Thursday, 25 October 2007


63-69 Kau Yuk Rd, Yuen Long
Visited 24th October

Oliva is a new Italian restaurant, recently opened in Yuen Long. We went for dinner Wednesday night and had to do some fast talking to get a table amongst the curious throng. It's a large, spacious place; the walls are chocked full of old black and white film photos in an effort to give it a bit of an Italian pizzeria feel.

Oliva has a very impressive looking bar, but - in what is beginning to seem typical of new restaurants in Yuen Long - they haven't got their liqueur license yet. We made a quick trip across to 7/11 and stocked up on beers and even braved a bottle of wine. The complementary focaccia bread and balsamic was a refreshing and welcome start to the meal. For an entree I tucked into a Cesar Salad which, though nice enough, was pretty basic and uninspiring. My main was a surprisingly good fettuccine with pan-fried salmon and a pesto based sauce. The pasta was well cooked, the flaky salmon chunks were moist and tender and the sauce was creamy, but well-balanced. In contrast Naomi's rather average lasagne was filled with bread crumbs rather than meat and covered in an overly sweet tomato sauce. Oliva's menu really shines when it comes time to find room for something sweet from their classic selection of desserts. Naomi enjoyed her apple crumble with ice-cream, while the remaining four of us shared a 'chocolate puff tower'; a huge pile of profiteroles that, though tasty, was too big for us to finish.

Our first visit to Oliva was encouraging. The food is good, a little stock standard perhaps, but certainly better than many other attempts at 'Italian food' in the New Territories; a decent dessert menu is also a huge bonus. The service at Oliva was surprisingly good, with friendly staff who knew the menu. Another plus is the that some thought has been given to the ambiance; with the old photos, checked table cloths and a prominent bar it felt like I'd been transported back to Lygon Street in Melbourne. Oliva is a welcome addition to Yuen Long's restaurant scene and a good bet if you're in the area and after Italian food.

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