Oliver Maki

Oliver Maki (1 of 46)History and Background: 

Meal courtesy of Oliver Maki

Quirky. Contemporary. Flashy.

Oliver Maki, a family owned restaurant run by the successful Zeitoun brothers with four existing restaurants in the Middle East. Their first London venture starts with Oliver Maki, fusion sushi with a luxurious twist.

Another fine-dine sushi restaurant in London? Yes, probably. But I’d say this one is a little more out there. All dishes are delicately presented, pleasant to the eye and definitely very exquisite. Formerly at Nobu, Louise Kenji Huang runs its kitchen, combining eccentricity and luxurious ingredients together to create theatrical display of dishes. Out-of-the-box ideas and innovative dishes flood the menu.

Price range here is high for the average sushi joint and Londoners with generous wallets hit this spot like its local. Worth giving it a try and definitely great for a fancy date looking to impress.

The meal:

First off, it’s good to note that the soy sauce used here is blended with high quality olive oil. A healthier and less saltier alternative.

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The Oliver Maki Bento (A mixture of In the Box and Out of the Box)

With short intakes of breaths and gasps of excitement, this is probably how most diners would respond to the multi layered acrylic box of delights. Compartments of crispy salad, 3 pieces of chef’s special maki, 3 pieces of issai maki, chicken teriyaki, salmon teriyaki, seafood ceviche, 3 pieces of chef’s special nigiri and is exactly what we got!

The crispy salad was just as it was described, a healthy layer of seasoning with a cheeky topping of Japanese mayonnaise.  The salmon teriyaki and the chicken teriyaki were also cooked well and sat atop of their Oliver brown rice to complete the set. My favourite in particular was the crunchy maki which seemed like it was wrapped in some sort of fish skin over tempura on the inside. I’m not a fan of ceviche anywhere, most commonly a fusion Japanese-peruvian dish, nikkei cuisine. The 3 piece nigiri was good but nothing impressive, brown rice is deemed as healthier and not as filling but the way it is cooked in nature means it tends to not be as together and can be quite crumbly.

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The signature dish Oliver Maki Roll

Unfortunately this did not impress, at £15 for a maki roll it’s on the higher price range for rainbow rolls in other places and special rolls too. The flavour is quite tame albeit looking like it’s over seasoned. Too many things going on – on the plate. Don’t get me wrong, the sushi is good. The theatrical and impressive visual presentation allows you to make overestimated assumptions about it however. Everything from olive oil to truffle is incorporated within this roll, so best listen to the waiter’s explanation carefully!

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Green Tea Tiramisu

So desserts were of a similar caliber. Stunning visuals and very eye-catching. The Zeitoun brothers and Kenji-Huang partnership certainly were a very well paired one. Artistic styling for the desserts and at very high quality too. Tiramisu was on point, no coffee flavoured ones here, it’s all about the green tea. The aroma was subtle but it’s there. Could definitely add in more of the bitter sweet ratio to it for improvement.

I have to say the Yuzu Creme Brulee was also one of my favourites. Absolutely loved the texture. Subtle yuzu texture again but this time I preferred it subtle. Yuzu can be a very strong flavour which may not necessarily combine well with creme brulee which is often associated with caramel. The combination here was captivating, followed by a lot of onomatopoeic squeals of delight…

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Yuzu Creme Brulee

Service: Waiters are knowledgeable about the sourcing of their ingredients and food is served quickly, some could say it could be rather hasty. Potentially overstaffed given the size of the restaurant but wasn’t in the restaurant long enough to assess.

Bits and bobs:

  • They have a special tasting menu for certain guests who are a member or a certain special society…

Price: £££

Oliver Maki Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Square Meal

The Grill on the Market

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Lunchtime favourite – The Grill on the Market

History and Background:

Meal courtesy of The Grill on the Market.

This was already one of my favourite go-to places for lunch with close proximity to the office – The Grill on the Market has been constantly voted as one of the top places for steak in London. Alongside steak powerhouses, Gaucho and the Goodman chains, The Grill on the Market has one of the finest selection of steaks straight from Smithfields Market, where – it was formerly an execution site!

Focusing on no nonsense food, The Grill on the Market offers something more unique with a variety.

Premium quality steak that’s aged for 28 days to ensure tenderness and flavour

Situated in the middle of the Square Mile, the restaurant is catered and suited for business meetings, party bookings and more.

