wild honey and caramelised onion sauce, balsamic brine, Feta-stuffed mushroom balls and some crispy mushroom crackers. The dish was a good contrast of different textures and flavours revolving around two main ingredients.
We also had very flavourful Lamb Ribs. Sous vide lamb ribs that was smoked and slow-braised too, never tasted so good! The sweet-n-sour pickled organic carrots were dotted with dill oil. This was served with a sweet-n-sour sweetcorn miso and charred corn.
From the non-veg Appetiser section, we tried a mind-blowing Nduja-cured Pork Belly dish. The pork was very tender as it was slow-braised, slow-smoked and then slow-cooked in sous vide! This was served with confit carrot puree, crispy nduja pork custard, organic heirloom carrots, crispy pork crackling and some yummy popcorn puree. Overall, the dish was very well-executed.
The Reef Cod in the Mains is a must for seafood-lovers. The Reef Cod was pan-seared with brown butter. It was just perfectly cooked and well-seasoned. It was accompanied by a wild-grown Stinging Nettle and spinach puree. Some orange segments thrown in looked pretty and tasted refreshing. Some pickled radish in an orange emulsion and some red-wine-vinegar beetroot-garlic salsa made the dish complete. The dish was delicious!
Apart from this the menu boasts of a range of pizzas, risottos and pastas. In the main course, we tried a Roast Garlic Polenta that was slightly crispy from the exterior. It tasted fantastic and little bit on the sweeter side. It came with ample colourful veggies like zucchini and red pepper. The crunchy cucumber served with it went very well with the entire dish.
We tried some of their desserts. The Water Chocolate and Apricot Kernels was delicious. I loved the fact that it is not overly sweet. If bitter chocolate is what you like, this dessert is for you! Served with creamy apricot kernel ice cream, chocolate soil and chocolate sauce.
The Salted Caramel Chocolate Tart had a nice flavour balance was served with whipped cocoa butter, almond cookies and crispy berries. The dessert was smooth and rich. The salted caramel was just wow!
Olive’s Unusual New Bar Offerings have something for everyone. An extensive new cocktail menu has been carefully created by John Leese, who is now Beverage Development & Bar Manager at Olive Bar & Kitchen, Bandra. One interesting drink is the Aperochic, the ultimate Olive aperitif – Hennessy VF stirred with Martini Rosso, Aperol, freshly-squeezed pink grapefruit, and enhanced with house-made grapefruit bitters. Then there are classic cocktails, twisted cocktails and signature cocktails! For example, Berry Beautiful is a refreshing twist on the Clover Club Cocktail, whereas G’in a Pickle is a sweet-n-sour wonder made with a pickled mix of cucumber, basil, apple cider vinegar and sugar. AN ordered the classic Bloody Mary. It was perfect!
We tasted one of their signature cocktails called Garden of Eden, which had fresh lemongrass and ginger muddled then shaken with lemon juice, Bombay Sapphire gin and lychee puree, served straight with a few drops of house-made basil oil. It was something right down our alley. We closed our eyes and took a sip of this… it felt like we could smell the fresh herbs and as if we were in the Garden of Eden itself. Try it sometime!
Another signature cocktail has an interesting name: The Canaries Singh. I loved this cocktail because of the rhubarb flavour coming from house-made rhubarb shrub. The presence of saffron bitters gives the cocktail its pleasant aroma and subtle flavour. Shaken with Tanqueray 10 gin, egg white and lemon juice, it is something unique. This is topped up with a dash of soda. The cocktail menu is impressively well-paired with a tempting Bar Food menu.
The refurbished bar and food menu at the reharvested Olive is worth a try. Olive is full of new flavours and potent concoctions that promise to make your day! Chef Rishim’s pickles and ferments for his Pickle Bar, do make his food more interesting. While you visit Olive, do have a look at the beautiful kitchen garden that is tendered by Chef Rishim Sachdeva himself. And hey, don’t forget to experience the “Garden of Eden” too!
Meal for two: Rs. 3,800 (dinner), excluding taxes and alcohol.
Dinner: 8:00 – 1:00 am (Monday to Sunday)
Brunch: 12:30 – 3:30 pm (Saturday and Sunday)
For reservations: +91 22 4340 8229
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