I made a reservation for my family to dine at the restaurant at 7.30pm tonight (Friday night). I had purchased some online discount vouchers and had followed the instructions on the vouchers to make the required reservation.
The restaurant was crowded both inside and out when we arrived. We approached a lady server at the restaurant entrance to tell her we had a reservation. She gave a hassled nod and went into the restaurant...she never came back. After waiting in confusion for a while, we decided to enter the restaurant to find another server. We approached a young male server this time, and informed him we had a 7.30 reservation. He checked the reservation book, then looked up and announced that all the preceding reservations had arrived late, so none of the tables are available yet?! We therefore asked the logical question of how long did we have to wait for our table then. He didn't even bother to answer that inquiry before turning away from us to carry on with whatever other task he had!
We stood around with the rest of the perplexed waiting crowd, watching the weekend dinner chaos which the restaurant was definitely not equipped to handle. From conversations around us we gather we weren't the only customers who had made reservations for dinner but arrived to find that our reservation was not fulfilled. What is the use of requiring reservations to be made then??
It wasn't only the service that was abysmal. Parking around the area was also terrible. There were 5 of us in the dinner party, and we arrived in 3 separate cars. 2 of the cars were unable to get any parking despite circling around for 20min. Since we were completely ignored and the rest of our party could not find parking, we decided to cut our losses at 7.50pm and left for an alternative dinner spot.
This is a really unpleasant 1st impression of the restaurant, if not for the vouchers i'll never return again. Would not have purchased those vouchers if not for the stellar reviews preceding mine on HGW. As the situation stands I'm going to try to get a refund on those vouchers because I really have no interest in trying out the food here. No matter how good the food may be, such poor service will still result in a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.
I have eaten here a couple of times and both times the food has been excellent.
A bit noisy on the pavement for dining, but inside was no problem at all.
I originally found it whilst diving for cover in a rainstorm, a nice little find!
For pictures and full review, pls visit:
If you are looking for affordable and delicious western food, Café Oliv at 220 East Coast Road fits the bill! The prices are very reasonable; taste and quality of food is delightful. The only problem is finding a car park. Dear and I went on a Sunday for lunch and spent 20 min looking for somewhere to park the car; we landed up parking about 7 min walk away from the café.
Décor and service was average but the main thing we came here for was to try the food, which had great reviews on a couple of food blogs I visited.
Salted egg calamari. I like anything that has salted egg in it, wish the calamari could have a more “qq” texture though….
Garlic Pesto aglio olio spaghetti with scallops. The pasta was well flavored, scallops were huge and fresh.
Dory fish with salted egg chilli aglio olio spaghetti. This was the first time I came across pasta with salted egg, ordered it because it sounds interesting. It was very yummy too!
Verdict: Great food with inexpensive price tags but we are not keen on returning because of the headache we experienced trying to get a carpark.
I have been looking, quite awhile, for lamb shank and my friend said why not try this, found through that foodie doctor "I eat, I shoot, I post" (I think that's what his blog says).
Well, deco is nice; a lot of greens, whites and reds (the chairs at least), very Italian-ish colours!
serving staff is just one, nice young Myanmar lady :)
This place is good if it's not crowded. As with most eating places, acoustics leave much to be desired! tsk! It was peaceful when we got there, about .. uh.. 8+ish pm. Then a group came in and was a bloody ruckus.
Hard furniture = no noise absorption = a lot of echoes.
ANYWAY, on to the food.
I ordered the lamb shank, my friend had the NZ ribeye.
and to share, the appetizer dish of scallops.
oh, the menu is quite a visual...artistic mess. not those clean, neat, structured look. Took me a little while to get used to looking through it. heh.
Appetizer came first, nicely done, baked cheesy scallops! mmmmm..
them came our entrees, and WOW indeed the lambshank, TWO nice meaty lambies!
and 300gm ribeye, tasty!
BOTH looked quite wow when they arrived - servings proportion wise :) a thumbs up from a big eater.
I had wished the lamb shank tasted more lamby, but that's not the chef's fault, that depends on the lamb. lol
and this lamb shank was done nicely, tender, no need to fight with the meat, and with marrow to boot! :D ("tulang!") gave that to my friend :P
no complaints about food for this place I'd say!
dessert for me was the brownie with ice cream.
microwaved (oh no!) to warm the brownie and it's bowl :P
my friend had an Americano which came with milk and sugar (a certain type which made him compliment "good job!", I can't remember what kind of sugar it was...Muscovado?)
sadly, only accepts cash or nets. but otherwise, nice place, good decent food. :)
if not for a noisy crowd, this place could be otherwise nice and peaceful :)
I have written good reviews about this place initially but these are just matters of the past.
my recent patronage to cafe oliv has been horrid.
particularly one where i purchased a deal voucher online which promises "wagyu ribeye" for $29 and the original price is $69.90. I redeemed it on my visit on 7th April but bought it 2 - 3 months ago. I redeemed it on the last day of expiry.
when the steak was served, I got the shock of my life. this. is. not. ribeye.
ribeye steak has a distinct shape and distinct distribution of fats. the piece I was served only had fats at 1 side, which looks a lot like rump/sirloin.
there were 2 staff. I'm a regular at cafe oliv and one of the staff i recognise has been there since i first visited 2 years ago and has always been there on my perhaps, 10 visits. she is never in uniform so I suppose she is of some status there.
i questioned the staff but she just went on to say "no not ribeye it's wagyu!"
we steak lovers all know that wagyu is the type of cattle. ribeye/sirloin/rump refers to where the meat is from, within the same cattle. I was baffled with her reasoning and I didn't know how to respond to that because she keeps insisting it is "wagyu steak" when my concern is that I was not served the ribeye cut of the wagyu.
I am very certain that I was not given a ribeye steak and as so disappointed. As a steak lover I am very particular about my steak and do not eat inferior cuts. I did not take pictures because I only take pictures of good food.
I felt so cheated mostly because I was disappointed we could not get a juicy fatty rib eye steak and was served something like a sirloin/rump instead. A secondary concern was that if it isn't ribeye, it is overpriced. In fact, even if it was cheap I would never have purchased it if it is not rib eye because the only cut of steak i like no matter from what cow, is ribeye. it is very deceiving.
I attempted to contact the deal company to complain about this matter but the customer service officer isn't helping on my side. He inisist that since I did not take picture there's nothing he can do for me, and he said that the merchant claims to serve wagyu ribeye. I initially thought it was misintepretation on their advertisement but now it seems that it's possible that Cafe Oliv has changed their source of beef.
A few reviews down, fourleggedfoodies apparently had the wagyu deal for $29 as well and judging from thier pictures which was taken 2 months before my visit, their wagyu ribeye looks totally different from the one served to me recently.
therefore I suspect that they have since changed their suply of wagyu steak to something that is non ribeye and is inferior to what was offered previously.
To support my belief, I saw on another deal website that sold the voucher recently, rthat the original price for "wagyu steak" is now $40.50, not $69.90. In thier cafe now, the wagyu steak in a set now cost $49.90. Thus it is likely that they use some lousier beef now, and I happened to be served that lousier beef even though my entitlement was for a good wagyu ribeye like what fourleggedfoodies had.
moral of the story: always claim your deal voucher the moment you buy it. they could change their supply of meat anytime.
I would also like to add that I used to love thier angus ribeye steak but I had it 3 weeks ago and the standard has fallen tremendously. The size of the meat was also not as it was previously. As I said, I've been there probably 10 times and ordered angus ribeye steak on every occassion (either my dining partner or me) and so I am very familiar with what to expect. thier Angus ribeye now is not the same as before.
I would not recommend this place anymore.