Todd English's Olives

Hit and miss food, but set in classy surroundings Discuss this article

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American celebrity chef Todd English is known for his modern take on Italian food, but Olives has a broader Mediterranean menu. The venue is classy, with green and gold décor that is mildly reminiscent of a gentleman’s club, but lunch is a little hit and miss.

Hit: the red oak salad with poached apple, Belgian endive and red onion was fresh and different. Miss: the sweet potato bravas offers an interesting twist on a tapas classic with a honey-jalapeño sauce instead of spicy tomato. However, it is much too sweet. It also lacked enough salty feta to balance it out. Hit: the pepperonata flatbread with stewed peppers is very moreish and the portion is massive. Miss: the vegetable tortellini, billed as summer squash, baby carrots, peas and a sage butter sauce. The veg turns out to be a topping with an almost tasteless cheese inside the pasta, and the combination of three vegetables from a similar flavour group (sweet) seems unnecessary.

The service is very friendly and attentive, however, and the mood is chilled. With a lack of natural light and more moody interiors, though, we think this is better as a dinner spot.

The Bottom Line

Interesting food combinations, but they don’t always work.

By Time Out Abu Dhabi Staff
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

Time Out reviews restaurants anonymously and pays for meals. Of course, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or independence of user reviews.


  • Location: The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal, Al Maqtaa, Abu Dhabi
  • Tel: 02 404 1941
  • Travel: Khor Al Maqta'a

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