Saturday, 24 November 2012

Modern Italian and Mediterranean delights @ L'Olivo

I took a break during exam season to wine and dine with Shiv - it had been a while since we'd caught up, and a while since I'd had a proper meal cause of all the studying!

We went to a lovely family owned restaurant called L'Olivo in East Malvern for dinner. They serve a mix of traditional and modern dishes, reaching from the recipe books of Italy and the mediterranean. They've got tapas, pizzas, pastas, desserts - so much on offer!

Totally loving how late the sun sets during summertime in Australia! I was beyond excited and in the highest spirits, and luckily the food and drinks did not disappoint.
As you walk in, they have the most enticing things on display.
All of this beautiful, vibrant colour everywhere! Top notch presentation and decor around - simple, airy, lots of wood and lots of mouth-watering food!
Little Goat Creek Pinot Gris ($8.50) from Marlborough, New Zealand for me. One of my friends grew up there and his note on wine has stuck with me. I love pinot gris, so when I spot one that looks interesting from Marlborough, I'll usually order it. Very enjoyable. 
To start, they served a board with bread, olives and the classic olive oil and balsamic vinegar. My only note is that the little cup they serve the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in is way way too deep so when you dip your bread you never get any of the vinegar since the oil sits on top! A very, very tiny note, but it did cause a bit of befuddlement!
We started with some goat's cheese fritters ($12.00). Uh, YUM!
I go weak in the knees when somebody even mentions the word fritter. A good fritter is just beyond. Look at how sexy that thing is! That golden brown coating. The soft pillow-y inside that greets you once you've gotten through the crunchy outer layer. So yummy!
Shiv ordered grilled lamb cutlets ($16.00). Pretty little things.
I snuck a taste. Shame it was cooked well-done. Even though I've been off meat for around a year and a half now, I still remember how I like my meat to be cooked. I just don't think a well-done cutlet does the lamb as much justice as medium-rare or even medium!

Very tough to cut through. I thought it may have been a fluke with our order, but when I asked the waitress how they usually cook their lamb they said they always cook it well-done. I guess to each his own?
I had a look around the restaurant, and was delighted with their open kitchen set up. Speaking to their pizza chef and getting to watch him in action was great! I love open kitchens because it means not only are the staff proud of their food and methods, and confident in cleanliness, but it becomes dinner and a show too!
We had a small pizza to share. Torre del Greco ($15.00) - tomato, cheese, spinach, marinated eggplant, fresh tomato, feta, olives, garlic, oregano.
B-e-a-utiful! Loaded with such delicious vegetables. Lovely presentation too! It's great that they don't hold back on the toppings. The base had a nice texture, though did end up a little bit soggy after a while.
I'm always too shy to grab the last slice!
I'd definitely head back here again when I'm back in Melbourne next year. Beautiful light atmosphere, great looking menu. While L'Olivo did have a couple of problem points for me, I still enjoyed it a lot overall. 

Stay tuned for what comes next! We decided to forego having dessert here, and drove into the city for what turned out to be a wildly drool-worthy bread pudding!

 Love and hot-out-of-the-oven pizzas,
171 Waverley Road
East Malvern, VIC 3145
+61 (3) 9572 4487
Official Site

L'Olivo on Urbanspoon

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