Venetian Village has created quite a buzz already in the Capital. Olives is one of the restaurants at luxe collection of eateries scene in this complex with other like Barfly, Brasserie Flo & Inakaya It is the venue opened by celebrity chef Todd English in the Ritz-Carlton’s. It has a superb location and breath-taking Grand Mosque and canal views. The décor and the waiting staff are faultless in appearance at Olives. Art deco meets folksy Italian kitchen with gorgeous wooden tables, elegant table settings and a handsome staff in bow ties and vests. The food always thoroughly impresses us here, and we’re sure it’s going to get better with time and more changes in the menu. It’s not ridiculously expensive however not very less on a budget too. Rest assures all the money you will spend here worth each bite.
The setting is meticulously unusual. If the weather is good, you may get to enjoy a very relaxing 20 mins evening Abra boat cruise on the Maqta Channel for only AED 20 DHS. The best way to end a great night! Upon our arrival, we were warmly welcomed and greeted by Kristine, the hotel manager. Sparkling & non-alcoholic grape drink was served as a welcome note.
Chef JAIME C MENDOZA’
Executive Chef Jaime Mendoza discuss with us how he makes sure that the food quality is always consistent and each dish going out from his kitchen has an apt. Taste and way of cooking involved making it an accurate one. His goal coincides with the restaurant vision that every guest leaves the restaurant with a happy face. Chef JAIME C MENDOZA’S is originally from the City of Durango, Mexico.
He went to College of Sciences and Humanities. In 1998 Jaime was hired as master cook for the opening of TODD ENGLISH’S OLIVES in the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. From then till date he is connected with the brand. He also has assisted Chef Todd English in several appearances in his live cooking HSN network in Tampa Florida as well as various culinary events across the United States of America. Now Chef Jaime is in Abu Dhabi, Venetian Village from the opening of TODD ENGLISH’S OLIVES and is working here since then.
Food servings/portion is quite huge, so it is always good for sharing. Risotto is good. .The staff is very polite and welcoming. We were served by almost everyone. The bread that arrived were fresh and warm with tapenade and few olives; focaccia was very soft with few herbs but high in taste. It’s a must visit place if you are looking for a captivating ambiance, excellent hosts, and lip-smacking food.
We sat in an open kitchen view area on corner tables with semi-circle seating area; the place was crowded. The staff was very sweet and made sure they make it all comfortable for us even though the table was low. Well, the ambiance was pretty good as well.
We started off with Beef Carpaccio (featured image of this blog post). I was never a great fan of raw meat till I had this dish. It’s prepared with all the delicacy and attention. There is a whole lot of ingredients world under the thin Carpaccio sheet. With gorgonzola rosti cake in the middle, mix greens around and balsamic glazed baby onions, scallion aioli & shredded parmesan. Each ingredient of this dish is best describing its perfection. It was very rustic and core to its origin.
Next, we opted for the most selling item at the venue i-e sweet potatoes Brava’s; it’s purely vegetarian and best tapas for sharing purpose too. Where honey, avocado aioli are adding to the likable sweetness. Jalapenos and crumbled feta added to sour, spicy and salty elements. With rich taste and perfect sorting of Sweet potato this dish surely won out hearts.
In flat bread option, we went for ‘The Bronx Bomber.’ It is a flatbread with pepperoni and parmesan cheese. Another pizza we had tasted was Portobello; it was a dream for the mushroom lover. With wild mushroom puree and roasted portabella pieces, it appears dark in color but wanting in tasted. Fontina cheese along with truffle oil added to the richness in palate and made it more desirable. It felt palpable as well. They have some good mocktails to try out like the Dessert Rose (Rose flavored) and Wild Garden (Berry flavored).
In entrees, we opted for meat options. While I tried roasted half corn fed chicken, hubby has ordered rib eye steak with roasted rosemary potatoes, parsley butter & green peas stuffed a tomato. The portion for chicken is ample enough for one person. It is served with a side of country potato cake with buttered broccoli. With minimal seasoning of black pepper and salt and dressing of natural chicken jus the taste with strengthened for this entrée. Meat was tender and juicy.
Last but not the least was dessert part. We tried their famous NY Cheese Cake with crispy toasted almond flakes. Delicious in taste with citrus strawberry coulis and sweet toffee gelato scoop was an added treat. Next was Hazelnut Semifreddo with rectangular chocolate mousse with the coffee cream spread. Cocoa puffed streusel places on top and was garnished with raspberry pearls. Nutty hazelnut taste was delicious and gave this desired texture to this dish. We liked both very much. However, Cheesecake being weak point took the trophy.
All in all, visits to Olives was a good deal and topped up with a beautiful, cozy setting and efficient/friendly service this is a place that is worth visiting. I would want to go here again with the whole family next time. Their Carpaccio is magnificent. They have a different flatbread pizza. Also, this place has the best of bites and tastiest good looking drinks.
They recently have changed their dinner menu. They also have some excellent breakfast and lunch menu available. Probably we should visit this place in the winter to be able to enjoy the seating outside.
Phone number – 02 4041941
Cuisines – Mediterranean
Opening hours – 9 AM to 11 PM