Seafood is abundant on the menu – namely their oysters, fish and lobsters. Not to mention, brunching on Saturdays here would give you unlimited glasses of bubbly!

 

The meal:

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Mint Tea
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Smoked Duck Salad £7.00

We chose to have an appetizer to start off with. The Smoked Duck Salad came neatly presented with an assortment of quaint toppings. Walnut dressing gave it a nice nutty kick and completed the balsamic roasted cherry tomatoes, savoury and sweet flavours co-existed with cheddar cheese topping and raspberry vinaigrette. The duck itself was tender and a light touch to start the meal.

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Sirloin (Big Boy cut) 340g

If only I could portray how fine the quality of these meats are through the blogging platform, but who knows, 3D blogging may come into existence in the near future!

I went for the big boy cut at 340g (I know.) A salad side was chosen instead of the hand cut chips complement – feel free to ask your waiter to do a bit of a mix and match to suit your dietary requirements. Sides on offer vary from Heritage Roots and Greens to Buttered Mash Potato.

The sirloin steak was succulent. Aged on the bone for a big beefy flavour. It is recommended to be served medium, I went for a cheeky medium rare.

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Rib Eye option for Liam

The juiciest cut they say – and it certainly looked it Liam also opted for medium rare complemented with good quality hand cup chips. These steaks are best eaten without sauces, as they contain enough flavour themselves. Peppercorn, Bernaise, Chimichurri and Red Wine & Shallot sauces are available for those who want to go the extra mile though.

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Have it however you like it! Delectable.
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Sides – onion rings
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Medium rare cut
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Sauces too, Bernaise and Chimchurri
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Sticky toffee pudding £6.75

We were running short of time on our lunch break but we just had to squeeze in their signature dessert. The stick toffee pudding was moreish. Definitely suited for those with a sweet tooth. Fresh from the oven, so much so that it was still steaming with vanilla ice-cream oozing its way out of the center, it’s definitely one of the best cheat-meal desserts you can go for. The sponge itself was soft, soaked in nectarous toffee..

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Couldn’t get enough….

Service: Can be a bit slow if you miss the timing in grabbing their attention. If you’re in a hurry for lunch, let them know when ordering. The waiters know their stuff. Simply ask if you’re not sure how you want your steak or what sauce to compliment it with!

Bits and bobs:

  • Membership with The Grill on the Market can get you between 20% to 50% off your food bill all year round

Price: £££

The Grill On The Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Square Meal

Roberson Wines

History and Background:

Wine tasted courtesy of Roberson Wine.

Labeling themselves as UK’s finest wine merchant and quite rightly so. Established in 1991, Roberson Wines first entered the wine industry rooted on solid grounds with a store situated Kensington, London. In line with technological advances Roberson Wines transitioned its online platform http://www.robsersonwine.com providing a vast range of fine wines.

From everyday bottles to the highest quality and rarest wines, Roberson Wine’s expertise in this industry excels to no other. It’s customer base revolves around individuals, restaurants and businesses with a consumer retail team catering to your every need.

The wine:

The wine tasted in question:

http://www.robersonwine.com/buy-wines/touraine-sauvignon-blanc-2014-domaine-plouzeau-75-02B14TSB/

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Souvignon Blanc
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A suitable pairing

Wine tasting is not my forte but provided an interesting challenge and certainly out of my comfort zone – of course I had some from friends and a certified sommelier!

The wine in question is a sauvignon blanc. One of the most distinctive wines in the world and recently conned UK’s favourite type of wine, with best samples exported out of France, New Zealand and South Africa. A rather novel variety of grape, where certain regions only grow this. A waft of my first glass was reminiscent of gooseberry fruits, a smell often associated with sauvignon. A sharp and distinct smell.

My first sip of this was crisp and dry. Probably most suited to pair it with greens. The Sauvignon Blanc is made to be drank as soon as possible, to taste it when its at its prime would most probably be after a year or so. Ours was from 2014 and tasted aromatic and aromatic. Subtly sweet!

As mentioned, Sauvignon Blanc does not benefit from aging, with aging grassy aromas can develop and become noticeably sour and acidic. With smells ranging from peas to asparagus from over-ripeness.

The bottle of Sauvignon Blanc was very quickly consumed alongside our dinner at the Breakfast Club, a notable BYOB restaurant in London.

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Souvignon Blanc