Restaurant Review: Olive Wheat Grape
Olive Wheat Grape
Food: 3.75 | Service: 3.5 | Décor: 3.5
Olive Wheat Grape takes inspiration from three crucial elements of Mediterranean cuisine. Located on Prabhat Road, it serves Mediterranean food along with some Italian and Spanish dishes.
From outside the place looks inviting with large glass windows which give a peek into the comfortable interiors and an open kitchen. The seating is comfortable with a mix of wooden chairs and high back sofas. The Mediterranean theme runs through the décor with the use of tiles on the wall, the Turkish glass lamps and wall murals with the Turkish nazars. The vibe is further elevated with an open kitchen where you can see the team of chefs at work.
Curated by Chef Kapil Moghe, the menu features unique dishes from the Mediterranean which are rare to find in the city. We promptly ordered the Smoked & Marinated Queen Olives with feta which were served in a glass cloche filled with rosemary infused smoke. The olives were the perfect accompaniment to our mocktails, the spicy and delightfully punchy Kokum Margarita and the refreshing Virgin Poinsettia. The Sweet Potato Fries were crunchy on the outside and soft inside and the accompanying spicy ketchup was the perfect condiment to the fries. A benchmark for any Mediterranean restaurant is a great hummus recipe. We ordered the Hummus which was fresh, smooth and delicious and was served with fresh-off-the-grill pita breads.
There are a plethora of appetizer options to pick from. We started with the Butter Chili Mushrooms. The mushrooms were slightly undercooked but the butter, herbs and chili marinade was tasty. The Mutton Shish Taouk came next and it turned out to be the best dish we tasted that day. The meat was cooked well and the spices were bang-on. We paired our appetizers with the delicious Prawn and Lemon Soup.
There are a select few restaurants which serve Tajine, a slow cooked stew which originated in Morocco. On our server’s recommendation, we ordered the Lemon Chicken Tajine which was cooked with chickpeas and typical Moroccan spices and was served in the signature tajine pot along with herbed couscous. Sadly tajine lacked flavor. Our disappointment with the tajine turned to delight with the Pumpkin Risotto which was creamy, warm, hearty and cheesy.
For desserts, we picked the less popular Omali which is a traditional Egyptian pudding with layers of filo pastry topped with milk and cream and baked. At first glance, the omali looked slightly messy and dense, but tasted great. The rose syrup topping was a great addition. We would have loved to see Baklava on the menu which was strangely missing.
Olive Wheat Grape also offers the unique Polenta Table which needs to be pre-ordered as it takes five hours to prepare. Polenta (cornmeal porridge) is spread on a wooden plank and topped with cheese, spicy marinara sauce and a choice of toppings. Unfortunately we did not pre-order and missed out, but we will be going back soon to experience this.
PLUS & MINUS
Even with some misses, the Mediterranean fare at Olive Wheat Grape impresses, particularly the appetizers. The staff is courteous and the service is prompt. The ‘Grape’ element is currently non-existent and an accompanying bar menu (particularly wines) would elevate the dining experience.
Must Try Dishes: Sweet Potato Fries, Mutton Shish Taouk, Hummus, Smoked & Marinated Queen Olives, Pumpkin Risotto
Meal for Two: Rs. 1500
Address: Suvarnrekha Boulevard, Ghodke Chowk, Prabhat Road, Erandwane, Pune - 411004
Timings: 11:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Photo Courtesy: Olive Wheat Grape
Note: The article was first published in Pune Times on 18 October 2019.