The Olive Garden at the Radisson Hotel, a favourite of corporates and families alike, has the perfect ambience for to discuss a business proposal or share a meal with friends.
Kabir Jung Thapa, Food and Beverage Manager at the Radisson Hotel describes the restaurant as “specializing in Mediterranean cuisine covering that entire coastline.” The restaurant is open only for dinner and caters to a host of high-profile guests from local corporate clients to visiting VIPs. Thapa emphasizes, “Being a five-star hotel, we have a lot of high profile guests staying here and they love the restaurant.”
Three couples – Dr. Durgesh Man Singh, former ambassador to India and wife Mira; Binod Ratna Tuladhar, MD of Bluebird Mall and wife Kamal Keshari Tuladhar, Director of Kool Kids; and Atish K. Shrestha, Country Manager (Nepal and Bhutan) for Western Union and wife Rajita Shrestha, Marketing Manager with Shikhar Insurance – were invited to experience a meal at Radisson’s signature restaurant.
We shared restaurant horror stories and recommendations while we waited for the food to come. All the guests knew each other – it was like a meal among friends – so we didn’t mind the wait.
The menu was chosen by Sreejith Kartha, Executive Chef with Radisson. The items featured are from the upcoming menu which will be launched next month. Chef Kartha, who came to Nepal only five months back, developed this menu and is excited to see how the customers will respond. “Every city is different, and there is always so much to learn,” he says.
Olive Garden is a restaurant which keeps its customers coming back. Atish and Rajita Shrestha who visit the restaurant quite often said, “The quiet ambience makes us keep coming back for enjoyable meals,” adding, “The portion size is perfect, so you can have a full course meal with entrée, main course, and dessert.”
Chef Kartha recommends the Himalayan Trout at the Olive Garden. “It is our most popular dish and almost everyone who has tried it comes back and orders it again,” he says.
Despite the fine dining ambience, some of the finer details were not taken care of. The guests all commented on the introductory peanut and chips platter that came in a steel container – it seemed more suited to an Indian restaurant – none of the bread and pesto or olive oil that one would expect at an Italian restaurant. Mr. Tuladhar put it aptly saying, “We like it, of course, but it’s not really appropriate for the restaurant.”
About 15 minutes into the evening, while we were digging into the peanuts and chips (no matter how inappropriate, it is always an irresistible snack), the bread and breadsticks came accompanied by almost-melted Amul butter tubs. All the couples suggested that using Nepali/local butter might have been a better idea – and it definitely needs to be served frozen.
Besides these minor faux pas, the experience was a pleasure for all the guests. All three couples were happy with the food and enjoyed the ambience. They praised the friendliness and professionalism of the restaurant staff.
Dr. Durgesh Man Singh and his wife enjoyed the food and especially commented on the high level of service at the restaurant. They rated the food 5/5 overall taking into account the taste, presentation, aroma, and portion size. He opted for the Chicken Roulade with Champagne and cheese sauce which was his favorite dish of the evening.
Binod Ratna Tuladhar and wife Kamal Kesari Tuladhar used to be frequent visitors to Olive Garden but have shifted loyalties closer to home to Jhamel.
Mr. Tuladhar, who says he is more into healthy food options like salads, was looking forward to the asparagus cheese parcels with saffron garlic hollandaise. When it finally came, it met his expectations – he rated the dish 4 out of 5 for portion, aroma and taste. The presentation was a 5 on 5 for him. In keeping with his health conscious selection, he ordered Beetroot Borscht, which he said he had for the first time in his life. He really enjoyed the soup and rated it an average of 4.
Mrs. Tuladhar, who looked at the menu options and said, “Of course, I’ll go for the seafood bisque and jumbo prawns” was happy with both dishes, rating them both at an average of 4. The bisque in particular was “creamy and delicious” but she expected more sea-food variety in it. Mr. Tuladhar enjoyed both dishes too, but commented that the prawns were not hot when served, which took away from the overall enjoyment of the dish. The couple ordered the Wild Berry Tiramisu for dessert but they were disappointed with it – Mr. Tuladhar chose to put it very diplomatically and said, “I have had better Tiramisu”.
All in all, they were happy with the service, ambience and food. Both said they would recommend the restaurant and the experience of Olive Garden.
Atish Shrestha and wife Rajita enjoyed the meal.
The first thing Mr. Shrestha noticed on the menu was the lack of “leafy” vegetables which he was looking forward to. However, once the food came, his initial disappointment disappeared and he rated the food an average of 4 on all counts. The couple both opted for the asparagus cheese parcels, seafood bisque and jumbo prawns, varying only on the dessert. They were delighted with the asparagus cheese parcels, exclaiming that everything about it was perfect – the portion, the presentation and the taste. This is one dish they would recommend to anyone, they said.
Mr. Shrestha also loved the seafood bisque, saying everything it was “just right, [I] would rate this seafood bisque as one of the best I have had in town.”
They both loved the skewered jumbo prawns with mushroom risotto. Mrs. Shrestha said, “These prawns were really jumbo. The taste was truly yummy – I have no other words to express it!” Mr. Shrestha commented on the consistency of the food over the years, adding that the prawns were “tender and perfectly cooked.”
The dessert, however, was a disappointment for them both. Mr. Shrestha ordered the stewed fruits milliefeuille and said, “It was too sweet and not really fruity. It could have been better.” For Mrs. Shrestha, the tiramisu did not meet her expectations.
Overall they loved the food and the service. “Radisson is always a very good host – caring and observant,” the couple agreed. Their one suggestion for improvement would be to change the peanuts and chips platter to bread and olive oil/pesto sauce and to serve butter that is well frozen. !