Monday, 14 December 2009

Olive Branch

We went to Olive Branch the other day to see what it was like. We had a gorgonzola and walnut gnocchi, and a pizza. I'd say both were good - the pizza was Italian-style and while it perhaps lacked a bit of dazzle, it was of a high standard. The gnocchi was very cheesey (and hence tasty) [1]. Service was prompt and polite and the house red wine which I had a glass of was also fine.

So in short I'd say while its not going to win any culinary award, as an inexpensive place to get a nice meal it's a solid choice. I'm sure we'll go back again. We haven't tried the take-away options but they seemed popular while we were there.

[1] The only thing we really would have changed was the plates were cold. I don't think they need to be red-hot, but even luke warm keeps the food hotter that much longer. Many restaurants make this mistake.


bebebebebbebbeeb said...

We were both a little worried about trying the olive branch but as Matt says were pleasantly surprised. While you could tell the pizza hadn't been cooked in a full on proper pizza oven it was still pretty good with lots of toppings. The plate of gnocci was huge & sauce very cheesey, hot & tasty - pity about the cold plates.
While it's not a "special occasion" restaurant we were happy with it as a solid convenient place to have a weeknight pizza / pasta & will go again.

andypandy said...

I've been there a few times now, recognised by the staff and always get a friendly welcome. Same with the rest of the family. Food is good. A welcome addition to the area and I hope it succeeds.

Anonymous said...

The outside looks boutique and attractive, the interior is not so nice, i would say pretty basic for a restaurant. The reality of the interior hits you.

The menu arrives printed on draft setting on a home printer on thin paper, which was half in and half falling out of a polly-pocket. The wine menu was worse. Actual spelling and grammar mistakes. The wine I ordered was blend. Probable wholesale cost £3. It was bland and had no bouquet whatsoever. It did have a plastic label which was falling off, and shockingly this place doesn't do wine coolers, so the wine -which was on a small table beside a candle- became warm after only a short time.
I ordered lasagna, actually it was disgusting, with way way too much cheese taste.
The menu looked like it was created by Neanderthal. This is terrible for a restaurant which is new.My partner had pizza for main, which was tasteless. Massively greasy, supermarket pepperoni on not-fully-cooked dough.

I couldn't bare to stay for desert as the menu was so hit or miss.
So The Olive branch external appearance is quite nice; smart, Italian. The inside is not so good; tight, squeezed, tacky, unkempt furniture and furnishings. Bad food, ok service, bad wine. Avoid if you can.

Rich said...

@23rd December:
I'm not sure your post is really in keeping with the spirit of this blog, which largely supports local trade. If you want to slate a restaurant behind an anonymous veil, why not visit London Eating?

There are certain run-down kebab shops that I advise people to "avoid if you can", but as The Olive Branch is the only (much needed) Italian in the area, I don't see how that's possible.

It may not be Locatelli, but the Olive Branch is in its infancy. I for one like my lasagne nice and cheesy.

Yes, some wine coolers wouldn't go amiss, but surely the staff will keep your bottle chilled if you ask?

For the record, if you're going to slate a restaurant for its spelling mistakes, it's best to ensure your own post is grammatically perfect.

Anonymous said...

Hear hear!

Anonymous said...

Would love to try the olive branch, but as a single mom on a fixed income I have found that the whites deli is good value with meals from £2 for homemade organic soups to £4.00 for a homemade meal and the bread is to die for .
In a recession people still like to be able to eat out on a budget and here you can. Great stuff. Anna

Anonymous said...

On a positive note for the area the little deli is a really great thing for our area. The food is really good home made and unusual ,the Nepalese dumplings are really fantastic all hand made and the duck ones were just fantastic. As I work from home it makes a great and reasonable lunch. The hamdmade sandwiches are fabulous.
Alfredo Luis NW10

Anonymous said...

I thought it was of poor standard. My wife couldn't eat her pasta as it was cold and tasted like a student dish. I ate my pizza because I am greedy. I got takeaway when it first opened which was quite nice but thought at £10 it was a bit steep. Maybe I'm tight.

romy said...

Hi, Thanks to the Olive Branch we have a friendly place to seat outside this summer. My favourite is the starter called Bottega which is a selection of traditional italian salamis and cheeses.
Finally that hidden corner of kensal rise is a nice place to spend the evening with friends.

Anonymous said...

I have been at The Olive Branch and I was surprised by the quality of the food especially by the prices, apparently they are doing special lunch offers which is great value for money...i.e. Lasagna + Glass of wine £7.00 or a Panini + soft drink for £5.00.
Everyone can afford to eat out there.
Will be back

Anonymous said...

I agree with previous comment, I was there last week and is a good quality food for reasonable price with very friendly service.
We had a pizza ( it`s really italian style pizza) and seafood pasta(very tasty) and a bottle of Chianti very reasonable priced.
Wil go again for lunch break for special lunch offers they are doing (cheapper than cooking at home).
Great Olive Branch