In the heart of Surry Hills lies Dove & Olive, a pub popular with locals with cheap food and drink, and a great atmosphere to go with it. I met Lex after work on Friday after booking a table for us and my Mum and Dad and surviving some excruciating traffic on Qantas Drive. After passing the creepy security guard and edging my way through the hoards of people, I managed to meet Lex in the upstairs dining area (which was also really busy – luckily I booked!). The dining area has two bars as well, so you don’t need to go downstairs for your drinks. The drinks were cheap – although originally I thought $12 for a Vodka + cranberry and a Pale Ale was really expensive, until Lex told me clearly I hadn’t bought a round in a long time (perks of being a female?!).
The great thing about the menu at Dove & Olive is that they suggest a beer to accompany each meal based on flavour palettes. This is pretty cool, particularly if you’re not sure what best suits the meal you’re eating. Since Lex and I were there an hour before my parents, we decided to nibble on some of their Spicy Shoestring Fries which had cayenne salt sprinkled over them, and chilli ketchup on the side (although I couldn’t taste the chilli in the ketchup at all so we went and grabbed some sauce from their shelves – there are heaps to choose from too!). They came out before I even had time to sit back down and were piping hot. They weren’t the best fries I’ve ever come across, but the serving was exceptionally generous, especially at just $7 a pop.
For mains Lex, Dad and I all went for the steak. Lex and I missed out on going to STK when we were in NY, so we were really craving a good steak. In hindsight a $16 steak at a pub wasn’t going to be the best ever, but I was still hopeful. Lex went for the Angus Scotch Fillet and Dad and I chose the Black Angus Rump with mustard and veggies. Another thing you should know about me is that I love gravy (I’ve even been known to pour it over fried rice), so of course I opted for the gravy on the side, Lex went for the Peppercorn. As I type this I’m reminded of a time Lex choked on a peppercorn when we were on a romantic date, it was too funny. I digress. Back to the food…Mum went for the Atlantic Salmon with steamed veggies and thought it was great. As for the steak, it was nice and really for $16 you can’t expect a Kingsley’s steak. As far as pub grub goes, this was a pretty good meal and we’d definitely come back again. At the end of a meal Lex and I always ask each other, “Would you come here again?, Would you order that again?” – and that’s how we can tell if we really liked the food. As for Dove & Olive, the answer would be yes to both questions.
I do want to add that on a Friday night the atmosphere in this local pub was something special. Packed full of people and tables cracking up with laughter – and that was just on the upstairs dining area! I can imagine what the downstairs bar area would have been like…