Olivomare 1

10 Lower Belgrave Street , London, SW1W 0LJ

5 reviews

51 Italian Sardinian Belgravia

olivio meare  009

SquareMeal Review of Olivomare

The fishy outpost of Mauro Sassa’s little Belgravia empire is as well-loved if not more so than its carnivorous sibling Olivocarne, with families, courting couples, office workers and business types all taking advantage of its pleasing piscine offer. “Wonderful Sardinian seafood” is the lure and the menu offers a host of timeless classics: mussels and clams with garlic and parsley, oysters and tuna bresaola all feature as starters, but there are dishes to tempt the curious too – chargrilled stuffed baby squid and sea urchins, for example, served raw with crostini. After that, invest in some handmade pasta – linguine with crab is a longstanding favourite, or skip directly to the main event such as grilled yellowfin tuna, sea bream baked in salt or a Sardinian version of a paella based on fregola couscous. Given that fish is the restaurant’s USP, the wine list is surprisingly red-heavy, but few would argue with its quality.

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7.6

Food & Drink: 8.8

Service: 7.0

Atmosphere: 7.4

Value: 7.0

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Maidenamerica 05 June 2014

Let me start by saying that I loathe fish. So the invitation to go with some very glamorous types to an upmarket fish restaurant had me groaning and reaching for my Spanx. Thin, glamorous women who live in that area always love fish but I'm a beef and sheep farmer's daughter who grew up in the 70's and 80's miles from the sea and have an instinctive mistrust of all fish. It could be off/ taste funny/ have bones in it that get caught in my throat/ even worse have bones in it that you're supposed to eat or, horror, still have those glassy eyes in it. Didn't the Queen Mother nearly die from getting a fish bone in her throat ? I knew I'd enjoy the company and have to suffer through the food but cooked some extra sausages to eat cold late at night as a consolation prize. Well I'm still right about fish but not the stuff they serve at Olivomare. I now proclaim long and loud that Olivomare is the only fish restaurant that I actually enjoy going to and actively look forward to going; family, friends and even strangers are bored of hearing me say it. Sure it's not cheap but it's Belgravia for Pete's sake: one of the most expensive area in one of the most expensive cities in the world ! What did you expect, Nando's ? I've never had anything other than excellent service there but accept that that could be because I've only be there with people who are just their type of clientele and/or go there regularly enough to get a lot of sucking up. {Note to self: must try going there just me and the chubby hubby and see how we get on !}. I actually had a conversation about the place a couple of days ago with some glossy types who were saying they liked it but it's not that much cheaper than Scotts and so would prefer to go there. I personally find Scotts too plush and very “fishy” plus the décor reminds me of the sort of women who accompany men who are members of The Clermont Club or even Annabel's: sort of plush and smug. So the décor here is cool and minimal but with a strong pattern. It looks like the restaurant equivalent of a silk Pucci dress which would actually be a good thing to wear to eat there. I've been there in the depths of winter and it's definitely more of a Summer venue. It's not actually cold but it makes you think you are. Things I've enjoyed from the menu: Crab salad and also the crab linguine which everyone likes I think. Even if you don't think you like crab like me. Tuna Bresaola Both the prawn and tuna carpaccios Tuna steak Grilled lobster and the Fritto Misto OK not the most adventurous things but all worked perfectly for me, the fish hater. Hands down winner: the crab linguine. It's one of those very simple, few ingredient dishes (actually like a lot of the menu is) that somehow is made so much better than the sum of it's parts. It just sings. By the way, I've never had pudding there because I've always been with thin women and I don't want to be the only one having pudding especially when you're three to four dress sizes bigger than everyone in the place including the men. In fact I'm not sure they even have puddings; it's not that sort of place. So do go if you want a good evening out with friends and aren't counting the pennies but especially if you don't like fish. I've sat in the front, sat in the back and even had the rubbish table in the middle where the waiters station is. They've all been fine although back is best as with almost all the Olivo group and the rubbish middle table does feel a bit like you're sitting in a busy corridor getting in other people's way. In fact having written this review, I'm going to email that original group of women and suggest we go again soon; I'm jonesing for that crab pasta…

