Good food and some great conversation with the Chef is what make being a food writer so much fun. Chetna Chakravarthy shares all the delicious tit bits from Olive’s new menu.

If you found yourself at Olive only on Thursdays for the Bar Night, this new menu has enough reasons for you to indulge in some gluttony with family and friends. As for Chef Sujan, the new Chef De Cuisine responsible for this makeover of sorts, conversations with him veer from what’s on your plate to technique and the pros and cons of buying local produce. He maybe soft spoken but his creations speak very loudly to a foodie’s belly.Though, he has created an extensive menu, but we (obviously) have a few favourites.

6Gazpacho (Rs 400)
This soup or salad, whichever one you prefer to call it, is a delicious mix of Heirloom tomato salad, fresh mozzarella sorbet and basil over which they pour some whole gazpacho.  It is tangy and refreshing all at once. We are not sure whether we liked the gazpacho more or salad that it was poured over. But we definitely fell for the delicious mozzarella sorbet.

Roasted Pumpkin & Green Beans (Rs 700)
Chef Sujan has an interesting tale about pumpkins and the moral of that story was to never tell him you dislike a particular ingredient or vegetable or meat. The last time someone told him about his aversion to pumpkins, Chef made him a dish with ‘pumpkin’ he could not resist. This salad has roasted pumpkin slices topped with crunchy green beans, mascarpone labneh, quinoa, popped amaranth, pumpkin seeds and apricot-orange puree. It has bright and summery colours and flavours. The roasted pumpkin goes extremely well with the mascarpone labneh as well as the popped amaranth and pumpkin seeds.

Baked Gnocchi (Rs 700)
Although we were saving our tummies for the slow cooked pork belly, we were extremely glad we tried Chef Sujan’s version of gnocchi – baked with broccoli, green pea, blue cheese sauce and garlic crumbs. The baked gnocchi has a crispy coating, which is perfect with the blue cheese and broccoli. This is one dish we will definitely be ordering again on our next visit.

Slow Cooked Pork Belly (Rs 1500)
17This is what we were waiting for all evening and it was worth it! The meat was tender and rich in flavour. Served with carrot puree and mustard glazed apple, the sweet and savoury combination is just flawless. The best part - crisp crackling, made from the fat making this one delightfully meaty dish.

Warm Banana and Walnut Cake (Rs 400)
While we tried the Chocolate fondant(Rs 500), tiramisu(Rs 400), red velvet cake (Rs 400), this warm Banana and walnut cake was the one that made us forget all about how full we were after that indulgent pork. Served with dolce de leche ice cream and a banana crisp, the cake is moist and just sweet enough. It’s our idea of comfort food and just right way to end a really gluttonous meal.

While we also tried the Marinated Beetroot Salad (Rs 450), the Tuna Nicoise (600) and Pan-seared Scallops (Rs 700), these are the five we’ll be going back for real soon.

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