It’s invariably populated by beautiful people, lounging in its signature blue and white interiors. And on Thursday night, you won’t find a better party in town. Completing 10 years of being in the food business, Olive Bar and Kitchen, Bandra, hasn’t diminished in popularity.
“In the old days, most restaurants would dread the three-year mark because they never made it past it. But that’s because there weren’t too many good products on offer at that point,” proprietor AD Singh explains. “But most that have been around since the time we opened have managed to sustain because they now offer great products and service.”
Singh attributes his restaurant’s success to the fact that they pioneered the concept of mixing food and events. “About seven years ago, we launched an art camp in association with Art Impresario and had 12 events in the year aimed at making art accessible. We did similar events with wine, books and even designers, when we launched the Olive Souk, which was one of the most popular events in Mumbai, Delhi and even Bengaluru,” Singh recalls. “It was a new experience and allowed people who wouldn’t necessarily walk into an art gallery or a designer boutique to experience these events while having fun.”
He doesn’t deny that the presence of celebrities has helped put a shine on the restaurant’s image: “Yes, we have been frequented by celebrities. Perhaps they’re comfortable because Olive attracts the kind of clientele that respect the celebrities’ space and privacy.”
Question him about that infamous incident where Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan ended their friendship over a fight at Katrina Kaif’s birthday party, and he responds, “I wasn’t there that night. But I guess the publicity did help. Apart from that, we’ve never had a fight at Olive.”
But the most perplexing success of the iconic restaurant are its legendary Thursday night parties, which are packed like meat grinders with people from all walks of life, celebrities and industrialists to bankers and media persons.
“About nine years ago, a friend of mine brought a hunky American DJ to play at Olive,” reveals Singh. “We made a couple of calls to our model friends and invited them to come along. The girls came to check out the DJ and the boys came to check out the girls,” he grins. “We’ve done many things over the years, but yes, it still remains our most popular event.”
The Espetada is a typical Portuguese dish made of large chunks of beef rubbed in garlic and salt, skewered onto a bay leaf stick with vegetables such as onions and bellpeppers and left to grill over smouldering wood chips, basted with a mixture of all spice and select herbs. What follows is the Olive variation using chicken and spices.
For 10 portions
1.5 kg chicken leg boneless n 100 gms hung curd
25 gms chopped basil leaves
40 gms pistachio nut paste
20 gms grated Parmesan cheese
50 gms sundried tomato paste
100 gms tomato concasse
100 ml cooking oil
5 gms all-spice powder
10 gms red chilli powder
15 gms chopped garlic
20 gms clarified butter
Cut the chicken leg into 8 pieces, boneless. Pat dry to release excess moisture
Prepare a mixture of the hung curd, and all other ingredients till evenly blended.
Marinate chicken pieces with the mixture and refrigerate for at least two to three hours.
Skewer six pieces of chicken onto a metal skewer if cooking in the tandoor. Roast till done.
Baste with clarified butter.
Serve hot with vinaigrette tossed greens and aioli.