An evening at Olives, a Mediterranean experience - Todd English's Olives, Venetian Village, Abu Dhabi
On my last visit, I dined alone. On this occasion, I have company, and my guest and I order the Beef carpaccio, but as a full portion. You may recall the last time I had a smaller size. It is huge. A year has passed since I tried it, but it remains a one of a kind beef carpaccio. Onions are glazed with balsamic and serve as the foil of the parmesan. The presence of gorgonzola, part of a rosti cake which sits as a lump underneath the beef, brings added intensity to the dish, thanks to its pronounced flavour. It is a starter worthy of a group of 4. It screams 'value for money!'
For my second starter, I have something exceptional - the Pan seared duck foie gras steak. There is so much balance in this dish with balsamic fig compote and cranberry jus coming together effortlessly to complement the foie gras. And for good measure, texture on the plate is courtesy of herbed blinis!
It is hard to believe that the restaurant is a little over a year old. Through sensible pricing and without much fanfare, it has garnered several awards, and as more people discover its warmth and personalised charm, it will do even better. Chef Jaime Mendoza is the heart and soul of this restaurant, and for me who believes that restaurants are more than just ingredients, it is easy to see why it is becoming more successful. He brings to dishes something defies recipe books - it is all heart! I have commented before that people in Abu Dhabi are increasingly looking for alternatives to hotel restaurants - and places like Todd English's Olives are part of a handful of outlets leading people to discover some wonderful diningoptions.
Olives by Todd English,
Venetian Village at Ritz Carlton
00 971 2 4041941
Dinner for 2 average price - 400-450AED incl a glass of wine