Sunday, January 17, 2010


Res: Olio
Meal : Dinner
Loc : Novotel (used to be the Holiday Inn) Juhu

The old Holiday Inn now rebranded as the Novotel after a $40million face lift has gone all out to make itself an interesting culinary destination. The hotel space looks brand new and they have built the restaurants around the view. The old warhorse Sampan for Chinese, a rooftop bar, a coffee shop and of course Olio for Mediterranean offer a wide mix.

The restaurant has a classy indoor section where no one was seated. Everyone chose the dimly lit but very attractive outdoors section as did we. The water is in the distance but the January air is just about perfect to sit outdoors and feel no discomfort.

Although the name is Italian and the menu is Italian heavy, it traverses all corners of the Mediterranean. Pasta, mezze & tagine are on the menu as well as some very interesting side dishes.

I wanted grappa but they didnt have any though it was on the menu...
So it was Lemon ice-tea although it tasted like anything but ice tea, pretty good though.

i prefer diet coke but you take what you can get..

The meal starts of with their bread service which is probably the best of any place. Warm pita and foccacia served wih a side of olive n pest, tomato and tahina. We went through possibly three servings, excellent stuff. Set some high expectations for the rest of the meal..

We chose the cold mezze, Tzatziki which is a garlic and yoghurt based dip, fresh feta cheese and dolmades, which are stuffed vine leaves. Initially i wanted the feta cheese salad, unfortunately our server (more on him later) could not tell us what was in it. Well, he said everything was in it but couldnt elaborate further.

The tzatziki was allright, the fresh feta was over salted although they insisted thats how it was meant to be. I have had enough feta to know what it tastes like, they offered to take it back but we decided to live with it.

The dolmades were just horribly icky tasting, Mabruk does them really well, these felt a little disgusting and paan (betel)like.

While they have an extensive pasta menu, we decided to skip the pasta and go for the pizza. They have a wood burning oven and it was not a difficult choice. The traditional margeritha was thin and perfect, a must have whilst here.

The vegetable tagine was also on the menu and since we were intent on trying the unusual, we went for it. Ive had tagine before, quite a few places, its usually a veggie heavy broth with a kick. Unfortunately this one was just heavy handed with lumpy vegetables, no great taste or nothing. Very Disapppointing. Moshe does a far superior version.

It was also served with an apology for couscous. I mean look at it, why even bother throwing it out there?

So we ordered more, fortunately the portion this time was a lot more appropriate.

Overall, the venue itself is very attractive but the food is very average, the niche items on the menu really dont stack up and as a whole leave you underwhelmed. The bread service is outstanding as is the pizza, so one can still make a meal out of it.

The service is amazingly scatter brained. Our server was possibly on his second day of the job, made way too many cardinal mistakes. He couldnt tell us anything about the grappa i wanted, the salad contained "everything", he tried to cover a small dish of couscous with the giant tagine cover, when asked to reheat the tagine, he said he would microwave it and be right back.

Honestly though, i couldnt get mad, he had a funny smile and he was really trying to help. But someone could get mad and they need to really to look at training their staff better. It didnt help that we had possibly the most insane family seated behind us having the most ridiculously boring and personal conversation in the history of mankind.

Food : 6/10
Service : 6/10
Damage : 2400 (without drinks)

Novotel Hotel, Balraj Sahani Marg,
Juhu Beach, Juhu, Vile Parle (W), Mumbai

Tel : 66934444

1 comment:

Alisa said...
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