Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit

Olea Kuala Lumpur – Mediterranean, Chow Kit

Olea Kuala Lumpur – Mediterranean Restaurant, The Row

Words: Monica Tindall
Photos: Han Sen Hau

The Mediterranean style of eating has long-proven health benefits. It’s both nutritious and delicious based on fresh, whole ingredients, minimally processed with a good balance of lean meats, fish and plants. We’re excited to see the celebration of this approach to food in Kuala Lumpur with Olea at The Row in Chow Kit. 

Founder, Jenn Khoo, used her nutrition background to design the menu with a “less is more” concept. The recipes are ingredient-driven. She says, “Preparation, flavours and plating are kept simple yet sophisticated to bring attention to the natural profile of each ingredient.” Her calm, elegant character is a natural advertisement for the menu. As the onlooker said in When Harry Met Sally, “I’ll have what she’s having” if it gives me even a hint of her glowing skin and peaceful presence. 

The setting is inviting. The natural colour palette is a casual respite from the hustle and bustle of the KL city centre, and potted plants further enhance the spirit with the healing powers of nature. It’s a place to enjoy quality conversations over delicious food and drinks. They have a well-chosen playlist, too (three cheers for someone who is not repeating the same uninspiring 80s tunes reverberating from speakers around the city). Unobtrusive R&B melodies offer an upbeat background, helping us ease into an energised but relaxed mood. 

Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Olea – The Row
Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Lovely New Restaurant at The Row, Chow Kit
Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Mediterranean Restaurant – Chow Kit

Olea KL Wine List

The Mediterranean lifestyle has a healthy balance of wine with food. As such, Olea offers a simple one-page wine list of mostly old-world wines with a couple of New Zealand, Australian and Chilean thrown in for balance. Four wines are available by the glass, and an agreeable selection by the bottle begins at RM 158 for the house-pour and ends at RM 469 for some more premium drops.

Available by the glass, the Spanish 2021 Care Blanco Sobre Lias White Grenache Chardonnay from Cariñena (RM 32) offers a nose of fresh citrus, white flowers, and honeysuckle with a hint of spice. The medium-bodied, smooth, creamy wine is youthful and versatile, with a long, refreshing finish revealing citrus and white flower notes. It’s perfect on a warm afternoon, with the lighter recipes on the menu. 

Greek Food Kuala Lumpur
2021 Care Blanco Sobre Lias White Grenache Chardonnay, Cariñena

Alternatively, the Inviniti Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2022 (RM 38) is a well-made wine and a versatile pairing for Mediterranean cuisine. It’s a bright ruby-red with aromas of ripe red berries, cherries, and plums, with hints of spice and earth. The medium-bodied palate offers a supple texture, medium-fine tannins are well-integrated, and good acidity provides balance.

Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Inviniti Pinot Noir, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2022

If you prefer to go by the bottle, the Vigneti Del Sole Rosso Veneto IGT Appassimento, Italy, 2019 (RM 192 bottle) is an approachable price and a great food wine. It’s a deep, ruby-red wine with an aromatic nose of red berries, plums, and raisins. The rich and full-bodied palate offers more fruit with a slight sweetness and hints of spice. Well-integrated medium-to-full tannins and good acidity supply balance, and a long finish.

Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Vigneti Del Sole Rosso Veneto IGT Appassimento, Italy, 2019

Olea Food Menu

To Start

Everything is made in-house at Olea, including the bread, sauces, dressings and mezze. We begin with a familiar choice of Flatbread (RM 18) with hummus. The flatbread is thick and puffy, and the hummus is smooth – a great combo to start with a glass of white wine.

The Crispy Fried Feta (RM 48) is also an excellent choice. The salty cheese coated in a fine crumb is balanced with charred sweet figs. The grill caramelises the fruit’s edge, further bringing out the sweetness. Underneath lays a thick za’atar-white wine dressing adding some acidity and mild Mediterranean spice.

