Though I'm hardly a connoisseur of Greek food (and I wish I was now that I've been to two of the Olive Trees!), I've not often had Greek food that's this good!
On the night in question, I arrived at the Olive Tree at what I imagine is their busiest time of day, brandishing a voucher I'd stumbled across online. I'd called ahead to warn of my cheapness/voucher and it was accepted with a smile from the restaurant's owner. Whether this would have been the case if it was busy, I'm not sure - it was a quiet mid-week night.
Having been to the Headingley Olive Tree months the previous year I remembered there were things I was unsure of and really wanted to try, by at £15 a dish I didn't have the guts. This time, the voucher gave me bravery and I went for the seafood platter. Everything on the plate tasted incredibly fresh, was cooked perfectly and arranged beautifully. And it was HUGE. I couldn't finish it. My girlfriend opted for an equally amazing chunk of lamb stuffed with feta and spinach which was equally amazing - it fell apart at the slightest twist of the fork.
As the main courses don't come with anything, we ordered a bunch of side-dishes, the star of which was the spontaneously chosen plate of spinach. I have never, before or since, had such tasty spinach. I can only wish I could cook spinach so well and which such amazing flavour, and it complemented our meals so well that we had more of that then the bowl of (equally nice) frieds that we ordered, as it was such a nice change.
Great service, a lovely environment, reasonable prices and amazing food.
This was a fantastically disappointing lunch.
I'll get the food out of the way. The food was pretty nice, but not overly generous. Why does a pitta bread starter come without dips? Why, when I order lamb meatballs from a list entitled 'Meals with Pitta' is there a copious amount of tomato sauce surrounding my four meatballs but no pitta? Thank god we ordered a portion of chips or we would have been reduced to lapping up the excess sauce directly from the plate. Had I known, my preference would have been for a side of rice.
The meatballs themselves were delicious, crispy on the outside and beautifully flavoured, but the lack of any sundry made it overpriced in my opinion. We were eating off the lunch from a fiver menu but somehow it ended up as £26. The meatballs were £6 which means £1.50 each. Not impressive. Plus, the cola was 2 quid and just came out of a regular litre bottle which meant it was not cold and on the way towards flatness. You can get away with that in a cheapy-cheap place without a proper bar, but not here.
Service then. I have never felt so unwelcome. Lunch was served from 12-2 and we went in at half one only to be greeted with a sceptical face and, 'we close at two'. Well alright, but it's half one now! I would understand if we'd waltzed in at five to, but with half an hour to go it's just rude. The whole meal felt incredibly awkward. I've never had such a rubbish experience when the food has been good. And then a service charge was added on!
The two stars is only because the meatballs are really delicious. Hopefully they're just as good in Headingley because there's no way I'm going back to Chapel Allerton.
This year for my Mothers birthday we went to The Olive Tree for a meal. This one on Harrogate Road in Chapel Allerton is quite a small place which does have its draw backs but on the whole it is a pleasant restaurant.
The problems first. As I said this is quite a small place so there's not much chance for a very private conversation at certain tables but its not too cramped and it wouldn't put me off. Some of the waiting staff could have been a little more friendly but no one was rude they were just busy.
Now to the good points. Even though it was a Friday night and I don't think there was a free table the food came quickly and was very nice. There was a nice atmosphere with it being quite busy. The menu is different to any other places nearby as far as I know there isn't another Greek restaurant in north Leeds (the other branches excluded).
Over all this was a nice place to eat. The Olive Tree offers good food and that does come at a price so expect to pay £25 - £35 per head (with 2 courses and wine).
There are three branches of this award winning Greek restaurant in Leeds - in Chapel Allerton, Headingley and Rodley. I can only comment on the Chapel Allerton branch but I'm sure the food is similarly outstanding at all three. I don't think I have seen another restaurant specialising in Greek food before, let alone Leeds, so this place is a real treat!
My boyfriend had a fish dish that looked and smelt so fresh, topped with herbs and lime juice. I went for a vegetarian and traditional Greek meal of aubergine moussaka that came with layers of courgettes and potatoes. It was really filling and definitely worth splashing out on. Having said that, it isn't too expensive compared to other top end restaurants around Leeds. It has won countless acclaim in the restaurant world, as you will see from the signs outside if you pass by. At the moment they are doing offers where you can get 2 or 3 courses for a really good price at certain times - worth checking out for sure.
Perhaps I don't get out much, but I'm sure that there aren't a plethora of Greek restaurants in Leeds, if any at all apart from Olive Tree. So, when one fancies something like, say, Baklava then this is the place to find it. (This and the other Olive Tree branches, that is.) On one such occasion recently I fancied just that and so my boyfriend and I looked up on the interwebs for meal deals and offers, looking reliably to the LeedsGrub blog, and we were reminded that Olive Tree have an early bird offer of 3 courses from their set menu for £14.95. This is such a reasonable offer, one which we've taken advantage of in Headingley, so we threw monetary caution to the wind and set off for Chapel A.
We arrived and were the only guests there to take advantage of the deal, which I thought a little strange as other guests arrived as we were finishing to pay full whack, but perhaps other diners aren't as savvy (or as poor) as us! Nevertheless we were greeted warmly and seated and served promptly, which was excellent as we were starving. We ordered the goats cheese pancake type things for starters with the mixed dips, which were delicious, and shared the lot. The houmous and tzatziki as ever were delicious with the freshly heated pittas and the goats cheese pancake things (I'm useless with names) were mouth watering.
