Italian fare is known for its simplicity and quality of ingredients ,and that is something that we at Fact love about the cuisine. The use of yummy cheese, succulent sauces and crunchy thin cruts- it’s every foodie’s dream. When we met Oliveto’s executive chef, Giuseppe Zanotti, his passion for the cuisine and love of good quality ingredients was a breath of fresh air. He prepared, for us, a delicious tasting menu that made us fall head over heels for italian fare all over again.

Juicy tomatoes in a mozzarella salad topped with freshly made pesto sauce – just the sound of it is so tempting. But Chef Giuseppe had something unique in store for us when it came to this Italian staple. “We love to give our guests a special and unique experience at Oliveto,” he says. “Today, we’ll serve you some authentic Italian food including some of our signature dishes.” We were excited to see a chef go beyond pizza and pasta (though we do love those too!) and create some truly scrumptious delights.

Oliveto is a beautiful fine dining restaurant located in Adliya. As chef prepared the primo, Restaurant Manager, Carlton, takes us around. “We want to give our guests an experience unique from the rest,” he says. “This will not only enhance Oliveto as a restaurant but also match the quality of food

we provide.” The restaurant has three areas; terrace, lounge and main dining. Guests can have a formal dining atmosphere, or indulge in an al fresco experience, or get together for expertly blended drinks in the lovely bar/ lounge area.

Chef Giuseppe attended a famous hospitality school in Parma, Italy, as well as working under a number of good Italian chefs. This allowed him to acquire a greater understanding and base for regional Italian cuisines. He believes that learning and evolving is a process that never ends, but the foundation needs to be strong. He says: “Once you have a solid base for cooking you can experiment with the presentation, food pairing, food matching – which are things one keeps learning throughout their life. It’s a study I have still not finished.”

As we browse through the menu, Chef Giuseppe explains more about the food served at Oliveto. “Our menu is a combination of dishes from various regions of Italy,” he says. “Working with a few Michelin Starred chefs in the past, I learned the fine-dining style, which I combine with the authenticity of Italy to present these dishes to our guests,” he explains.

Our starters come out to the table, the cubo di tonno scottato and Breasola. The first of the two is a cube-seared tuna, crusted with sesame seeds which give a fabulous crunchiness to the dish. This helps to balance out the raw tuna taste, which we love. A standout here is also the anchovy sauce which complements the tuna very well – a rare and delicious combination.

Moving onto the breasola – we’ve had this dish on many occasions, but never has it been presented quite like this. This is breasola stuffed with goat cheese mousse, and wild rocket honey, then it’s rolled and served on a bed of rocket leaves and Parmesan cheese chips – we were definitely impressed. There was a welcomed sweetness to the usually savoury dish, and this made it refreshingly unique.

So, where are the ingredients for Oliveto sourced? “Certain ingredients are from Italy, and some of them are sourced locally,” chef tells us. “I like to give importance to local products because the products will be fresh, and rich in vitamins and minerals.” Chef Giuseppe believes that quality is the essence of Italian cuisine. When we ask him which is more important, taste or presentation, he says: “The taste definitely comes first, but I do take a lot of time to bring about some uniqueness in the look of a dish. I actually take a pen and paper to visualise the look of the plate,” he adds. “Everything served on the plate should be edible.”

For the mains, Chef Giuseppe serves us a veal favourite followed by a delectable Sea Bass dish. Both are exquisite; packed with flavour, every ingredient jumped off the plate and pleased our taste buds. The guancette di vitello (veal) is slow cooked veal cheek, sautéed with delicious celery root puree and served with sautéed vegetables. The veal is beautifully tender and the puree tastes divine! An absolute must-try for anyone who wants something different and delicious on their visit to Oliveto. The sandwich di branzino (Sea Bass) is potato crusted Sea bass filled with prawn tartar, red onion jam, and smoked eggplant caviar. The flavours of red onion, caramel and the tartar are simply enticing – if you like the sweet and salty combination in a dish, this one’s for you.

It was time for dessert – almond flavoured Panacotta and Lime cake with fennel gelatin, marinated orange and salty chocolate crumble. Exquisite – those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the difference of both desserts. We love the experience at Oliveto, and can’t wait for their Friday Brunch to begin. FACT will keep you updated about that soon! Book your table at Oliveto and be rest assured for a pleasant time there with great food and a lovely ambience!

GO: Oliveto is located in Adliya. Call 1771 6747 for bookings and more information.