Launch of Olea at Electra House Degustation

Olea Restaurant - 131 King William Street, Adelaide SA 5000

On The Chopping Board (OTCB) was invited to the official opening night of Olea Restaurant at Electra House. All food and beverages were provided on behalf of Olea Restaurant.

When Electra House first opened at the start of March, we paid a visit to Olea Restaurant and had a less than enjoyable experience. When we were invited to attend the official opening of this restaurant we wanted to attend to give Olea a second chance.

olea, electra house, adelaide, king william, greek, dinner, olives, degustation
Kalamata Olives
We were treated to a 12 course degustation dinner with paired wines along the way.  This is such a great way to dine as you are able to try small serves of many dishes across the menu.  We begin with local Kalamata olives with oregano, citrus zest and garlic.  This was a great start! The olives were juicy and full of fresh citrus flavours.

olea, electra house, adelaide, king william, greek, dinner, degustation, dips, pita, koulouri
Greek Dips with Pita & Koulouri
Shortly after we are presented with a brown bag which the waitress rips open to reveal pita bread and Koulouri. The pita was lovely and soft and the Koulouri added a great crunchy element. The taramasalata dip had very strong citrus and salty elements, while the eggplant dip had more of a charcoal flavour.

Kingfish crudo, dill, pomegranate, radish and beets
The Kingfish crudo with dill, pomegranate, radish and beets was the prettiest dish of the night. So elegantly presented, it was almost too pretty to eat. The kingfish melted in your mouth and for me (Mirko) it is one of my favourite seafoods to eat in this style. The thinly sliced vegetables added very delicate flavours and textures to the overall dish and the fresh dill finished the dish perfectly.  A standout dish of the night for Amanda.

olea, electra house, adelaide, king william, greek, dinner, degustation, gemista, stuffed tomato
The Gemista (rice stuffed tomato) with kefalotyri cheese foam, mint and dill was a favourite of mine (Mirko). I like what Olea has done with this dish adding a modern twist to the traditional Gemista by adding the cheese foam. The tomato skin was removed (it is typically kept on), the rice stuffing was cooked well and packed with flavour and the cheese foam integrated a nice flavour without making the dish heavy on the palate. 

olea, electra house, adelaide, king william, greek, dinner, degustation, prawns
Spencer Gulf Prawns

These giant prawns were well seasoned with the capers, lemon and oregano dressing adding a depth of flavour to the dish with elements of saltiness and tang.  The prawns were placed on a bed of garlic bread croutons that added even more flavour and a little crunch to this dish.
Watermelon, haloumi, mint and baby cucumber salad
Whenever we go to a Greek restaurant, we always order the Haloumi because - lets face it, fried cheese is awesome! Unfortunately, on this occasion, the Haloumi is dry and tough and very unappealing to eat. The rest of the salad however was nice with the sweetness of the watermelon really shining through. If only the hero of the dish wasn't a let down.

olea, electra house, adelaide, king william, greek, dinner, degustation, octopus
Octopus, with preserved lemon and herb salad
Hoping that Olea would redeem themselves, next is the octopus with white almond, dried olives, preserved lemon and herb salad. Again, unfortunately the octopus was really chewy and the table is really disappointed as octopus is something that we expect to be done well in a Greek restaurant.

olea, electra house, adelaide, king william, greek, dinner, degustation, lamb, potatoes, cabbage
Lamb (back), Potatoes (right front), Cabbage (left front)
Last of the mains was the slow braised lamb shoulder. This was delicious. The lamb fell straight off the bone, was tender and succulent and had some really nice flavours which did not overwhelm the earthy taste of the lamb. Definitely a winner on the night. The roasted potatoes with rosemary and feta were a nice accompaniment to the dish however we would have liked the potatoes to be a little more roasted and crispy. The final accompaniment to this dish was the grilled cabbage, kalamata yoghurt and leek ash. I (Mirko) am not a huge fan of cabbage done this way - so I wasn't a big fan, however this was a personal preference. Others around the table, including Amanda enjoyed the grilled flavours of the cabbage.

olea, electra house, adelaide, king william, greek, dinner, degustation, ouzo, sorbet, dessert, sweets
Ouzo Sorbet
The start of our dessert portion of the menu began with some palate cleansers in the form of Plomari Ouzo sorbet, mint foam and sweet black olive. Ouzo can be an acquired taste with a very strong aniseed flavour. So word of warning, if you are not a fan of aniseed then stay away from this dish. The sorbet was light and fluffy and whilst I am not a fan of aniseed, the refreshing mint and salty olive make for a very interesting taste profile.  A great palate cleanser!

olea, electra house, adelaide, king william, greek, dinner, degustation, pastries, dessert, sweets
Greek Pastries "our way"

The final items on the menu were a selection of Greek pastries "our way". The Greek version of the French Madeleine, was fluffy and moist with a nice orange flavour.  The lemon curd cigars were lovely and tart with a great crunchy filo casing.  The Pastille's dipped in chocolate were nutty and sweet and chewy.  The favourite of Amanda's was the fondant with vanilla and elderflower which we devoured before taking a photo.  So sweet and sticky, definitely a sweet tooth's dream!

Compared to our first visit to Olea, we were happy to see that there was an improvement in our overall dining experience, however there were a couple of fundamental dishes that we would expect a Greek restaurant to execute well that unfortunately in our opinion weren't on this occasion.  There were definitely some standout dishes from the night in the lamb shoulder, Gemista and kingfish crudo that we would return to enjoy in such a lovely venue with friendly and attentive service.

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