Olive, Mahalaxmi Racecourse, Mumbai

A restaurant on a racecourse might sound like a strange thing, and the smell of a stable hanging about as you sit outside to eat might not be the most appetising of olfactory stimulants, but Olive has a certain rustic charm to it that romanticises candle lit dinners next to horses.  Now if only horse steak were on the menu….

The trend in Mumbai restaurants seems to be to have 50% of  the menu repeated across every restaurant serving European cuisine, and here too, there were pastas of every nature and pizzas of every type. However, flipping quickly past the ubiquitous banality of these dishes, one was confronted with a food of a French tinge, with smatterings, as you do, of Italian, and naturally, Indian. Around the world in 8 dishes! Not to mention the tediously long descriptions of each dish using far too many adjective….

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Grilled Basa
Beef Carpaccio

Grilled Basa with carom and lemon was a light and delicate way to start the meal, and as for the Beef , carpaccio, it was, well, a carpaccio.

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Duck

Where do I start with the Roast duck, confit leg, provencale vegetables? In no particular order: cold, chewy, underseasoned, lumpy dry mash, unseasoned vegetables, over-reduced sauce, cold, chewy….and so on.They were out of their signature slow cooked shoulder of kid, so I settled for this. Sending it back would have meant a long long wait, so I did my best to plough through.

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For desserts we had: Cheesecake with berry compote (dry, crumbly) Chocolate and baileys mousse (boozy, creamy and sinfully good), Flourless chocolate cake (dull, boring and very lonely on the plate by itself).

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Disappointing food, but could it have been because there were 10 of us? Our food arrived at different times. Maybe they were really busy. Does it really matter? Thank god for old friends and fantastic company – we  were too excited and happy catching up with each other after a long time to really be phased by underwhelming stomach fillers.

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Overall experience: 7 (location, ambience, service)
Food: 5
Recommend you go: 4

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