Olea Dining in Chow Kit
[Pork-free] Ναί (Greek for hello), are you ready for some Mediterranean food? Opened last Dec, Olea Dining is a new casual-dining Mediterranean restaurant located at The Row in Chow Kit.
We first stumbled upon Olea when we were in the area a few months ago and were immediately intrigued by the menu (and the friendly hostess).
We finally visited the restaurant earlier this month and enjoyed our dinner there.
Olea Dining offers delicious Mediterranean food
Olea’s menu takes inspiration from the Mediterranean region.
Just like its rustic menu, we found the space here to be warm and cozy – and perfect for dinner dates or casual gatherings with friends.
Goodness Greek-cious me!
We first acquainted ourselves with Mediterranean (and particularly Greek) cuisine when visiting friends in Melbourne many years ago.
We remembered enjoying all the dips so much (especially those sold at Queen Victoria Market) and always wondered why Greek food is not easily available here. (Yes, we know the answer – that’s because Melbourne has a high Greek population).
Hence, we were quite excited to try Olea when we learned that it offers hummus, tzatziki, and other Greek dishes here.
Hummus was just a-ok but…
We started the night with Flatbread with Hummus (RM24) – a staple in any proper Mediterranean tavern.
I mean you can’t open a Mamak stall and not serve roti canai, right?
However, we thought the hummus was just a-okay.
While the texture of the hummus was on-point with pronounced chickpea and tahini fragrance – we thought it was slightly under-seasoned. Nevertheless, the addition of toasted chickpeas on the top was a nice touch. The flatbread was also a decent accompaniment.
.. the Grilled Aubergine was lovely!
While the Hummus was just lukewarm, the Grilled Aubergine (RM38) was hot and off the charts!
The large-sized eggplant was cooked to result in a nice creamy texture, and we could really taste the smokiness in the dish.
The eggplant was topped with toasted pine nuts (texture!), pomegranate seeds (sweetness, texture!), tahini, feta crumbs, and balsamic glaze for a lick of intense tanginess.
The creamy, smoky, sweet and nutty flavours really came together in every bite. Ming thought this was a dish she could have over and over again.
Crispy Fried Feta
The Crispy Fried Feta (RM48) served with figs, za’atar white wine dressing, and fresh herbs was lovely too.
The feta cheese was battered in breadcrumbs and beautifully fried to yield crispy skin and nice bouncy cubes. These were nicely complemented by sweet figs and more-ish touches of the herbs and dressing.
For lack of a refined explanation, this reminded us of the Chinese-style deep fried tofu cubes, except with more subtle flavours since this contained cheese inside.
The best dish – Seafood Orzo
We both agreed the Seafood Orzo (RM68) was the best dish of the night.
Also known as risoni, orzo is a type of short-form pasta that is shaped like rice grains.
While the shape is very similar to rice, we found the texture intriguing yet delightful as it had a nice bounciness in between the softness of risotto and the firmness of calrose rice – pasta-rice!
The pasta is cooked in concentrated prawn bisque stock – which made it super flavourful as it absorbed all the briny flavours of the stock.
The orzo was served with creme fraiche to mellow the briny flavour, and topped with prawns (fresh but could be a bit more bouncy) and lots of calamari bits (cooked perfectly and not rubbery).
Grilled Striploin was a surprise
Grilled Striploin (RM72) is not a typical dish you order at a Greek joint, but with that price – Max just couldn’t resist.
And it was surprisingly good.
Cooked medium rare to order, the beef was well-seasoned and incredibly juicy. While we are no steak experts, we actually enjoyed this more than the steaks we had at a “proper steakhouse” recently.
The mint sauce was a good complement to the red meat, and the garlic was also beautifully seared to yield a melt-in-the-mouth texture.
Overall, we really enjoyed the food here. We highly recommend the Seafood Orzo and Grilled Aubergine here.
However, we have to point out that service was slightly mixed.
While two of the floor staff (including the hostess) were incredibly attentive and helpful during our dinner – we sensed a lack of enthusiasm and vitality from another two staff on duty that night.
Nevertheless, they did not deter us from having an enjoyable meal.
Address: Ground Floor of No, 32, Jalan Doraisamy, Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur
Hours: 12pm-2.30pm, 5.30pm-10.30pm (Weekdays, closed on Tuesdays)
Phone: 03-2202 7858
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