Quirk is in and Olive Bistro is in the thick of it with an assortment of colourful tables and chair – some comfortable, others not so – plates and pots hanging off chandeliers, and a small cafe like appearance that is as comforting when empty as it can get claustrophobic when full. While I personally love this, and I enjoy this closeness between tables – it’s so European – with everything that is going on, the décor takes away from a definite identity for the place which at best is an amalgamation of a modern day bistro, a Mediterranean seaside restaurant, with hints of a Parsi/Irani cafe.
The service, when things aren’t too busy, is good and even though we stuck around for a good two and a half hours occupying a table for 12, we weren’t rushed at any point of time. When things get busy, and they do on the weekends, there’s a bit of running around among the staff which leads to instances like asking for water a couple of times before it is attended to, but then this can be seen across busy restaurants across the world and I’ve just become immune to this situation. However, Olive Bistro seems to be going through a menu change at present so it’s a little bit of a disappointment when we have a read through the menu, select on a few options, which mind you is a Herculean task when three families, all with children, are involved, only to be told that the restaurant has discontinued what we want.
The food though is exciting with a myriad of ingredients that are added to classics to take them up a notch – mint leaves on our Lamb Pizza is a perfect example of this. But, and this one is with a big B, the food isn’t memorable. I enjoyed it, and don’t have any serious complaints about what we ate, and I’ll go as far as saying that some of what we ordered, like the OB Lamb Pizza, Roasted Aubergine Carpaccio, and Borek, had gorgeous ingredients and tasted good, but extraordinary they were not. I can’t put my finger on it, but Olive Bistro left a lot to be desired, and it doesn’t help that the place is priced on the higher side (that’s somewhat expected since it is situated in CyberHub, Gurgaon) because then the questions arises if everything was really worth it?
Take the Lamb Burger where the patty looked wonderful, I could see all the herbs mixed into it and it bordered between juicy and hard, but when tasting it, the burger lacked a punch, the ingredients were all there, but the flavors were missing. The Olive Bistro Signature Profiteroles came in the form of éclairs and would have worked much better were they choux pasty balls instead. However, slightly tough on the outside – the kind where while cutting through it, a piece of the profiterole went in one direction and the cutlery ended on the floor – these éclairs were filled with chilled ice-cream, perfect for a hot and humid day, making them less decadent but the lightness was what everyone required after a heavy meal.
I’m not ruling out Olive Bistro. Its quaintness is charming and the food is interesting. I love how they aren’t afraid to experiment a little, especially with nuts – weirdly enough most of what we ordered had nuts in them. I would very much love to try some more of their offerings because it’s clear that Olive Bistro is reliable, however hopefully next time I visit, I get to try food that will WOW me, because that is the one thing that didn’t happen this time round.