Olio Restaurant and Café prides itself on its paradoxes. The menu is one great example – offering an array of dishes like Thai Chicken Mango Salad alongside Moroccan Mixed Lamb Grill, Italian pizzas and pasta, and Japanese curry rice. The adventurous can also get a Beef Rendang Lasagne, a fusion of east and west.
I wondered though, how on earth was the chef going to get every dish perfect. But fortunately for him, my companions and I were there for Olio Café’s high tea.
Our favourite cake by far is the Olio Sizzling Brownie. For $6.50, enjoy a mish-mash of cold and warm delectable brownie drenched with hot fudge on a hotplate. A generous scoop of vanilla gelato and finely chopped nuts completes this definite must-try. A warning though: Finish it fast, before the chocolate sizzles away.
Another choice would be the Chocolate Mousse Cake ($6.30). Layered chocolate cake of fudge and deliciously sinful dark chocolate, topped with chocolate sauce and – you guessed it! – chocolate cream, it is a dream come true for chocolate lovers. Well, it was love at first sight for me.
To offset the chocolate, we also ordered an Apple Blueberry Pie. Though not on the menu, it looks so appetizing in the cake fridge that we just had to try it. However, the golden-crusted pie disappoints in the taste department – the fillings tasted like blueberry-flavoured apple sauce. My biggest grouse is that it lacks the homey feeling a truly good apple pie gives.
Coffee was no grand affair either. My companion complained that her Long Black lacks the aroma that a rich coffee would have and it was overly bitter. Being a fan of coffee and an ardent chocolate lover, I tried the Mocha. It was rather disappointing. Personally, I thought it tasted like chocolate drink Milo.
Olio Café is a comfortable place for soulful respite. Take a break from shopping (its Marina Square branch) or studying (NUS and Kaplan City Campus). The modern mirrors and glass panels are complemented with homey wooden counter and shelves. Clean minimalistic-looking booths paired with brown leather armchairs tucked against the wall.
One big plus point is the excellent customer service. The service staff is friendly and efficient – the staff serving me could actually make order-taking feel like a friendly conversation.
In all, Olio does deliver its promise of “Affordable Luxury”. Though its use of paradoxes in the menu still makes me worry about the quality, Olio has an appealing mish-mash of factors that can draw the crowd.
Olio Restaurant and Café
City Square Mall
180 Kitchener Road, #03-39/40
Telephone: (65) 6509 0656
Opening Hours: 10am to 10pm (Daily)
Kaplan City Campus
51 Cuppage Road
#02-01 StarHub Centre
Tel: (65) 6235 2155
Opening Hours: 8.30am to 9pm (Weekdays), 8.30am to 5pm (Weekends and PH)
The Deck, NUS
21 Lower Kent Ridge Road
Level 2, Law Link
Tel: (65) 67766383
Opening Hours: 8.30am to 9pm (Weekdays), 8.30am to 4pm (Saturday)