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Grafted Olive bears fruit

Cosy corners and a fatter Mediterranean menu juice up an old Greek favourite

Published on November 11, 2007

If you drop by Olive Kebab & Cafe, you're in for a surprise. No longer is the little cafe so little. A tiny little counter offering all sorts of Greek fast food when it opened around five years ago, it's now grown into a "real" cafe, seating nearly 50. They even accept credit cards.

The counter is still there, but operations have expanded to a nearby restaurant, and executive director Elena Karoumpi and managing director Siriluck Lim have been busy redecorating and revamping. They've continued the colour theme of greens and browns (olive hues, of course), and added lots of comfortable seats and cosy corners.

On the back wall are two huge panels where happy guests have written their good wishes in a range of languages, from Thai to English to Greek and lots of tongues in between.

At the "new" Olive, you can take home tasty dips and dishes, or settle in one of the comfortable chairs with a magazine and a glass of sangria or ouzo. The girls have expanded the menu as well. There are dishes you may have seen at the Emporium and Siam Paragon outlets, but here, in All Seasons Place, the new Olive is their main branch, offering not only snacks but filling meals as well. 

Healthy soups and salads, kebabs and sandwiches, and all sorts of meats on skewers are on the menu as well as a bow to Greece's neighbour in the form of a section of Italian pasta dishes.

The restaurant's lovely sauces are perfect on bread, in pita pockets or even as dips for vegetable strips. The girls do something very special with the melitzanosalata, adding chunks of feta cheese to the aubergine dip. You can order Olive's kebab wraps in a white or wholewheat tortilla or pita bread. All the wrap sets are served with fries or a mixed salad, your choice of an Olive sauce and a soft drink. Prices range from Bt125 to Bt195. Elena has even created an "unwrapped" version, with the meat or vegetables and pita bread served separately.

Even if you're a non-vegetarian, check out Olive's section of vegetarian meze. The dolma (Bt150), for instance, vine leaves stuffed with rice, dill and pine nuts, is also served in a carnivore's version, with meat. 

Olive has lots of sweets - their "yoghurt delight with fruit" (Bt70) is very popular - but if you haven't tasted it already, go for the baklava (Bt150), a sweet consisting of 32 very delicate layers of filo pastry, walnuts and honey, a memorable combination.

Olive is just starting a delivery service, and their catering service is already well-known. Just give Elena and Siriluck a call. They love parties.

Laurie Rosenthal

The Nation

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