Jurisdiction: Bar & Pub Grub.
Outcome: Hung Jury.
Ratio decidendi: Despite the recent kitchen overhaul and attractive meal specials, Dove & Olive really struggled to impress when it came to quality. The acoustics also make for a surprisingly raucous environment during peak periods, which certainly makes the place lively but conversation at non-hollering tones difficult.
Salient features: baked buffalo wings ($10).
Scope of discovery: above and ribs & rump ($22).
Case note: There’s nothing wrong with self-proclamation but if one intends to lay claim to “best pub food in Sydney” – probably best have the goods to back it up. First impressions weren’t great and it didn’t get much better on the quality front once we got stuck in.
To begin with, I found it really surprising that the kitchen would send out chips that were as overcooked as the ones we received. To give you an idea of how ‘crisp’ they were – you couldn’t pick one up by poking it with a fork. To do so would simply result in the chip snapping into two as it had been (over)fried clean through and brittle. And while it’s hard for me to say this without sounding like I’m speaking in hyperbole (esp given the innocuous picture below) – it was nigh on impossible to find a half-decent chip in the stack that had managed to escape the unbridled wrath of the deep-fryer. Unsurprisingly the spicy element of the spicy shoe string fries were pretty hard to detect.
While I didn’t mean to spend a whole paragraph harping on and nitpicking at the chips, it was rather telling of what was to come with the main event. While certainly not to the same degree as the chips (that would have been some feat indeed), the ribs & rump were also on the side of being overdone but successfully rescued by the welcome presence of chimichurri, horseradish cream and gravy.
The best part of the meal was finishing with a side of buffalo wings – which again were a tad overdone, but saved by a punchy gorgonzola blue cheese dip that exploded with the kind of flavour that would be more befitting of a claim to best pub grub.