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“Nice pasta, awful pizza. Too expensive”

Olivelli - Waterloo
Ranked #751 of 22,853 Restaurants in London
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $13 - $26
Cuisines: Italian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: The Paradiso story began with Olivelli's Hotel and restaurant which was founded in 1934 by Sicilian-born Rita and Enrico Olivelli. Situated in Store Street - heart of Bohemian London, it quickly became a culinary haven for students from nearby RADA and established actors and actresses at London theatres.Olivelli's name spread rapidly thanks to its warm, friendly atmosphere and authentic, value-for-money food. Such was its reputation that the Marx Brothers insisted on eating at the restaurant on their one and only visit to England. Among other famous diners were the legendary 'naughty girl' Mae West, Danny Kaye, Mickey Rooney, Bob Hope and Liberace.When Sicilian-born Giovanni and Salvatore Salamone bought Olivelli in 1993 - the first of their popular chain of Olivelli Paradiso outlets (now known simply as Olivelli) across London - they took care to preserve the restaurant's unique characteristics, recreating its welcoming atmosphere and using only the finest, freshest ingredients sourced from Italy and nearby markets.Hardly surprising then that contemporary celebrities such as Mel Brookes, Eric Clapton, Kevin Spacey, Graham Norton, Ben Elton, and Jack Dee continue to dine at Olivelli restaurants.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Nice pasta, awful pizza. Too expensive”
Reviewed March 4, 2014

You would expect nicer food for that price. We ended up spending £52 for a pizza, a pasta dish, a starter and 4 beers.

The pasta was nice, but the pizza was awful. Rubbery and tasteless. We also ordered fried calamari as a starter and they were not good at all. The butter was very bad.

It is not worthy to spend that much money for that meal.

On top of that, we were constantly interrupted by the service.... not ideal if you are engaged in a conversation or you want to enjoy 'the moment'.

  • Visited March 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Bofilla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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536 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Danish first
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English first
London, United Kingdom
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Lovely little Italian”
Reviewed February 27, 2014

I recently dined at Olivelli and it was the perfect place for me and my friend to have a good catch up over dinner. The food was really tasty (garlic bread was a hit!) and the house wine was very good too. I was really satisfies with the value for money, the atmosphere was nice and the waiters were friendly and did not rush us at all. I will definitely be returning with friends again!

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Review collected in partnership with this restaurant

Helpful?
Thank Danielle N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level 5 Contributor
85 reviews
62 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“Serviceable food, questionable service”
Reviewed February 22, 2014

Being busy is no excuse for poor service. The pre-theater crowd had filled the tables of this welcoming eatery one Saturday afternoon portending good things - or so we thought. Once things were hopping our server was seen rushing from table to table with the occasional nod to us as he flew by. Feeling abandoned we reached out to the young female server on duty who was quite responsive. The food was serviceable - mussels though well cooked were served in a lackluster broth. The bruschetta was terrific however. Pastas (bolognese and seafood) were quite ordinary. In fairness we plan to go back as we need to explore the menu further. Great location for both the Old and Young Vic Theaters.

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Mjwinkusa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Royal Tunbridge Wells, United Kingdom
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Lunchtime meeting”
Reviewed February 20, 2014

I booked this restaurant as it serves lovely food in a quiet environment which ws ideal for a meeting over lunch

  • Visited February 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Review collected in partnership with this restaurant

Helpful?
Thank PennyR30
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saffron Walden, England, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
152 reviews
111 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 44 helpful votes
“Good for the Young Vic”
Reviewed February 19, 2014 via mobile

We looked for somewhere to eat after a matinee at the Young Vic (the excellent Sizwe Bansi). Four-thirty is an odd time to eat but Olivelli has a lunch menu that goes on until five so we gave it a try. The set lunch looked good value but not very exciting, so we went onto the main menu. I had swordfish on roasted 'Mediterranean' veg (is leek a Med veg?): nicely cooked. My wife chose the tuna which was cooked and served in a paper bag with a wine sauce: very bland and a disappointment. The service was fine, the atmosphere of the room very pleasant, and we had an excellent bottle of Frascati. We would probably return but choose something else.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank debelt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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