10 May The Olive Grove review
The art of Greek cuisine – The other day when I caught up with Val from the bubble tea shop Ooshi, I spotted a quirky nice place across the road. I wondered if I had been ‘asleep’ on my bike as I am often at this end of town and hadn’t spotted it yet. It was time to put on my’Sherlock Holmes’ hat. A quick google told me, that The Olive Grove just had opened up and with rave reviews on Tripadvisor. With so many exciting foodie things happening in Cambridge at the moment, it is becoming quite difficult to keep up, but I was determined to try out this lovely Greek place. A good excuse was quickly found.
Yesterday I met up with a Dutch friend and as soon as we stepped through the door, we were both taken by the place. It is as if you step into a Greek taverna with its bright colours. Whilst we were trying to make a choice of the tempting menu, George Kontakos, the owner came over to have a chat and to advise is on some specials. Unfortunately, they cannot get the right size of Octopus so the pickled Octopus will have to be taken off the menu. To be honest there are so many delicious authentic dishes on the menu, that I’m sure you will not miss it. Instead, they are introducing Cretay Myzithra served on Payimadi, which is Greek brown bread soaked in olive oil and then fried. Cretay Myzithra is a tomato salad topped with feta cheese and capers. That sounded just my type of dish for that lunchtime! My friend chose Moussaka, which is actually quite difficult to make as often the topping is runny and thin. George told us, that when it arrives at the table, you have to wait for 10 minutes before you can eat it. The Moussaka needs to rest as it is too hot to eat and the sauce has to settle.
At the Olive Grove, they only use the best ingredients, hence they have to take the Octopus off the menu until they can get the right size and quality. Of course, they could have opted for a smaller alternative, but they only want to serve the best. The feta is a very special one, Melina. The importer lives just outside Cambridge, but strangely enough, you only can get it at the Olive Grove and the Great Shelford Deli. The reason probably is, that it is quite expensive.
Food has to swim and George gave some excellent wine suggestions. I have to admit, that I am often sceptical about Greek wine, but my Malagouzia was perfect with the food
So who is George Kontakos? George already owns a restaurant in Greece on the tiny island of Elafonisos, To Kouzini and his parents run a stunning place there too, Capari Suites. With so much experience in their homeland Greece and George has spent the last 10 years in Cambridge, he was keen to share his love of authentic food with Cambridge. At the Olive Grove, you can expect traditional Greek food with a twist created by their Chef Mr Joseph Zanaty.
We only had a snapshot of their food, but we will definitely be back soon. As you can see from the images, they know how to transform Greek food you already know and like to food that will dazzle and amaze you and which you will instantly fall in love with!
Almost forgot… They are open from 11-11, seven days per week, but they will soon be open from 8 am. If you work in the area of Regent Street, you might find it hard not to pop in for breakfast as they look delicious!