For the mains I opted for the moussaka, which was really delicious and an ample portion. (Especially considering we'd still one more course to go.) My boyfriend opted for the meatballs, however, and I was massively jealous. His was utterly flavoursome, perfectly cooked and the sauce was to die for! I know what I'll be eating next time... For pudding we had the cheesecake and baklava and both were a delight to the senses as well. The baklava is such a rich dessert that I recommend it to the sweetest toothed diner, as it's packed with honey and syrup and just melts in your mouth. I could barely finish it, for richness and for being entirely stuffed, but of course I did. How could you not?
All in all I'm a big fan of Olive Tree and will definitely be back. Although I've not ventured beyond the set discount menu the food is still fantastic and it never feels as if there has been any less love in the creation of it just because it is discounted. Fresh, delicious, hearty and flavoursome are just a few words I'd use to describe this restaurant. Delicious is another.
Oh dear, for such a famous Leeds chain I have had 2 bad meals and I won't be going there again.
I had a groupon deal one time and the other was a discount my friend had.
1) I ordered the chicken in white wine & cream. My chicken was NOT properly cooked! There were traces of blood in it and today I feel very ill indeed
2) They smother everything in parsley. I don't mind a piece I can take off but there was more parsley than anything else!
3) They claim the puddings are homemade - sorry but that ice cream came out of a tub, and not a quality brand either.
It was also terribly noisy - there were several people talking on their mobile phones during dinner, which I do think should be a no no.
I'm giving them 2 stars because both times my friend really enjoyed her meal.
**After slating the Olive Tree in Headingley it's only fair I give the one in Chapel Allerton its due.**
Mondays are hard to take seriously when the sun is shining so we decided to indulge ourselves with a lunch out.
The Olive Tree in Chapel Allerton doesn't have a huge amount of space outside on the pavement, but there are a few seats for the insistently al fresco if you don't mind being sat right on a noisy main road. I'm glad to say that sitting just a few feet inside allows you to avoid most of the traffic noise but still enjoy the fresh air through their large open front windows.
The service was very helpful and patient, and although you would expect this when the place is nearly empty it's still not always a given in this country. The restaurant itself was immaculate if unspectacular in its decor, although I imagine it can get pretty cramped on a busy evening.
I had the chicken in white wine and cream sauce, simple but well done and with plenty of sauce to mop up with my pitta. My partner had the calamari, which was passable rather than great, but this far inland I would stick to ordering seafood at seafood specialists anyway, or is that just old fashioned? Even ignoring the seafood section completely there would still be a good variety on offer.
3 courses and a bottle will set you back £35+ so it's more tuxedo than taverna, but there's plenty to enjoy here for Grecophiles and newbies alike.
Wowzers. We went yesterday for lunch (both had a day off for general sunshiney-lazing-around-and-beer) and ate ourselves stupid. Despite it being a beautiful day and lovely cooking smells emanating from the open french windows, we were the only people in there for the entire lunch sitting, which was sort of a shame but also not because we got excellent service. And when we walked past later on our way back from the pub it was heaving so I felt better.
Anyway, the food. Oh, the food. We didn't have a starter because we ordered pretty hefty mains (swordfish for him and lamb stuffed with feta and spinach for me), and side orders (greek salad and good old greek chips). It was absolutely the best lamb I've ever tasted in my life. It was soft and tender and cooked beautifully and the spinach and feta with it was like some kind of alchemy. My mouth's watering now as I think about it.
Even though we were absolutely stuffed after that we still had pudding as I'd convinced Steve that baklava was the best thing ever invented, and it was (although not as sticky as I've enjoyed it before but maybe I'm not the baklava expert I thought I was).
Two beers, a glass of wine and all the above came to just over £58 with 10% service. Although the 10% is optional, and it states it on the bill and the menu, part of me likes the tradition of leaving money on the table when I leave, because I can leave a bit more or less than 10% as I choose. But because I didn't say anything the waiter (who was very nice) tapped the total into the card machine thingy and I just had to put my pin in.
That's a very long-winded way of saying I prefer to have the freedom of tipping what I like without having to shout about it.
But none of all that was enough to knock a star off, because the entire meal was so tasty we're trying to think of who to invite to come with us next time so we can spread the word in a culinary Jehova's witness stylee.
Lovely authentic greek restaurant. The staff are really brilliant, excellent service with a friendly chat and smile. The food is fantastic, just like in Greece, all lovely and fresh and seemingly made by the Olive Tree themselves.
We had a lovely meal for two at this restaurant on my birthday in October, two starters, two main courses, two side orders and a bottle of wine for around £70. It was worth it though for the cost, especially the fish platter and briam vegetables.
The only negative point is that the tables can seem a little close together, especially if there is only a couple of you there. When I went in February there were 6 of us and we didn't notice this so much.
Loved this place.
The food was excellent, really well cooked and just amazingly tasty!
The service was pretty decent too. Alright, we went in on a quiet night but still, it was good.
I would definately reccommend it to anyone!
I need to visit this restaurant immediatley. I had a taste of their mixed dips at the Yelp Taste exchange on the 24th of November 2011 and they were truly divine compared to some places I have often turned down the pleasure of dining within. I must go they were fab and very keen to tell me about the food and how it was made which is great as i know very little about greek food.
Food is ok and can be tasty. Tables close together and customer service poor.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.