Modern Italian food created by Chef Nurettin Celik at L’Olivo Ristorante
While plenty of Italian restaurants exist in Dubai, there are few that truly stand out. Well, that was until Executive Chef Nurettin Celik renovated the menu at L’Olivo Ristorante at Rixos hotel the Palm. He has developed an outstanding new taste experience, modern and exciting Italian cuisine worthy of attention. Fortunately for us, Keep Dining, was lucky enough to be invited to try out a sneak preview of it in an 8-course taste extravaganza.
Hailing from Turkey, Chef Celik is proud and passionate about his food. He promises the best ingredients and some intriguing surprises (which we don’t want to spoil to much) suffice to say I was impressed.
The L’Olivo Ristorante has an intimate and modern setting with a quirky chain mail feature wall; perfectly in tune with its edgy new dishes. Our attention was caught from the get go with the Hors D’oeuvres. Served on LED-lit platters, they were slowly smoked with a blend of herbs, as they were being passed around. Delicious morsels of marinated tomato, pureed beetroot and smoked fish tempted our taste buds with promises of things to come.
After being seated and having our glasses filled with a chilled and fruity white wine, we began our tasting menu. The starter choices are classic Italian dishes that have been updated for the 21st century. The Zucchini Blossoms -while usually deep-fried – at L’Olivo Ristorante they were instead carefully filled with a sweet shellfish stuffing and then gently steamed. Leaving them succulent and delicate without loss of flavour. We were also treated to one of my favourite foods, steak carpaccio using prime beef tenderloin with aged balsamic dressing. Simple but superbly executed.
The Main Event at Olivo Ristorante
For the main courses, there were some truly unique options. The chef even came to our table to plate up something special with an artistic flourish! Never has salmon sashimi tasted so good. We were treated to plate after plate of well thought out and perfectly executed dishes; the crustacean ravioli for me was a particular highlight. I also recommend trying the risotto. The mushroom is exceptionally light and well flavoured with curls of truffle, whereas the cheese risotto is served in an actual wheel of cheese! A real treat and something I have never seen before.
Then came dessert, already a little full we all exclaimed that we couldn’t possibly eat a thing. However, that was until we were presented with the ‘Baked Alaska’. Definitely not how your Mum used to make it; this dish was spectacular, both visually and gastronomically. You have to order it to understand the full effect!
The new menu at L’Olivo Ristorante at the Rixos is an absolute must try, it is easy to see just how much effort and consideration has been put into its creation, and it has really paid off. I highly recommend paying them a visit to see for yourself.