Greek Food Kuala Lumpur
Flatbread with Hummus
Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Crispy Fried Feta

From the Garden

We do love our veg and are happy to see so many plant-based choices on the menu. Grilled Aubergine (RM 38) is livened with a generous portion of pomegranate seeds, toasted pine nuts, feta crumbs, coriander and tahini and drizzled with a balsamic glaze. The skin has been well-charred, giving the veg a lovely smokiness. However, it’s best to leave the skin behind and scoop out the middle.

Roasted Cauliflower (RM 38) is a bit of a trend in KL and for good reason! The veg has a great texture and is an excellent base for seasonings. In this case, Mediterranean dukkah, tahini, toasted pine nuts and coriander give the profile depth, nuttiness, and a whisper of herbaceous. It’s also more on the moist side, a nice change from the usual dryer style of preparation.

Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Grilled Aubergine
Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Roasted Cauliflower

From the Sea 

With the sea so important to Mediterranean cuisine, seafood is often the base of many recipes. Whole Turbot (RM 168) is a prized fish in Mediterranean cuisine with its sweet, delicate flavour and fine flake. The team at Olea respect its nature, treating it lightly with herbs and brown butter.

When cooked well, Chargrilled Octopus Tentacles (RM 88) can be tender, sweet and salty simultaneously. A nice char from the grill offers an additional attractive smokiness at Olea, and it’s finished off with a romesco sauce (tomatoes and red peppers) and roasted potatoes.

I think orzo is wonderful yet underutilised in restaurants in Asia. This short pasta is similar to rice grains in texture. It’s relatively mild in flavour, but the smooth, slightly chewy texture makes it perfect for carrying the accompanying sauce. Seafood Orzo (RM 68) with tiger prawns, calamari, prawn bisque and crème fraiche is similar to a risotto, but the texture is something special with the orzo. The bisque is rich without being overly powerful.

Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Whole Turbot
Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Chargrilled Octopus Tentacles
Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Seafood Orzo

From the Land

We ask for the Lamb Chops (RM 79) cooked to the chef’s suggestion, which is medium, so they come out with a nicely browned crust and pink in the middle. They sit atop a bed of skordalia – Greek-style mashed potato with garlic – and have a covering of torrefied (dry roasted) pistachios and chimichurri. The seasoning enhances, rather than distracts from, the meat.

Olea Mediterranean The Row Chow Kit
Lamb Chops

Olea KL – To End

A scoop of Pistachio Gelato (RM 16) is a great ending with just enough sweetness to complete the meal but not overwhelmingly saccharine. A splash of extra virgin olive oil, crunchy pistachio crumbs and sea salt flakes harmonise the flavours and textures. Alternatively, a generously-sized slice of Custard Pie (RM 28) is big enough to share. The smooth, baked custard is crusted with flaky filo pastry and accompanied by a deliciously tangy spoon of lemon curd on the side. Both are yum!

Coffee is great too! My Lattes (RM 13 hot, RM 14 cold) are made on beans from El Salvador that have been locally roasted by Bean Brothers. The coffee has a good balance of acidity and bitterness, and the barista makes a good textured foam for the top.

Greek Food Kuala Lumpur
Pistachio Gelato
Greek Food Kuala Lumpur
Custard Pie
Greek Food Kuala Lumpur
Cold Latte
Greek Food Kuala Lumpur

Reasons to visit Olea Kuala Lumpur: it’s rare to find Greek & Mediterranean food in KL; lovely fresh ingredient-driven dishes; a calm, pleasant space; well-chosen wine list; quality food that is both nutritious and delicious.

book now

Olea KL
Ground Floor of No, 32, Jalan Doraisamy,
Chow Kit, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+6 03-2202 7858

Olea KL Opening Hours
Saturday & Sunday: 12 pm – 10:30 pm
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 12 – 2:30 pm & 5:30 – 10:30 pm
Closed Tuesday

Find more European restaurants in Kuala Lumpur here and stay up to date with the happenings around Malaysia here and here.


  1. Lovely place, great looking food. I’ve got my eyes on the custard pie.

  2. That octopus tentacles dish looks so pretty.

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