As soon as I learned how to read, I thought everything Grecian was fascinating. The food, their culture, their myths, their fashion, their architecture, everything. So, when I found out that Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna opened, I wanted to check them out right away!
The first time we visited Lemon and Olives was during Father’s Day, we wanted to have lunch there but when we went there it was literally packed.
So we tried again for dinner that night and we were told that unfortunately, no reservation, no dinner.😢
Disapointed, we had no choice but to dine somewhere else. We ended up at Hill Station Bistro, which I’m not sorry for, because dinner was amazeballs too.
I attempted to book a reservation the following Saturday after Father’s Day, but their phones weren’t working.
So I sent them a Facebook message as my person, because I never ever go around introducing myself as a food blogger, I’m proud like that 😅 , I asked them if I could set up a reservation for lunch, but unfortunately, they weren’t accepting reservations for weekends anymore, so basically, it’s either you come early or better luck next time.
We were there at 11, 10 minutes before their opening time, just to be sure. That’s how badly I wanted to try out this place as I’ve heard a lot (good and bad things) about it, but you know us, we never take anyone else’s word, because we believe that ‘taste is in the tongue of the consumer’.
Lemon and Olives Ambiance
First of all, let me tell you about the ambiance.
It’s located in Outlook Drive, so being somewhat far from the Central Business District is a major turn on.
Driving along South Drive and Outlook Drive is always a pleasant experience because these roads aren’t usually so busy. I learned to drive on these roads so whenever I pass there, it always brings me some kind of comfort.
It was really surprising that one of the old and dilapidated looking houses along Outlook Drive turned into a head-turner of a restaurant.
Like seriously, I literally did a double take the first time I drove there and saw the sign. They have a pretty cozy and inviting ambiance. They have tables set up for families, for big groups of friends and even for couples.
I suggest sitting outside the balcony so you can take in the glorious Baguio view that is truly incomparable to any other city in the Philippines who also have Pine trees.😉
Lemon and Olives Starters
Now on to the food!
With high expectations, we prepared to partake in the dishes they had available. They are after all always jam-packed; and that can only mean that they serve good food!
For starters we ordered, the Hummus.
Hummus is made of mashed chick peas (or other beans), tahini (condiment made out of sesame seeds, similar to peanut butter in consistency), lemon juice, olive oil, salt and garlic. It usually comes with Pita Bread.
Lemon and Olives’ Hummus is okay, but it didn’t wow me like the one in Foggy Mountain Cookhouse did. I guess it depends on how you like your hummus.
I found the texture okay, it was creamy but it was bland, it can also use maybe a teaspoon more of olive oil. It’s not bad but it could be better, I definitely expected more from it.
But also, maybe Chef Babes just set my expectations too high.😅
The pita bread was overly toasted which is why I didn’t enjoy this appetizer as much.
I was excited about the Grilled Octopus, only because it’s been a while since I’ve actually had octopus.
Unfortunately, it was overcooked.😢
Signs the octopus was overcooked: 1) The charred tentacle pieces; 2) It was chewy
It’s a good thing that it was seasoned perfectly. I just wish it wasn’t overcooked, but there were parts that were just right, so there’s that.
Although, I expected a few pieces more, like was this a baby octopus or what? Perhaps they should have used a smaller plate so that it would look like there’s more.
“O” wanted something spicy so he ordered the first thing he saw with the word ‘spicy’ on it.😅 So we ordered the Spicy Soutzouki Sausage.
This wasn’t spicy for him though, not even mildly. I have a low tolerance for anything spicy and usually when he says it’s not spicy enough for him, it ends up being too hot for me to handle. So, I proceeded to taste it with caution.
True enough though, it wasn’t spicy. It had a nice little kick at the very end which was good. However, I do feel that it’s too expensive for what seemed like a German sized frank cut into pieces.
Lemon and Olives’ Special Lamb Chops
Then came the Special Lamb Chops.
I was surprised to find that it only consisted of 3 of the tiniest lamb chops I have ever seen in my life.
It came with a side of pita bread and a salad.
Like not even Le Chef, known for unreasonably priced food – good food, yes, but overly expensive, wouldn’t have served such tiny pieces of lamb chops. Like seriously, this was infuriating, I was like, ‘where’s the rest of it?’.
I expected the lamb chops to be bigger.
