Todd English's Olives

Review: Sleek European restaurant with charming service and hearty portions Discuss this article

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We’ll admit it, for a while we couldn’t quite get our name around the name of this restaurant. Todd’s English Olives just slipped more easily off the tongue, but that was before we really appreciated who Todd English was. A big name chef in the US, he isn’t a household name in the UK or anywhere else our team comes from. But, we admit it now, we were foolish and English deserved more of our time, and in little over two years since opening, Olives has landed our Best European restaurant award, such is our regard for the Mediterranean venue.

The dining room is classy (and there’s a lovely bar at the back of the restaurant that also deserves your attention) and the staff are charming, and comfortable making informed recommendations. Be warned, though, portions are huge, so try not to over-order.

The menu is split into starters, pastas, salads, flatbreads, entrées and side dishes. It’s quite a compact offering and there are plenty of appealing-sounding dishes on there.

We start with perfectly crisp calamari. They’re perfectly done and come with a spicy tomato sauce and gherkin dip. We also go for the sharing platter, which includes various kinds of hummous and dips, olives, roast tomatoes and grilled bread. It’s more than enough for two people and a top way to start the meal.

We go for a flatbread and pasta dish to share, and, again, both are big on flavour and size. The classic flatbread (essentially a long pizza) is topped with rich tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella. It’s another perfect dish that lets the ingredients speak for themselves. Ravioli is stuffed with ricotta and comes in an intense sauce with veal sausage. It’s stunning, like everything else here.

The bill (for two)
1x calamari fritti Dhs70
1x Olives’ mezze Dhs65
1x classic flatbread Dhs60
1x baked ricotta ravioli Dhs75
Total (excluding taxes) Dhs270

The bottom line
A venue that deserves to be full every day.

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.

Details

  • 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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