Last week, I went to try out one of Brighton’s newest restaurants; Olive Grove. Nestled in the heart of the South Laines, Olive Grove is a fusion of Mediterranean cuisine that instantly whisked me away to warmer climes. With influences from as far west as Portugal, moving through Spain, the South of France, reaching the Eastern coast of Greece; Olive Grove is a real mix of cultures and flavours and is not to be missed.
The restaurant itself is tucked out of view with it’s own hidden courtyard, surrounded by gnarly olive trees and fairy lights. The evening we visited was dark and cold but in the summer this will be a beautiful venue for drinks and great food in the sunshine. As soon as we arrived, the Mediterranean vibes immediately made me feel like I was on holiday – it took me back to our trip to Turkey, sitting watching the sunset eating fresh salads, mezze and pittas.
As I had kindly been invited to review Olive Grove, we were in for a surprise with the menu. We were asked what we didn’t eat and told we had a feast prepared for us. We then sat back and waited for our treats to arrive. I couldn’t wait to see what was in store! Drinks wise, the Olive Grove had an amazingly diverse wine list and a very impressive selection of beers, which included fruit beers (which I LOVE). Sadly I was driving, so as a compromise I went for the 0.00% beer to trick myself into thinking it was the real thing.
Our first course arrived – pitta breads served with homemade mezze, the perfect introduction to Olive Grove. Each dish tasted so fresh and full of flavour, our favourite being the Aubergine Caviar Bubbaganoush, made with roasted aubergine it had a delicious smoky flavour, we polished off the whole bowl and then devoured the rest of the dishes. As we sipped our beers and caught up after a long day at work we managed to work our way through all three mezze plates and the huge basket of pitta bread, oops. If only we had known at this point what a feast we had ahead! They were so delicious and more-ish we couldn’t stop.
Our next course was another selection of mezze style dishes. Firstly, the Arancino (deep fried rice balls) filled with rich, gooey mozzarella cheese filling were just divine. The Spinach and feta pie was just like we had in Turkey, the dill came through and took me instantly back, in Turkey we would eat this every morning for breakfast and it was just the same. The filo pastry was also so delicately made, they were just perfect. Lastly, the stuffed mushrooms – I’m not usually a mushroom kind of girl, but these have nearly changed my opinion on fungus-based foods – I have to say they were pretty tasty. I think with the right filling (like these) I could be persuaded to like mushrooms, one day.
Just when we were starting to feel quite full, our next course arrived. This was a special dish the Olive Grove have created for Valentines Day – Champagne and Truffle Risotto. This dish just blew me away – the flavours were so unique. Each mouthful you could taste a different element of the ingredients; the champagne, the truffles. It also had a cheesy flavour and a strong garlic aroma, but we were told there wasn’t a speck of garlic in the recipe. It is quite a mystery on how they’ve concocted this magical risotto. All I can say is has got to be seen (tasted) to be believed. Delicious!
Our last savoury course arrived and to our surprise we had another table full of food! The team at the Olive Grove certainly know how to spoil us! This time we had separate dishes, Vee had a piece of pork, I had three humungous king prawns – both served with a mountain of cous cous, a large greek salad to share and a big bowl of fries. Starting to worry about how I was going to fit it all in, after a few mouthfuls that didn’t seem to matter and we ploughed our way through the food. It had to be done!
Lastly, our desserts! My favourite part of a meal, as always. With a tasting selection of three of their most popular desserts this was just the right amount to finish off such a large meal. We tried their famous ‘Chocolate Salami’ and my favourite – traditional Baklava. I also loved the Greek Yogurt as it was sweet and thick in texture, unlike the yogurt we buy over here.
All in all, we had an absolutely fantastic time at the Olive Grove. I loved the ambience, the staff are so friendly and the food is such great quality. It really does feel like a tiny piece of the Mediterranean, right in the heart of Brighton. I can’t wait for summer, the outside courtyard is going to be just a gorgeous spot for an afternoon drink or two. We literally rolled home after our five course feast, I loved every course in it’s own way. Each was totally different to the next.
Olive Grove is located 20m after Riddle and Finn’s on Meeting House Lane, it’s tucked out of view so make sure you don’t miss it! You can book online or call +44(0)1273 722325 to reserve your table.
A big THANK YOU to the team at Olive Grove for having us – we will be back for more very soon!
I was kindly invited to Olive Grove for the purpose of this review, all words and opinions are my own