I remember eating at the iconic Olive Bar & Kitchen when it completed 17 years of being in the business. Chef Rishim Sachdeva cooked up a culinary storm for me. Over the meal, Chef Sachdeva elevated even the humble cauliflower, beetroot and tomatoes to a meal fit for the king. I was enamored by the preparations, the cooking techniques and how freshness took center-stage in every dish!
This time around, when I received an invite to try out their all-new menu to revel in their 18th anniversary, I thought to myself, “What next?” And to my delight the revamped menu is almost tapas-like in style, featuring a number of small plates (really addictive ones).
My favourite from that night is the Red Velvet Fried Chicken 2.0 which comes dusted with red-velvet crumbs and is dipped in cake crumbs and buttermilk. Just the right juicy and crispy, I’d definitely go back for it. I’m not a fan of tuna but the Tuna Jerky is so distinct, refined and fresh that it definitely made a mark. I liked how the jerky’s saltiness was softened by crushed potatoes and smoked ketchup.
The Mushroom and Truffle Arancini is an elevated version of the classic crisp, golden-fried rice balls, stuffed with truffle oil and house-made cheese. The Baked Brie & Truffle paired with mascarpone and heaps of parmesan shavings, served on house-made raisin bread is another winner. And if the gorgeous burrata with fresh tomatoes isn’t a draw, I don’t know what else is!
From the Large Plates, trust the Trio of Lamb to ensure your taste-buds are regaled! It is a combination of braised lamb shank and confit rump-cured leg of lamb and is served with kidney beans which elevate the rich flavour of the meat even further.
As for dessert, the Panna Cotta, Warm Chocolate Mousse and House-Churned Mascarpone with warm chocolate infused with apricot kernels and refreshing fennel seeds, served with creamy mascarpone sent me home with the dreamiest of food comas!
I know for a fact that Chef Sachdeva is a fan of pickling and fermentation. The dishes on the menu truly reflect that! With the menu, he has elevated his technique to offer house-cured meats and sausages, and everything house-made from anchovies to sourdough bread, all the product of weeks – or months – of pickling and preserving. Also, I love the focus on the seasonal and local produce which helps to ensure that each dish is bursting with flavour and authenticity. Courtesy the master-culinarian, it was a meal so good that it’s still imprinted on my palate!
Where: Olive Bar & Kitchen
14, Nargis Dutt Road, Union Park, Khar West,
Next to Tourist Hotel, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400052
Phone: 090229 55712
Note: The critic was invited by the Olive Bar & Kitchen but all the opinions expressed herewith are her own.