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Located in the secluded Labrador Park , off Pasir Panjang Road , The Olive Ristorante is one restaurant which might deter non-drivers from frequenting. A long road leads you deep in and ascending uphill, one certainly requires a car to navigate. Given the lush greenery and picturesque views of the sea, it is of little wonder that many wedding receptions or private parties are hosted at this oasis. On an ordinary day, its patrons are generally well-dressed expatriates, tourists and crisp-shirted working professionals.

  • The Vibe
    The main attraction about Olive Ristorante is its proximity to the rustic charm of nature. Whirring fans, bamboo chairs, twining vines and colourful jungle-patterned tables complete the rainforest setting. Tropical and breezy, being advantageously situated on top of a hill means diners enjoy a panoramic view of the sea and the nearby harbour. However, this outdoor, no-walls dining also means you are more likely to be greeted by insects.
  • The Food
    The name of the restaurant is testament to the fact that olive oil is one of the predominant ingredients in the restaurant's cuisine. Olive oil is very much favoured for its healthy and nutritious qualities.

    For a start, order the Labrador Seafood Platter ($17.00), a mixed offering of seafood served with the chef's special dressing. While the pan-fried scallops and prawns were fresh and flavourful, accentuated by the dressing, the same cannot be said of the smoked salmon which was salty. Even the cheery bright red caviar which delighted with its springy texture failed to cover these flaws.

    The Chef's Special ($20.00) in the pasta selection is a rice pasta with parma ham, chili, garlic in a olive oil base. Rice pasta is a thicker, longer version of macaroni and superior in texture. The use of chili does add some much needed local verve and it could not have come at a better time after the two average starters.

    The Pizza Fiore ($25.00) seemed to brim with promise at first glance. The novelty of this thin-crust pizza lies in the assortment of edible flowers from France being sprinkled on it that you might even detect a light scent of spring as the pizza is being served. The myriad of colours was simply enchanting. Prepared with melted mozzarella cheese and white goat cheese base, it did not taste as well as it looked. You may well spend many moments trying to convince your tastebuds otherwise, and still conclude that this pizza was fluff and bland.

    A main, the Pan-fried Tenderloin ($30.00) in pepper sauce served with a medley of greens was fairly good. The pepper sauce was thick and savoury, complementing the piece of meat perfectly. However there was a rather high proportion of fat in it which certainly affected the succulence and texture of the steak.

    The Duck Leg Confit ($30.00) was uncharacteristically fusion and the brilliant touch was the skin, done to a golden brown crisp. It felt sinewy yet not too tough, certainly marked itself as the highlight of the menu.

    End off the meal with the Tiramisu ($8.50), a good and safe choice. Do skip the mocktails, as they failed to sizzle. Not only did Labrador Breeze ($10.00) taste diluted, it was insufficiently iced.

  • The Service
    Rest assured that the service quality has improved tremendously since sometime ago. The service staff was attentive to the needs of the diners and this is evident as they would come by to check if you still need anything or simply just to refill your glasses of iced water. However, if they were to realise the magic of a smile, that would make the dining experience even more pleasant.

SD Food Advisor's Take on Olive Ristorante
The only thing Olive Ristorante has going for itself is its exclusive location and ambience where even in the afternoon, the foliage provided by the trees makes it cool and comfortable enough to enjoy a meal while enjoying the occasional breeze. Although it may be disappointing that the food failed to leave an impression, none of it was so bad that one needed  the promise of a money-back guarantee to make a return visit.



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