Oliva Bar & Kitchen

 
 
178 Oxford Road (corner Corlett Drive)
Illovo

Sandton, Johannesburg
Gauteng
 
011 025 5225
 
Restaurant image
 
 

Need to know



Details changed? Let us know
Spanish
     
    0 reviews
Add your rating
Oliva Bar & Kitchen 3out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 0 user reviews.
 
Price Range: Mid
Seating: 30+
 
  • Licensed
  • Accept Credit Cards
  • Take-Aways
     
     
     

    Map

     
     
     
     

    Oliva Bar & Kitchen

     
     
     
    These reviews reflect the opinions of only those Internet users who have chosen to participate. The comments cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of 24.com, Media24, Internet users in general or the public as a whole. Food24 actively encourages restaurant owners to exercise their right to reply.
     
     

     

    Food24 eats at... Oliva Bar & Kitchen

    by: Like Father Like Son
     
     

     


    Four and a half years ago, two young lovers sat at the far corner of a mosaic bar over arguably the best mojitos in Johannesburg. They had only known each other for a couple of weeks, but the rum was talking. The couple made a pact. No matter how things turned out between them, they would travel together to the home of the mojito – Brazil. (Yes, I know, just read on.)

    That November they sat at OR Tambo, their first mojito in hand – with a plan to photo-document a daily mojito regime. Two months of mojitos! Tudo bem!

    Twelve hours later, they arrived in Sao Paulo to learn that mojitos have nothing to do with Brazil and everything to do with Cuba. The caipirinha though, was a capable replacement and the photo-documentary fell by the wayside (even though an average of more than one cachaça-drenched lime juice was consumed per day over the two month adventure.)

    The new Fino?

    What a lovely story but what does it have to do with a tapas bar in Illovo? Well as it turns out, the Boss and I are those young lovers (bet you didn’t see that twist coming did you?) and that night of mojito madness was enjoyed at Fino, a favourite tapas spot in Parktown North.

    Fino was the scene of many a debauched evening at the hands of the best cocktails in the city. The martinis were unbeatable and were shaken with fresh watermelon, litchi, chocolate and apple. The caipirinha was made with real cachaça (not Bacardi) and the minty-fresh mojitos inspired overseas adventures.

    And the food wasn’t half bad either, favourites being the prawn and chorizo risotto (a main course) and the fish cakes, chorizo and calamari tapas.

    Now, Oliva Bar & Kitchen in Illovo, is for all intents and purposes Fino. Run by Zane Beer – the self-same owner with an almost identical menu, Oliva is Fino reincarnated.

    The two most obvious omissions from this version were the open deck that used to make summer days at Fino such an absolute pleasure and (due to the current liquor license backlog) cocktails, which used to do the same thing.

    The food

    But I didn’t want to let my affection and romantic associations with Fino cloud my impressions of Oliva and so went in (as always) with an open mind and a critical eye. We had a table of four and went straight for the tapas – fishcakes and calamari for old time’s sake, lamb skewers, zucchini sticks covered in Parmesan accompanied by a garlic dip, a mixed plate of bruschetta topped with salsa, cheese and mushrooms, patatas bravas and prosciutto wrapped around a breadstick.

    On the whole, I felt that the food was OK. It tasted like you’d expect. The ham-wrapped bread sticks were a bit dry and boring, the skewers: lemony but hardly memorable, the bruschetta was no more interesting than my Sunday night ‘clean out the fridge’ supper and the calamari was well cooked and tasty, but a touch meagre in portion.

    I believe that tapas should be generous and bountiful – more than enough to go around. It makes sharing easy and fun and no one has to fight over the last piece of ‘on the house’ bread.

    Grumbles aside, the fishcakes were awesome – crisp on the outside and soft and fleshy on the inside, accompanied by a delicious dipping sauce.  The zucchini sticks were crisp and lekker, piled high with Parmesan (they would make a great upmarket bar snack) and the patatas bravas were worth going back for again and again. Potato wedges drenched in tomato-mayo, packed with flavour and all those things that are so good for your mouth and so bad for your boep.

    We didn’t stay for dessert, but shot around the corner instead for weissbier and hot chocolate with complimentary chocolate moustaches at trendy but cosy cake and coffee bar Wolves.

    That little bowl of spuds nearly made it all worth it, but there was definitely something missing. Ah yes, the cocktails. Now I don’t believe by any means that one needs to dop to have fun and I’m in no way advocating drinking to enjoy your dinner, but the missing ingredient that night was definitely my watermelon martini.

    The verdict

    I think that Oliva may be my adult-life Tarquino Bake. Remember the twenty-four hour pizza joint in Parkhurst? It had THE best pizzas in Jo’burg bar none, until I had my usual Mexicana with avo for lunch (as opposed to three o’clock in the morning) and was served a super mediocre Sloppy Joe on focaccia.

    Sometimes your company, both human and beverage, shapes your impressions of an establishment but when the haze of good times lifts, you see through the smiles and easy conversation.

    SON
     
    Oliva Bar & Kitchen was reviewed by Like Father Like Son.

     

    Loading menu...

    NEXT ON FOOD24X
     

    Find a restaurant

     
     
     

    Inside Food24

     
     
     
     
     
     

    Restaurants

     
    Plant in Cape Town (Flagship store)

    Cape Town's premium vegan destination has a spacious new urban-chic location and is now open for dinner.

    • Cafe Mozart
      This restaurant needs to put up a sign that reads " only whites allowed" because they...
    • Bistro13 in Stellenbosch
      Good food with very good service. Will be back soon.
    • Blue Rock Cafe
      This restaurant is not worth visiting. Waitrons give poor service, which is not to th...
     

    Find/review a restaurant

     
     

    Instagram: @Food24_sa

     
     
    /Wine
     

    Jobs - Find your dream job

    Property - Find a new home

    Travel - Look, Book, Go!

    Kalahari.com - shop online today

    Seen something you like in our catalogue?

    Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

    Dolce Gusto coffee makers

    Add an edge to your kitchen collection with Dolce Gusto’s awesome range of coffee makers. Shop now!

    Top 20 health books for 2014

    Start eating and living a healthy lifestyle using guidelines and tips from these top health cookbooks. Shop now!

    Jamie Oliver homeware

    Knife sets, blenders, steamers, frying pans and so much more. Shop now!

    Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

    Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!
     
     
    There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.