The Olive Tree, 88 High Street, Cheadle, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST10 1AJ.
88 High Street, Cheadle, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, ST10 1AJ.
The Olive Tree is a small, independent tapas bar in the town of Cheadle in Staffordshire. The restaurant was visited on a weekday evening, when the Evening Menu was available. Nearby on-street parking is only for 30 minutes during the day, but there is also a nearby pay and display car park, which is free after 3:30 PM.
This is a small place, with only seven tables in the restaurant on the ground floor, although it's possible that there are more tables available up- and downstairs during busy periods. The restaurant was not that busy, with several tables occupied, with Spanish music playing in the background. There is a small bar area, for the staff to get drinks from, not for customers to sit at, at the back of the restaurant and the kitchen was through to the rear.
On entering, you are asked if you have been there before. There is a checkbox list with the menu, in which you choose the dishes you want, and tick the required quantity. The suggested amount to order was 3 1/2 per person. The food could be served in two ways; either all of it could be brought at once, which would take longer, or dishes could alternatively be brought out as and when they were ready, which was apparently how tapas is normally served.
Between 6 and 7 PM, all dishes on the Evening Menu have 10% off, on Wednesday night three dishes can be bought for £10 and on Tuesdays ladies get a free glass of sparkling wine and can also have a free sweet if they order three tapas dishes. The Olive Tree also has a reward card system, where every bill over £15 gets one stamp. After three stamps, you can have either a free glass of wine or a sweet; after six a free bottle of house wine or 3 tapas dishes.
There was a range of wines, beers, spirits, bottled soft drinks, tea and coffee available, and there were cutlery and paper napkins on the table.
Two drinks were ordered; a small bottle of Coca Cola and a small bottle of Highland Spring, each of which was 200 ml in size. Both had been chilled and were served in a glass, with ice if desired.
Five main courses were ordered, although technically there is no such thing as starter or main courses on the menu, rather than the suggested seven. More could always have been ordered later, but the ones ordered were found to be ample.
The first dish was Championnes el Ajileo, which is mushrooms cooked in garlic butter. There was a lot of butter in the dish of these, and the tasted strongly of garlic. The mushrooms had been cut up, either halved or quartered depending on their initial size.
Paella was another dish. This was one with mixed fish, chicken and chorizo, along with the paella rice and pieces of red and green pepper and onion. This dish was substantial in size, easily twice the size of any of the other dishes, although the majority of it was rice, rather than meat or fish.
Tiger Gambas con Limon y Perejil is garlic tiger prawns with lemon and parsley. This consisted of seven tiger prawns, with sliced red chilli as well, and was served with a wedge of lemon.
Los Higados de Pollo con Tocino Ahumada, Patatas y Cebollas Rojas was pan fried chicken liver, smoked bacon, potato and caramelised red onions. The liver was quite a strong tasting one, and this was an interesting combination of flavours. The potatoes were, by the looks of it, small, possibly new potatoes, which had been sliced.
The final dish ordered was Calamares, which was deep fried battered squid rings and was also served with a wedge of lemon. Squid rings are often quite chewy, but these weren't so much.
All the dishes except the paella were served in terracotta bowls; the paella came in a large metal pan and was substantially larger than the other dishes, although it cooled down quickly, possibly because of the metal pan.
The desserts were listed on a blackboard, and were not Spanish in origin. The two desserts ordered were Rich Chocolate Brownie, which was served with toffee sauce and vanilla ice cream and was served hot, and Baked Cheesecake with Blueberries, which also came with a scoop of ice cream.
The ice cream looked like it could be genuine vanilla ice cream. Each dessert was of a decent size, and quite tasty. The brownie was quite rich and filling and there was a decent quantity of blueberries with the cheesecake.
The cost of the meal including drinks came to £34.13. The food was brought out quite quickly, with the first couple of dishes being brought out in under 10 minutes, and the rest, usually two at a time, brought out quite quickly after that, so there was not long to wait for them and the previous dishes were not finished before more dishes were brought out.
The price was not too bad for the amount of food eaten, and it was all of a decent quality. Nothing truly stood out as being an exceptional dish, but it was all nice and there was enough within the five dishes for two diners. Seven dishes would probably have been too much. The only real problem was with the paella; it cooled too rapidly and there wasn't enough fish or meat in it for the size of the dish. The drink bottles were a bit on the small side; 330ml Coke and 500ml sparkling water would have been better sizes.
On busier nights, it would probably be necessary to book a table, given that the amount of seating looks fairly limited. Tapas is an ideal meal in that you can order a variety of different dishes, and the amount you order isn't fixed. Overall, The Olive Tree in Cheadle was an enjoyable restaurant to visit, and is recommended if in the area.