Olea - Greek for where's the meat?

Olea, Electra House - 131 - 139 King William Street, Adelaide SA 5000

A few weeks ago, the OTCB team was invited to the opening of Electra House. As part of this opening we were able to preview the new restaurant Olea (located on the second floor) before it was open to the public.

Adelaide, CBD, Dinner, electra house, Food, Greek, haloumi, King William Street, lunch, Meat, olea,

The decor is modern but with a bright homely feel. The restaurant windows look out to the lovely green tree tops lining King William Street and the interior has none of the typcial Greek decor that we were expecting. Amanda felt like she was teleported to a gorgeous country house in the middle of France! The couple of miniature potted olive trees scattered around the space did remind us that we were in fact in a Greek restaurant. 

After having a sneak peak of the restaurant design as well as the menu, we (Nathan, Amanda and Mirko) were excited to make a booking to Olea's debut opening that Friday.

Adelaide, CBD, Dinner, electra house, Food, Greek, haloumi, King William Street, lunch, Meat, olea,
The interior
We arrived for a lunch sitting and presented with our menus. Not knowing how many dishes were required to satisfy our hunger, we asked our waitress for some options and were told that a few starters and the meat platter would be enough for a nice lunch.  Our waitress was friendly and knowledgeable on the menu items - a definite plus!

Given it was a lunch we opted for 2 meze's and a larger dish to share between the three of us.

olea, electra house, adelaide, food, king william street, greek, dips, eggplant, pita, bread
Eggplant Melitzanosalata Dip with Pita and Koulouri $9.00
Both our entrees arrive at the same time. First was the eggplant dip with pita and kourlouri. The eggplant dip was full of charcoal flavours but we were all left without any strong eggplant flavours. The pita bread was a standard accompaniment to the dip however we were left with an abundance of dip and no pita bread to eat it with, so be ready to order another serve. The pita bread was thicker than the usual with more of a Turkish bread resemblance. The koulouri looks like a mini bagel and unfortunately on this occasion it was very dry.

olea, electra house, adelaide, food, king william street, greek, haloumi, saganaki
Haloumi Saganaki Style, Oregano, Citrus Honey $15.00
A staple of ours when we visit any Greek restaurant is the Haloumi, and this visit wasn't any different. The Haloumi was cooked well with a nice combination of sweet (from the honey) and saltiness from the cheese. The lemon juice also added a nice acidity to cut through the other flavours. We all enjoyed this dish, it was definitely a winner.


olea, electra house, adelaide, food, king william street, greek, meat, potatoes, ancient grains, tasting plate
Meat Selection Tasting Plate (front) Ancient Grains (back) Roasted Potatoes (far back) $90.00
olea, electra house, adelaide, food, king william street, greek, salad
Village Salad

Our main meal was the Meat Selection Tasting plate (a main course dish designed for sharing between 2). The meat selection tasting plate came with Cypriot style sausages, lamb cutlets, pork neck and chicken and was served with roast potatoes, ancient grains and a village salad.

When reading this on the menu (and also looking at the price) we were expecting a large amount of meat to come out but were presented with the opposite and were left wondering where the rest of it was.

So, the positives - the sausages were flavourful and all sides (potatoes, ancient grain salad and village salad) were enjoyable. The village salad had a creamy feta with fresh heirloom cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives which was nicely dressed. The ancient grain salad was light and textural with great creaminess from the labneh. This is where the positives end...

The fat on the lamb cutlets was not rendered properly, the pork neck was chewy and the chicken was dry. Overall, we were not at all happy with the meat on the tasting plate. If the meat was cooked exquisitely, we could potentially have excused the cost but both quantity and quality were lacking in this dish.

Based on this visit, we were not overly impressed with some of the dishes that were presented to us. Part of us think that this could have been opening day jitters, however when you open to the public you want to make sure that you are on point from the get go. I know many other Greek restaurants at a lower price point with better quality and quantity of meats that I would visit repeatedly, whereas Olea didn't give us that craving to return.

We did however thoroughly enjoy ourselves at the Electra House Launch Party and love the decor and fit out of the ground floor bar and outside bar and garden. The canapes we were provided on the night including oysters, Serrano ham and Manchego Cheese croquettes with salsa brava and peri-peri style chicken were all tasty and enjoyable. We would definitely return for a night out with friends for a few drinks & nibble at the bar.

Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly: only a couple of meze's and side options
Child Friendly: Definitely one for the adults only.

Ambiance: 4/5 - Lovely new modern decor with a welcoming vibe
Service: 4/5 - Our waitress was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable
Food: 5/10 - The quality and quantity of the meat platter was disappointing on this visit

In total OTCB gives Olea 13/20 chops on The Chopping Board

Olea on Urbanspoon

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