If you’re looking for a filling meal to go along with your alternative pub experience, you should check out Olive R. Twists down by Covent Garden Market.
Olive R. Twists is good for going out with a group of friends for some drinks and bistro food, but don’t expect it to come cheap. However, there are coupons in the Western Student Guide that could make for a less expensive trip, including a free brunch offer!
Since they do not take reservations, I had to wait for about 20 minutes for a table in the packed restaurant.
The restaurant is dimly lit with black tables and offers a less crowded, somewhat upscale pub-like atmosphere with a full bar on one side and many TVs lining the walls. It seats around 60 people inside, plus a large outdoor patio that curves around.
Conversation was made difficult by the noise level, though I made the mistake of accidentally coming on a London Knights game night. The restaurant may usually be quieter.
We were seated at a corner table. Despite the restaurant being packed, the service was fast and the waitress took time to kindly offer menu suggestions when asked.
The very expansive and diverse menu has bistro, pasta, seafood and chicken dishes, along with a few Asian dishes for around $18 each. Pastas appear fairly expensive at around $20 each. Steaks are all $20 or more. Martinis are offered for $5 on Fridays.
Brisket Stacker for $13.99: Lots of red peppers, brisket and excessive sauce that dripped out, making a mess. Difficult to eat as the stuffing easily slips out. Bread is somewhat bitter. The beef was fatty and fairly salty but otherwise enjoyable and substantial. Very filling.
House Soup (came with sandwich; other options were salad or fries): Creamy potato broth, thin slices of potato, bacon and chives. Topped with a bit of sour cream. Initially has a creamy potato taste that is quickly overwhelmed by the heavy salt that ruined the soup.
1lb of Wings for $12.49: Came with 8 jumbo wings that, while large, were still on the pricey side. Got the recommended JD BBQ sauce, which was fairly sweet and a bit salty. Crispy skin, pretty heavy on the sauce (ask for extra napkins). Also came with four small lettuce and carrot sticks and ranch dip.
Price: 4/5: For the most part a good bang for your buck, especially with entrées.
Atmosphere: 2.5/5: Great pub-like feel, but the noise level makes having a good conversation while dining difficult.
Service: 3.5/5: Was quick for the most part but forgot some requests like more napkins (she needed to be reminded) and was really slow to bring the bill.
Food & Drink: 2.5/5: Good variety but everything was overly salty, making multiple drink refills a must.
If you want to try it yourself:
130 King St. (London, ON)