Birthdays Part 2: Olio

In recent years I’ve eschewed the big birthday gatherings of yore for more low-key affairs. Perhaps it’s part of getting a little older, or perhaps it’s age combined with laziness. Last year Monsieur Poisson planned ahead in advance and indulged me with a meal at Tetsuya’s, while I returned the favour through what was a bit more last minute planning.

This year we both decided to dine locally for our birthdays, and mine was spent at Olio where we’d previously only popped in to sample their kopi luwak or for a light meal. (No longer on the menu, I don’t think, but Olio had a really mushroomy risotto and a value-for-money antipasti plate.)

Drinks are in order for the occasion and I order the ‘Polish Spring Punch’ due to its inclusion of all things berry – raspberry vodka, berry compote and Chambord. The drink is both larger and stronger than it seems as well as being a beautiful shade of blushing pink.

‘Salt & pepper squid’ is ordered due to having tried it on an earlier visit. And although there is much less rocket this time around, the small tendrils of squid are light, low on oiliness and well-seasoned as we remember. There is a lot more aioli on the side than is needed, but that doesn’t stop us from trying to finish it.

To share, we have a ‘Prawn, prosciutto, tomato & rocket pizza’ plus a ‘Grilled black Angus scotch fillet’ between us. The pizza base is thin but a bit soft on the underside, unlike the crisp wood-fired ones to which we are accustomed. The steak is much more pleasing, however, being tender and juicy, served with meaty roasted portabella mushrooms, eshallots and a rich jus. The menu mentioned it being served with Café de Paris butter, but there was no sign of this when presented to us.

It would have been nice to have had some potato mash to have with the steak and jus but we were mindful of over-ordering. I was too full for dessert as it was, especially after birthday eats from earlier that day, but Monsieur Poisson just couldn’t go past the ‘Apple & raspberry crumble’. It was tart and sweet all at once, but what I loved was the nubbly topping as opposed to the floury, powdery topping of some.

Olio isn’t open on weekends, but it makes for a great relaxing dinner on a Friday night... or on a lazy night during the week.

Shop 1, The Forum, St Leonards train station, 201-205 Pacific Hwy, St Leonards NSW
Tel: (02) 9439 8988

Opening Hours:  Mon  7am-4pm
                        Tues-Fri  7am-9pm
                        Sat & Sun  CLOSED

Olio Cafe | Bar on Urbanspoon

happy eating!


  1. oh that apple and raspberry crumble looks divine! i can never say no to crumple! hope you got spoilt rotten!

  2. I love birthdays - all that speical food you get to eat!

  3. Happy belated birthday! I'm hoping for a food-filled day for my birthday this year as well :)

  4. That cocktail sounds yum, and happy belated birthday!

  5. if i ever go here, i'll order that drink & the calamari. i adore all things berry & squid, served separately ... obviously. well maybe berry & squid could work, hmmmm, now i'm tempted!

  6. yum.. happy birthday rita!!

    nothing like a juicy steak :)

  7. sad about the soft pizza :( but the steak does look much better!

  8. Good choice with the steak and yes, totally feelin you about birthdays. The older you get, the more overrated they become. LOL

  9. I was drawn here because of your name ! haha i spent 6 months in France (hence a massive food blog hiatus) and lovingg all things frenchie too !

    & as for Olio's .. hahaha what makes Cafe de Paris butter 'cafe de paris' ? lol !

  10. I can never go past a nice crispy outside tender inside squid, and it is hard not to try to finish a good aioli.

  11. I love how you can eat what you want on birthdays :) such a great day!

  12. I'm with you. My birthday celebration is a low more low key now. Still great though. Just different. Hope you had a lovely day!

  13. I've been once for lunch but I think some of their dishes are a hit and miss. The crumble looks quite good though!

  14. I've always wanted to try Olio! Did you get to try their Kopi Luwak?

  15. Hey gastronomous anonymous, I can never say no to pie! But crumble is the husband's weakness.

    Hey MissPiggy, I know, an absolute guilt-free reason to indulge =p

    Hey Rose, excellent! Because there really is no other way to celebrate =D

    Hey missklicious, a girly-tasting but surpisingly strong cocktail haha.

    Hey Laura, that cocktail really is something and the squid are perfect for picking on.

    Hey Dolly, thanks!

    Hey sugarpuffi, yeah, the pizza wasn't all that special but the steak was nice!

    Hey Adrian, yeah, other than celebrating just for the sake of celebrating.

    Hey eden, there are many renditions of cafe de Paris butter these days but, sadly, I didn't spot anything resembling it on or around the steak =(

    Hey Sara, all you end up tasting is aioli but it is so addictively good!

    Hey Nic, what better excuse to indulge all your eating vices, eh?

    Hey Julia, birthdays these days are definitely less about me and more about the food haha!

    Hey Vivian, I've been here on a few occasions now, but this is the first time for dinner. Apart from the pizza, I was quite impressed by the rest.

    Hey Ramen Raff, tried their kopi luwak last year but haven't had the urge to since =p


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