Zucchini wrapped steamed Reef Cod and Prawn Mousse with Potato Spaghetti

Olive Qutub stands tall for 11 years in a trade where restaurants close like a pack of cards each day. Situated in an old haveli at Mehrauli, the interior has the old world charm along with the modern setting. The soft lights, white interiors, candle-lit tables gives it a perfect setting to have a romantic dinner.
Early this year when I got invite from Olive for their Winter Menu tasting, I was delightful. Not only it was a chance to try their new menu but I also got chance to interact with their new chef Sujan Sarkar. I was completely bowled over by his food. Simple, Elegant and exceptionally good in taste. Here is my experience of their winter menu.
I have always been regular to Olive, Mumbai. It was our weekend destination where we always enjoyed their food, service and drinks. This was for the third time I met the magician chef Sujan. Last time I had met him at Olive beach, around 4 weeks back.
So when I got invite from their PR for the launch of their new summer menu I was enthralled. I was expecting another magnificent food journey and great interaction with Chef himself. It was great interacting with him last time. Very passionate about food, very classy in presentation and excellent human being. He is very soft spoken and has the exceptional capability to make the best of anything with very minimal ingredients.  As its summers we were expecting something light, soothing undoubtedly delicious food.
Corn fed Chicken breast and pave of confit Chicken leg

Once the initial introduction finished we settled ourselves at our tables. The tasting menu that was lying on the table was pretty exhaustive. Chef Sujan told us that he has changed 70% of the menu and has tried to bring new flavors akin to summers. The first one to be served was goat cheese with tomatoes on a cracker. I was amused with its presentation. Next in line was Goat’s Cheese Mousse with Salt Baked Beet-root served with candied  walnuts, wild rockets, apricot and orange puree. First bite  into the mouth and it gave such amazing pleasures. The other starter, which I simply loved was Foie Gras and Chicken Liver Parfait served with poached cherries, vanilla pear and Brioche. The entire amalgamations of ingredients had delivered a distinct flavor. In salads, Charred Baby Gem and Summer Vegetableswere served with tender almonds, smoked goat curd and pickled palm hearts had a smoky flavor; Pear and Endive served with toasted hazelnuts, blue cheese and water vinaigrette was crisp and slightly bitter in taste.

When British cooking meets Italian, the result would be amazing. I realized it when the soup was served after the starters and salads. It was Chicken and Mushroom Consomme served with chicken tortellini. It’s a clear stock with a tortellini sitting pretty in it. I liked the soft flavor of the soup, which gelled very well. The main course had both the meat and the seafood. Pan Seared Scallops were served with crispy chicken wings, pumpkin puree, apple and grilled baby leeks. While the scallops are tender and delectable, the outer shell was crisp  and gelled well with crispy chicken wings. Another interesting flavor was of Zucchini wrapped Reef Cod served with leek nage, potato spaghetti and zucchini frites. Both zucchini and cod are mild in flavor, but the leek nage gave it a distinct character.
Pear and Endive salad

In meats, I liked the Lavender scented Australian Lamb Rump served with roasted vegetables, semi dried tomato, broad beans and parsnip puree. The lamb was well roasted with its aroma intact and the parsnip puree was lending it a unique, sweet taste.

Even though I stuffed to the brim, I still had desire to wait for desserts. The dessert section had an impressive line-up. First on the card was Pave of Chocolate Ganache served with orange sorbet, orange jam and popcorn. A simple chocolate dessert turned out to be a brilliant one with two distinguish flavors of chocolate and orange. The next on the line was the season special Mille Feuille of Mango served with mango sorbet, mango and mascarpone mousse. Mille-feuille is a layered French pastry. It is also called Napoleon. The layers were crisp with mango crème in it. Its combination with mango and mascarpone mousse was brilliant. Another dessert was Baked Cheesecake, but, what made it different was its accompaniment – Passion fruit curd and a Passion fruit macaroon. The last dessert of the night was Tiramisuserved with coffee sorbet and biscotti. The tiramisu was heavenly, light, rich, with a tantalizing hint of the liquor.

The entire session was slow paced, giving ample time to savor medley of exciting flavors and appreciating the dazzling display of Chef Sujan’s creativity. I have been bowled over by the creativity and for giving us some exceptionally good food experience altogether. His ability to create mesmerizing and extremely delicious dishes using minimal ingredients is commendable. I had shared in my last review as well, Chef Sujan is not only a chef but a magician. His knows how he can intoxicate people by creating magic with his food. This has been one of the best experiences I have had in very very long time.

With inputs from Gaurav Dharmwani

Picture Courtesy  : Olive Bar and Kitchen

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