Even though it is hidden deeply within the grounds of the Wits University West Campus, the scenery is absolutely beautiful. The venue reminds me of the vineyards in Franschhoek, complete with Dutch-style houses, large trees and a water feature just as you reach the bottom of the stairs towards the restaurant.
Once we walked into the restaurant, Crystal and I instantly fell in love with the look and feel of Olives & Plates. The décor is sophisticated and chic and you are welcomed by the ‘Table of Temptations’ the minute you walk in through the door. This table is overloaded with amazing decadent treats that are freshly baked at the venue itself, perfect to satisfy any sweet tooth! The restaurant is so fresh and elegant, and would definitely make the perfect place to impress someone on a first date. Once we were shown to our table, we had the pleasure of meeting manager, Liezl, as well as owner and chef, Andrea who told us the story of this exquisite hidden gem, recommended some of their favourite dishes from the menu and also happily showed us the rest of the venue.
Not only is Olives & Plates a restaurant that serves fantastic cuisine, but they are also a wedding and conferencing venue. For weddings, they can custom design menus to your requirements and can host up to 120 guests in the restaurant (without a dance floor). Due to the venue having neutral tones, you have a blank canvas to decorate to your heart’s desire. We also browsed through a number of wedding pictures that were taken at the venue and we were completely blown away with how they transformed the venue into a magical haven. Needless to say, I will definitely be adding this spot to my ‘Wedding List’ (a girl can dream!). Lastly, they have a number of conferencing rooms available that cater for small to larger meetings – also ready to be set however you wish.
After the tour around the grounds and heading back to our table, we checked out the menu to see what this stunning restaurant had to offer. The options are endless! Everything on the menu sounds so delicious and will leave you feeling spoilt for choice. Andrea suggested that we start off our meal with a meze platter as it is one of her favourites – a platter serving halloumi cheese and flatbread, along with hummus, guacamole, tzatziki, olives and artichokes. It was presented so beautifully and tasted absolutely amazing – perfect if you are looking to share something before the main course. After savouring the meze platter, we tried three different pasta dishes – Nona’s meatballs, arrabiata with a twist and the hummus and mint ravioli. Lastly, because it sounded too good to pass up, we tried the Parmesan Panko Crusted Chicken Fillets – succulent stuffed chicken fillets served with roasted veggies. With everything that we ordered tasting so good and full of flavour, I can imagine everything on their menu is just as delicious! We enjoyed every bite but ensured that we left a little room for an indulgent treat from the ‘Table of Temptation’ to end off our lunch on a sweet note.
Considering I am allergic to nuts, I couldn’t enjoy the decadent delights that Crystal had the pleasure of indulging in (curses!), but I did get to try some of the rich Lindt Chocolate and Caramel Tart and a slice of moist Red Velvet cake. I have never been a fan of red velvet, but this cake has completely changed my perspective! The Lindt Chocolate and Caramel Tart was absolutely irresistible and I would happily head back to Olives & Plates just to get another slice of it!
So, if you are planning a romantic date or are looking for the perfect venue to hold your fairytale wedding, then be sure to check out Olives and Plates. You will not be disappointed!
Olives & Plates is open from 07h00 to 16h00 Monday to Friday, 08h00 to 15h00 on Saturdays and closed on Sundays.
By Kim Brown