A café by morning, a lunch spot at noon and a bar come evening, Oliv in Como Park, East Kemang attracts a mixed crowd that shifts as the day progresses. The earlier half of the day is mostly filled with work-from-café goers and families with furry friends catching a break from the dog park, while the evening fuels a more buzzy and energetic vibe with regular music nights and live performances, that sweep across genres from R&B, afrobeat and jazz.
Anchoring the different experiences is the warm and trendy interior that sets the mood instantly upon entrance. Taking cues from its name and the friendship symbolism that is attached to the olive tree, there’s the green and white chequered sofa, yellow pouffes, and textured green-painted wood grain of the dropped ceiling, all basked in soft yellowish light.
Curated to reflect the homey premise it was designed for, the menu revolves around comfort dishes that draw from various influences fitting for the modern palate of Oliv’s crowd: the Africaine Jerk Chicken arrives alongside a five-cheese sauce with truffle mashed potato and spinach salad, while the Oliv Caring Sharing Steak serves karubi-grade steak on a creamy bed of brandy bell pepper sauce and café de Paris butter, torched tableside.
The open floor plan also means that wherever one chooses to sit, they’d get a glimpse of the bar action, where classic cocktails like the smooth Negroni and Pineapple Margarita are available on tap and riffs such as the Rum DMC with its rum-infused tamarind base and zesty orange liqueur make a good choice to ease into the night.
The kind of laid-back, unhurried joint that calls for regular visits, Oliv is simultaneously reliable and unpredictable at the same time, carving a different experience depending on what time or day you enter. Expect anything between a quiet lunch break while furry friends get friendly with one another, a live band playing in the corner, or a bar takeover before the music turns up.