Olive & Thai: Delicious Food With Excellent Service

Although Olive and Thai opened in spring 2023, I hadn’t noticed it until just last week, when I walked past and saw all the tables were full and there was a queue leading to the door.

I was intrigued by this new (I then thought) Thai place. So, early on Saturday evening, I headed over to the Queens Arcade with a couple of friends. It was a good thing that we made a booking because, even as early as 5.30, the restaurant was already busy.

We were warmly welcomed into the restaurant by Olive & Thai’s waiting staff and were taken to a table on the second floor, passing the kitchen and lots of other full tables on way through. We sat down, and whilst there wasn’t a lot of room around our table, with other parties sitting pretty close and the balcony overlooking the central arcade just behind us, we were comfortable and keen to look over the menu.

The menu at Olive and Thai is long, as I have come to expect with Thai restaurants, but it wasn’t overwhelming. Every dish had a brief description, and the spice level was indicated. There were also a lot of drink options to choose from, including a good range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic choices.

We opted to stick to water, and then for food, we went for a few of our favourite dishes and decided to share them amongst us, all in one go – which is how I think Thai food should be enjoyed! We also ordered some prawn crackers with a sweet chilli dipping sauce, which gave us something to nibble on whilst we waited for our food to arrive (which didn’t take long).

From the starter menu, we ordered the duck summer rolls (£7) which were packed with vermicelli noodles, chunks of duck meat, carrots, cucumber and herbs. They were sliced into 4 and served with a fiery homemade fresh chilli and herb dipping sauce and a side of salad. The summer rolls were a great and super fresh addition to our main meal. I loved the crunch and refreshing flavours that the rolls offered and would have been happy eating the full plate!

From the main menu, we opted for the chicken Massaman curry (£13.95), and the black bean beef (£11.50). Both dishes were delicious, without blowing our heads off with spice. The Massaman curry was rich with coconut milk and had a generous amount of chicken. The potatoes and veggies were soft and packed with flavour and the addition of roasted cashew nuts finished the bowl off perfectly. Massaman is probably my favourite Thai dish, and although the curry from Olive and Thai was on the slightly expensive side, it did not disappoint. The curry was also a generous portion – plenty enough for us to share the dish.

The black bean beef is not a dish that we would usually go for, but as there were three of us sharing the food, we wanted to make sure we had enough to go around – and I am glad we did because the dish was delicious. Beef in black bean sauce is a Cantonese speciality. The Olive and Thai dish was fab, packed full of flavour with stir-fried peppers, spring onions, broccoli and green beans. Again, it was a generous portion – with plenty to go around for our sharing style meal. Neither of the main dishes was served with any rice/noodles, so we ordered some sticky rice (which was very sticky and came in an interesting bamboo box). The rice portion wasn’t huge, but large enough to share between two, especially with the addition of the summer rolls.

The whole experience at Olive and Thai was great. The staff were friendly and helpful, we didn’t have to wait too long for our food, and when it arrived it was delicious. The portion sizes are good and the prices are fair. Overall, we had a lovely evening at Olive and Thai and would happily go back to spend time with friends and enjoy great food.

Olive & Thai’s opening times
Monday to Thursday noon until 9 p.m.
Friday and Saturday noon until 9.30 p.m.
Sunday noon until 8 p.m.

0II3 244 9699

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