L’Olivo

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I’m more or less a control freak when it comes to work and studying, but at all other times I prefer to just relax and be gently nudged along. So on Friday, after a full day of tutoring with just a hour lunch break in between, it felt great to be taken out to dinner by my boyfriend. He had already decided on the restaurant and booked us a table, so all I had to do was go along. I’m so fortunate to have someone who understands me so well. He knows, I love nothing more than to share a delicious meal with someone I love.

Neither of us felt very hungry, so we decided to order two items from the tapas menu, a small pizza and a dessert to share.

Complimentary sour dough served with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and olives

Complimentary sour dough served with balsamic vinegar, olive oil and olives

After placing our order, a board of warm sour dough landed on our table. We happily nibbled at the bread while chatting about our day, waiting for our dishes to arrive.

Grilled chili calamari ($13.00)

Grilled chili calamari ($13.00)

I’m always a little frightened to order calamari at a new restaurant, because I just dread the task of painstakingly chewing through a plate of hard rubber. So, this choice was made by my boyfriend and an excellent choice it was. The calamari was beautifully cooked, buttery soft, marinated with an addictive concoction of chili, parsley and lemon.

Grilled halloumi wrapped in prosciutto ($11.50)

Grilled halloumi wrapped in prosciutto ($11.50)

Being a cheese fan, who have never tried halloumi before, I decided to order this. I really enjoyed the rich, creamy, dense texture of the cheese cut juxtaposed by the sharp saltiness of the prosciutto. However, the more bites I took, the saltier it grew. By that time, we had already finished our bread and the salad leaves it came with failed to save us from the onslaught of salt.

When the small pizza came, I was still soldiering through my piece of halloumi. For some reason, I stubbornly decided I was going to finish my piece before having any of the pizza. As a result of that, when I had my first slice of pizza the base was already a bit soggy, but I was reassured by my boyfriend that the base was crispy when it came to the table.

Bari - tomato, cheese, hot salami, prawns, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, olive and basil (small $15)

Bari – tomato, cheese, hot salami, prawns, feta, sun-dried tomatoes, olive and basil (small $15)

They were very generous with the topping, which resulted in a very meaty pizza. I especially loved the addition of feta on top, which just gave the pizza an extra layer of indulgence. I’m not sure if it was from the halloumi before, but the pizza tasted too salty for my tastes as well.

I have a sweet tooth and love my dessert. So often the first thing I do when opening up a menu is flip right to the back in seek of the dessert section. I would normally decide on my dessert, when everyone else are deciding on their entrees.

Loukoumades with honey, cinnamon, walnuts and ice cream ($9.00)

Loukoumades with honey, cinnamon, walnuts and ice cream ($9.00)

We were both speechless when our dessert arrived. 6 large, fluffy, golden donuts sat proudly on the platter, drizzled liberally with honey syrup and topped with a crushed walnut and cinnamon mix. When bitten into, the warm, honey syrup would smother your lips, almost sticking your mouth together. Then, the crispy, outer coating would give away to a soft, moist, doughy center.  The ice cream was much needed to refresh your mouth, before you take yet another sinful bite. I’m normally not a fan of fried food, but I am a huge fan of this dessert.

L’Olivo is a family owned restaurant and the service was matching – casual, warm, friendly. Serves are on the large side. Even the tapas we ordered could pass off as small mains at other restaurants. Remember, I said at the start of the post that we weren’t that hungry? However, we enjoyed everything so much that we pretty much polished off each plate. Needless to say, we left L’Olivo satisfied and very very full.

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