Thankfully, this tasted really delicious. So I can let it slide that it’s minuscule because it was good.
cremated cooked well done and with just the right amount of sauce. I asked for it to be well done as opposed to medium well because ‘O’ and the kids won’t eat it if there’s a hint of pink in it.; even though I’ve explained to them that it’s not blood, they won’t touch it. Fools.😒
I’ve had my fair share of medium-well done horror stories to last me a lifetime! So since this is the first time we’re visiting, I went for the safe way to order it.
So anyway, the lamb chops were perfectly cooked all the way through without it being cremated.😅 That made me truly happy because now I know I can order it medium well the next time and it would turn out just right.
The lamb chops came with a barbecue sauce that tasted like it could have been mustard based – it was good. I also liked it without the sauce.
From Lemon and Olives’ Oven
Then came the Moussaka.
It’s made with potatoes, eggplant, ground beef, tomato sauce and then topped with Béchamel sauce (fancy term for white sauce).
Moussaka is basically like lasagna made with potatoes and eggplant; it’s really good but can be unappetizing after a while.
So a little goes a long way with this one. Pair it with the lamb chops and it is divine!
Out of all the food that we ordered, this one was the only one that I think was priced right for it’s serving. It’s filling and it tastes delicious!
Then we had the Greek Style Spaghetti.
It’s made with spaghetti pasta, beef sirloin chunks, red sauce and topped with mozzarella cheese; served on a cast iron pan.
I guess what made it ‘Greek’ was the beef sirloin chunks and mozzarella cheese, but other than that, this tasted like regular spaghetti, hardly noteworthy.
Lemon and Olives’ Espresso Bar
Since it was still kind of early, this was brunch for us, so we ordered coffee.
I had the Freddo Iced Coffee and he had the Greek Coffee.
I love coffee, and although I think a frappuccino is an abomination (😅long story for another time), I do love iced coffee.
The Freddo Iced Coffee reminded me of how my Vietnamese friend prepares Vietnamese coffee, brewed coffee with condensed milk and lots of ice. That’s exactly how it tasted like. Brewed coffee, with condensed milk and lots of ice.
Although, I think they used fresh or whole milk and corn syrup (or some kind of other syrup) to make it look like it had 3 layers; it was definitely a pretty coffee, as far as looks are concerned. I liked it, yeah I’d order it again.
The Greek Coffee, tasted like brewed coffee, without milk or creamer and with just a hint of sweetness. I thought we were going to be treated to a ‘coffee pouring’ show when the lady set up a table beside us, it turns out she was just going to pour the coffee the normal way.😅
We were literally excited for nothing.😂
Anyway, ‘C’ had the Fresh Mango Shake and because it is summer, of course the mango was sweet and the shake was divine. It was so good she even ate the slice of mango for garnish.😅
‘L’ had a can of soda, they serve Coca-Cola products.
Dessert at Lemon and Olives
For dessert, we ordered the Baklava.
I ordered it because I know it’s similar to Napoleones, a popular Filipino dessert from Bacolod. Minus the nuts and it is Napoleones.
This one was flaky and crispy, which is why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I would if it were softer and chewier like a Napoleones, but then again this is Baklava, not Napoleones.
Baklava can either be crispy or soft like a Napoleones, since both are made of basically the same thing, Filo pastry, sweeteners (syrup, cream or condensed milk) with nuts for Baklava.
You’d absolutely enjoy this if you have a sweet tooth.
OverAll: Verdict, Tips, Other Thoughts
Overall, we had a pleasant brunch at Lemon & Olives Greek Taverna. The staff were friendly, I loved that everyone was smiling even though it was getting really busy, so yay for their staff of happy people!😊
Will I come back even if I think they have unreasonable prices for their portions? Yes, definitely, because of the lamb chops. It was tiny, but it tasted good. They should use smaller plates though, to make it seem like they have bigger portions.
And I don’t understand why their portions are so small, it’s Greek cuisine after all! Greek = Big!
But since they are just starting out, I’ll give them a chance to redeem themselves, here’s hoping your portions become bigger, fit to be called “Greek”.
Since they are pretty new and people are still curious about them but you’d like to sink your teeth into their food, I suggest you go on a weekday so you can book a reservation.
Lemon and Olives don’t accept reservations on weekends. So come early if you plan visiting on a weekend so you can have the best seats in the house.
They have a Specials section on their menu that you can only order a day in advance, you can check out their Facebook page for more information.
Lemon & Olives Greek Taverna
#26 Outlook Drive, Baguio City, Philippines
Lemon and Olives Greek Taverna on Facebook