Olive Garden Restaurant Review (Kuwait)
To members of the ‘Slow Food Movement’, food connoisseurs and for those who love to enjoy their meal in a cozy ambiance accompanied only with a few gentle whispers and some light music flowing with the cuisine served, let me inform you straight away that this is NOT the place for you.
Now since that’s out, let me also add that factoring food quality, cost, ambiance and service, Olive Garden is presently one of our favorite places to go to in Kuwait. It offers good food at a reasonable cost and their excellent customer service and clean interiors are just a bonus. My first experience was when I had visited the franchise in US, and adding that to the numerous times we have dined at the various branches in Kuwait, I can boldly say that our experience has been consistent and good.
The restaurant began operations in 1982 and the décor is inspired by the timeless warmth of farmhouses in Tuscany, Italy. This is more evident in their international branches where they are standalone buildings rather than confined spaces rented in a mall. Today the brand can boast of more than 700 restaurants all over and Kuwait as of now has about 3 branches operated by ‘Americana Group’.
Italian food at its best is simple, fresh, and flavorful. It’s more than just spaghetti and meatballs or pizza. The food varies by region and some of the best Italian restaurants are those that differentiate their regional cuisine from the standard fare and stick to what they know. Olive Garden offers a decent amount of options on their menu which includes pictures and a brief description. For the most part you get what you see on the menu.
The Olive Garden is popular for their Garden Salad, served with crisp greens, peppers, onion, black olives and of course their signature Italian dressing. With any main course you are offered a free ‘unlimited’ choice of salad or soup. While all the soups are good, the Chicken and Gnocchi cream soup is our most preferred and we like to have that along with their fresh baked batch of long Bread Sticks. We have tried lot of the items on their menu and for this visit we ordered the Lasagna Classico (Kd 4.250) and Chicken Marsala (Kd 4.950). The Lasagna is an ultra-comforting, generous dish packed with layers of pasta, meat sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, romano and parmesan cheese. We have had this quite a few times and it’s hard to wrong with this one. If you are not a hefty eater, a single dish may suffice for two. The Chicken Marsala is an Italian-American dish that dates back to the 19th century, when it most likely originated with English families who lived in the western Sicily region, where Marsala wine is produced. I’m not sure how its prepared in the middle east without the Marsala wine but this dish is very delicious. It has sautéed chicken breasts in a savory sauce of mushroom, garlic and marsala sauce. This is served with Tuscan potatoes and bell peppers. You can find the Olive Garden chicken Marsala recipe here ! For drinks we got their popular Raspberry Lemonade (Kd 1). FYI this drink has unlimited refills 🙂 . Total bill Kd 10.200 (FYI we had to pack some food).
While this is certainly not the crème de la crème for Italian cuisine in Kuwait, we think Olive Garden (Kuwait) makes it in the top 5 restaurants in terms of ‘value for money’. I almost forgot to mention the chocolate mints that are served along with the bill (wonder why 😉 )
Ratings – Ambiance – 7/10, Service – 7/10, Menu – 7/10, Food – 6/10, Consistency – 6/10, Value for Money – 6/10
Overall – This restaurant leaves you satisfied with fresh quality ingredients, friendly staff and decent Italian food with incredible value.
UPDATE- 5 Feb 2019 – OUR LAST COUPLE OF VISITS TO THE RESTAURANT HAD BEEN QUITE UNSATISFACTORY AND CONSIDERING THE OPTIONS WE HAVE IN KUWAIT, WE NO LONG FEATURE THIS IN THE TOP 7 (or even a choice restaurant to dine in…)
- Avenues Mall, Grand Avenues 1st floor
Tel: +965 22200532
- Taween St, Arabella Mall, Next to Palms Hotel
Tel: +965 22275466
- Mahboula, Cournish Road, Levels Complex
Tel: +965 23724935