Food review

Week 22: L’Olivo


L’Olivo is a gorgeous little Mediterranean restaurant nestled away on Waverly Road in East Malvern. Serving up tapas, pizzas and pastas, locals have been flocking to this up-market suburban joint since it’s opening only a few years ago. Be warned, often advance bookings are required to secure a seat in this humble neighbourhood gem.

Their menu is extensive, but no need for me to study it too long as it’s a fait accompli in my case.

L’Olivo’s rendition of Spaghetti Bolognese was nice. The sauce was light it colour, which alarmed me, but the flavour was balanced. The presentation was pleasant with both fresh parmesan and parsley to garnish. The texture of the sauce was very enjoyable – the size of the meat clumps were big enough to bite into, but not at all too large. The sauce was thick, which I enjoyed.

While this spag bol was ticking all the boxes, it lacked richness – I couldn’t detect any deep flavours and it was just a bit bland. Oddly, a mushroom was mixed in with the sauce. Mushrooms in sauce are not an unknown thing (though not my preference), but there was only one mushroom found which lead me to believe that it was in the sauce out of error. It was a peculiar situation.

Mushroom saga aside, the bolognese was on the money with tomato-to-meat flavour balance, sauce consistency, and al dente spaghetti – three of my most heavily weighted components which make up a good version.

Price: $15
Score: 13.5/20

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