Xanet Scheepers
Digital Lifestyle Editor
4 minute read
9 Dec 2021
2:58 pm

Olives & Plates: Joburg’s best kept secret

Xanet Scheepers

If you are not familiar with Hyde Park Corner, chances are you might have never stumbled across this beautiful restaurant, tucked away in Exclusive Books.

Olives & Plates Restaurant at Hyde Park Corner. Picture: Tracy Lee Stark

The last thing you expect while browsing through the latest top-selling authors, to find some reading material for your December holiday, is to stumble across a gorgeous restaurant, tucked away at the back of the bookstore.

If you’re envisioning a small, dark coffee shop with artificial lightning, you’ll be even more blown away by the sensory experience that is Olives & Plates.

From the moment you walk into the restaurant, you feel like you are stepping into one of the exotic destinations described within the pages of one of the romance novels in the fiction aisle of Exclusive Books.

The floor-to-ceiling glass windows offer breathtaking views of the hundreds of green trees dotted all over in the surrounding suburbs.

The interior of Olives & Plates can only be described as sophisticated elegance. Beautiful hues of light blue, red and pink adds to the other-worldly charm of the restaurant.

Take a peek inside the Olives & Plates restaurant in Hyde Park Corner in the video below:

The décor wasn’t the main reason for our visit – it’s the food menu that caught our attention, and rightfully so.

Of all the delicious lunch spots I have been to, Olives & Plates stands out for three reasons:

  • It felt like a fine-dining experience in the middle of the day, but with much bigger portions
  • They have a fabulous wine list including a wide variety of champagnes, MCCs, white and red wine as well as cocktails and spirits like whiskey and gin.
  • They got the memo that serving wine in the correct type of wine glass adds to the experience

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Olives & Plates Menu

Whether you are meeting a client for breakfast, grabbing a quick lunch or meeting friends for a sundowner, the comprehensive menu caters for all tastebuds.

We kicked our lunch date off with a selection of starters from the harvest table, which for me was much better than ordering one specific starter or two starters to share. You just have so much more freedom with this option, especially when you’re not really sure what you feel like eating.

Our selection, hand-picked by the manager, consisted of chickpea falafels, cauliflower with a turmeric and tahini dressing, zucchini and sweetcorn fritters, sesame seed custard cheese triangles, dolmades, halloumi spring rolls and a delicious, juicy peri-peri and lemon juice boneless chicken skewer.

I absolutely loved the halloumi spring rolls and the cauliflower, which is surprising, as I usually don’t enjoy the vegetable. All the flavours just worked really well together and while many of the dishes were vegetarian, we didn’t even notice. Everything was just so flavourful.

ALSO SEE: 10 mouthwatering cauliflower dishes to try this week

For the main course I decided on the sage and onion roasted chicken breast with roasted vegetables. I was blown away by the flavours of the sauce.

Olives & Plates definitely upped the ante, showing that a chicken breast doesn’t have to be a boring meal. Their roasted vegetables are also a huge step up from the usual baby marrow and peppers mix most restaurants serve up. I loved the crispiness of the fresh, baby carrots, pumpkin and cauliflower.

The beautiful presentation of the food also made the meal that much more attractive and appetising.

Pictures: Tracy Lee Stark

My lunch companion opted for the beef fillet souvlaki, mushroom sauce, pita bread with tzatziki, tomato and onion salsa and a beautiful salad.

The dish looked like something competing in the MasterChef kitchen, once again showing just how committed Olives & Plates are to making their guests’ culinary experience one they will never forget.

When visiting Olives & Plates you can’t help but indulge in a slice of one of their beautiful cakes. The bakery prepares fresh desserts everyday, ranging from lemon meringue cake and tartlets, baklava cheese cake, chocolate cake, caramel cake and even flourless poppyseed cake for those who are watching their figure.

WATCH: Four healthy guilt-free treats to snack on this summer

The Olives & Plates brand has been around since 2001, having opened the Hyde Park restaurant in 2018. They also have two other restaurants in Johannesburg – one in Parktown and the other in Sandhurst.

The business is family-run by two Greek sisters – Andria Neophytou and Litza Frangos – and their husbands Dimitri and Apo.

Andria is the chef behind the delicious and beautifully prepared meals at the Hyde Park restaurant, with the inspiration for the menu a combination between their Greek and Middle-Eastern heritage.