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Gourmand Gunno platinum reviewer 02 August 2013

If first impressions count, then things were not encouraging at Olivomare. Fortunately, however, the experience got markedly better and the food was indeed superb and a return visit justified. Admittedly our reservation was for midday, but arriving at three minutes to the hour, I certainly did not expect to see the restaurants’ chefs sitting on the steps puffing away on cigarettes in full view of prospective diners. Like my mother, my first thought was, I do hope they wash their hands before they start preparing our food… Message to the restaurant: if your employees have to smoke, then make them do it in a less public location. On entering, the interior of the restaurant felt decidedly sparse (notwithstanding the absence of diners), almost clinical in appearance and dominated by a garish pescine mural (per the restaurant’s name) all along one wall. We were lucky not to have to endure this though, since our reservation was for a table outside, which afforded wonderful people-watching opportunities, positioned to observe the denizens of Belgravia from our privileged location. Make no mistake, the food IS the main event here, the premise being a distinct emphasis on fresh ingredients used in dishes prepared to a high level of perfection. My dining comrade was a relative regular here and spoke highly of the menu. While he opted for his usual dishes, I had the luxury of perusing an almost totally fish-dominated menu (this is the idea; and there is another restaurant within the ‘Olivo’ mini-chain that operates the same principle with regard to meat; there is also a deli and a pizza place). My starter of sliced cured tuna with green beans and sundried tomatoes was beautifully presented with well-matched flavours. The main of crab meat linguine with garlic, chilli and fresh parsley was among the best I have had, with the latter ingredients being perfectly balanced. My comrade was similarly effusive about his dishes and I did look on somewhat enviously at his baked sea bass with black olives. We did not partake in wine, but the bill was still reasonable (at least by Belgravia standards).

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 4.0

Herry L. 16 July 2010

We found ourselves at Olivomare on one of the hottest days of the year (ok, it’s London, so not New York hot). So glad we did and it’s stunningly good – as well as blindingly white. The food – all seafood naturally – is the freshest there is and the grilled lobster (£26) is reputedly the best in London. Brilliant, simple food; sea urchin (ricci di mare) came in a small bowl with crisp toast and was totally delicious, while my companion’s baby octopus (moscardini) stew may have been a bit of an aberration on such a warm day, but was of superb consistency and my fork found it’s way over to her plate with great regularity. Unfortunately my oysters slid down so fast that I forgot to share any and was lucky to get another glass of excellent Gavi. A shared semifreddo with fresh figs was a gorgeous finale even without the dessert wine which I secretly craved. Service was a bit distracted but if one can get the attention of the lovely maitre 'd Francesca, one will be ok. Sit outside if you can. The noise inside can be a bit much when it's full.

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 3.0

Fiona M. gold reviewer 03 February 2009

I have to say I don't agree with the “all style and no substance” in the official review of Olivomare – the interior of the restau is fab, I love the “seaweed” on the ceiling and the clever wall paper/paint, very funky! My crab linguine was really tasty and my tuna main course was perfectly cooked. I'll definitely go again next time I'm eating near Victoria.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 2.0

Atmosphere: 2.0

Value: 3.0

J 05 November 2008

Having been a big fan for years now of the “pizzeria” sister Oliveto, I was very enthusiastic about the opening of Olivomare last year and had dinner there a lot of times since. It is the place to go to if you are looking for a good quality all-fish meal and although the bright white interior feels a bit cold during the winter moths, I still think it has a cool modern design. On my last two visits here, however, I was hugely disappointed by the service received and (much worse) by what seems to be a regular trick they play on customers when paying their bill. The bill comes with “service included” but when paying by card, they added another 10% to the total amount, something I didn't realise until later at home when I saw I had paid £95 for a £85 bill. I obviously thought it was a mistake, but the following dinner there confirmed the horrible truth. The last time there, I had dinner with a friend and when paying the bill we actually ended up with a charge of £42 on each card for a bill which was £74 service included! On this occasion I told them that it was wrong and they apologised and returned us the £10 extra charged on our cards. The girl (who seems to be the manager) didn't look very surprised though and understood a bit “too quickly” what had happened. So I can't believe they made the same mistake twice and I am not sure I will go there again.

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