Located on level one of the historic Electra House, Olea provides a modern take on traditional Greek cuisine. With ingredients imported from Greece and South Australia’s best produce, diners get to experience flavours that are Mediterranean based. Like most eateries around these days, sharing in the form of tapas is encouraged. The menu is simple and straight forward, much of which is cooked in an open wood grill in order to bring out the natural flavours of the ingredients.
I had the pleasure of dining with a fellow food blogger, Louise, from Willunga Wino. It was interesting for me to get an insight to what she thought of the dishes we were about to order.
I must admit, when I first walked up to the restaurant section, I thought the decor was very casual. There is good use of earthy colour tones and you’d be amazed by the amount of natural light that flows through. The highlight for me are the low hanging light fittings that are in the centre of the dining area.
First up, we had the Haloumi Saganaki Style with oregano and citrus honey. Presentation wise, it looked like a bit of burnt cheese on a hot plate but there’s nothing you can do about that. While we could detect the savoury taste of oregano and the subtle sweetness of honey, we both thought the haloumi could have been a bit crispier.
The Gemista is a rice stuffed tomato with a cheese foam, mint and dill. This was a fantastic dish. The tomato was soft and delicate, and inside were nice individual grains of well flavoured rice. The cheese foam was light and airy and the unique dill taste made the dish very refreshing.
The Ancient Grain Salad with labneh was also very good. All the different flavours and textures on one plate was quite an experience. I thought the smokey crunchy grains really worked well with the smooth rich texture of the labneh.
The Barossa Berkshire Pork Neck with pickled pearl onion was disappointing. The meat was over cooked and a bit chewy. The pork did have good char grilled flavours and the onion had a nice subtle sweetness, but the dish fell below expectation.
Being the first customers, the staff were friendly and attentive. The atmosphere was relaxed and it was easy to spend a few hours enjoying the meal. Price wise, we both thought it was a bit expensive for what you got. $15 for the Haloumi and Gemista, $12 for the salad and the $32 for the Pork Neck. Coupled with the fact that two of the dishes weren’t well executed, it wasn’t quite the experience that we hoped for.
WHERE: 131 King William St, Adelaide