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Rest : Olive
Meal : Sunday Brunch
Loc : Pali Hill, Bandra (West)
I have not been one for Sunday brunches, not for me is the expansive spread, the limitless alcohol and the copious consumption. Sunday for me is preferably something light, something interesting and no alcohol. Of late i have even given up serious lunching on Sunday afternoons, instead i prefer catching a flick and then heading to a bookstore.
This Sunday however turned out to be different. A few of my mates from college and the wives decided to get together to spend the afternoon feasting. The initial plan was to head to Indigo, however since a few were coming in from the suburbs we decided upon Olive in Bandra
I have never been very fond of Olive, they have always been a part of the party and social scene and been less about the food. Leaning towards form rather than function. Yet, here we were.
Things began very quickly with a severely watered down Mojito. Absolutely unimpressive. Stick to the caipiroska
The bloody mary was up next, impressive, i wish they had added the ice before to chill it nicely, it was jalapeno infused giving it the additional bite.
the shiraz was dry, not my fav wine in the world this one.
The daquiri was like a fresh lime soda on steroids..
The white gold was white wine, apple juice and apples. Not bad, although not my thing, the girls loved it.
After drinking like sailors on shore leave, we got together to scramble out to the food, which was laid out inviting and attractive.
the spread is expansive but not excessive. Mediterranean with some mezze. There are salads (caprese, cous cous, peppers) all pretty good. On the money.
The Asparagus was average but the Dips (hummus, tzatziki, harissa)were splendid.
The mushrooms were average as was the terrine
the pita chips were way too crunchy, not fun to dip.
the paella was distressingly like a risotto, not bad but nothing spectacular either.
The Arabbiata was average, not great flavour no great taste.
The grill section had paneer (cottage cheese) mushrooms and potato. Possibly the most fun thing of all, really enjoyed the soft, tasty paneer, the spicy mushroom and the buttery potato.
The pizza was surprisingly bad, as attractive as it looked, thin, crispy, inviting, the sauce had absolutely no flavour, completely sour and tasteless.
The dessert counter was fairly expansive, the tiramisu was nice, the rum n raisin on sticks was decent too. I really liked my chocolate covered strawberries.
Overall, the ambiance was fun and youthful, the space was packed and its advisable to get a table if going out for Sunday brunch.
The food unfortunately was below par in almost every respect. Quite shocking that they got their pasta and pizza wrong which should be essentially second nature to them. They have a few hits but the entire meal was littered by misses.
While we had a fantastic time, due to the company and in no small part the booze, I have never regretted not being a regular patron of Olive, they have never tried to prove me wrong.
Food : 5/10
Service : 6/10
Damage : 1500 + taxes per person inclusive of cocktails.
Olive Bar & Grill
Pali Hill Tourist Hotel, 14 Union Park, Khar (W), Mumbai
Res : Tote
Meal : -
Loc : Race Course, Mahalaxmi
Tote is a pretty decent restaurant with a superlative ambiance. Having been there twice for dinner, i really wanted to try out their humongous bar.
Located on the mezzanine, the bar is nearly 40 feet long and has a row of comfy couches opposite it. There is another level above. It is safely one of the largest bars in the city if not the country.
We were there on a weeknight and the dining space was pretty packed, however the bar was not so full. We got in around 10.30, there was a trickle of people into the space as the night wore on (teens, adults, celebs) but the space never got quite packed.
I got a regular bloody mary, versus the Tote Mary which is with a dash of Balsam… i like my cocktails classic. The Sangria is the same formula developed at Indigo Deli. While i do enjoy it, its ultimately all about using cheap wine, sweetening it and serving it to gullible folk (in Spain anyway)
Now, Tote has a tremendous bar food menu, probably some of the best seen yet. The herbed goat cheese looked so desperately inviting but the wife nixed the idea due to the extra calories, which i very obviously dont need anymore.
Instead we chose the falafal, sundried tomato chips with a blackbean hummus. That is pretty much as awesome as it sounds. I cant wait to go back just to try the rest of the foods menu. They also offer a selection of olives as munchies, nothing special that, except they had these fried cloves of garlic in there. Talk about using your imagination and elevating a simple bowl of olives to another plane...
Overall: The ambiance is great, the crowd is decent and the service slowish. Pricing wise, its a well priced bar, especially when compared to places like Wink & Aer. Considering the recent price increase at Geoffreys and the stale ambiance, Tote is my new local !
Food : 9/10
Service : 7/10
Damage : For 2 drinks, a mocktail and a snack 2500
Opposite Gate No. 4 & 5,