The Olive Tree Brasserie

39-41 Watergate Street

Chester CH1 2LE

Telephone 01244 956643



IT’S easy to forget how attractive Chester is as a city when its right on your doorstep.

But whenever I have visitors from elsewhere in the country, the Roman remains and Medieval architecture of Chester is inevitably what they want to see.

The Leader: The Olive TreeThe Olive Tree

At least there is no shortage of places to stop to eat.

The Rows on Watergate Street alone are crammed with coffee shops, bars, brasseries and cafes.


And this is where I found myself on Sunday with my friend and their four children who – despite two of them downing Forget-Me-Not Frappuccinos on the drive over – were eager to chow down.

After being almost seduced by the free Turkish delight on offer at a new café further down the Rows, with a Turkish breakfast on the menu that in fairness sounded sublime, we opted for the Olive Tree Brasserie.

Specialising in Greek and Mediterranean cuisine, the Olive Tree on the historic Rows in Chester is the third to be opened in the UK by Dean Wilson.

Having attended the opening night in 2016, I have dined at the Olive Tree several times as it is a safe bet for a good meal.

My friends are vegetarians, and they were amazed by the meat-free options on offer.

Before ordering, they had both decided that they both want to return to the Olive Tree when they visit again next month.

We were struck by the traditional British roast dinners being served around us, and one of my friends opted for the vegan roast (£15.95). More gravy was requested and promptly supplied.

The Leader: The vegan roast.The vegan roast.

She described it as amazing and was particularly taken by the Yorkshire puddings, which, she added, are one of the things hard to get right without dairy.

The waiting staff happily told us that they were made in house, as were the roast potatoes that had a distinctive spicy crust.

Her partner opted for the Loaded Vegan Burger (£16.95) and a garlic flatbread (£3.95).

He was also impressed and satisfied.

The Leader: The Olive Tree Mixed GrillThe Olive Tree Mixed Grill

I was very tempted by the roast dinner, hankering for something more Mediterranean, I chose the Olive Tree Mixed Grill (£26.95). It came with plentiful portions of rump steak (cooked medium rare for me), pork tenderloin, chicken skewer, and pastourma sausage, served with chips, salad and garlic butter. The range of textures and tastes was a delight, but I would have perhaps have liked a wetter accompaniment rather than the butter provided. The chips were hot and crispy as they should be.

The children, who are all omnivores, all opted for something different.

The eight-year-old went for the kids pasta dish (£7.95). The portion was huge and, as it also came with chips, he took more than half of it home to have for his tea.

The Leader: Mmmm burger...Mmmm burger...

The ten-year-old has a thing for burgers at the moment, but he was put off by the goats cheese and caramelised red onion on the Olive Tree Burger (£13.95).

However, the server offered to have a burger made with mozzarella for him which he eagerly accepted and subsequently devoured.

The Leader: That's a big onion ring!That's a big onion ring!

The five-year-old went for the Kids Grilled Chicken (£7.95) as it was the closest thing to nuggets. She also had a side of onion rings (£4.50) which she was eventually persuaded, cajoled and bribed into sharing. In fact, the onion rings were giant, golden, crispy highlights.

The 13-year-old went for her usual carb-fest of sides – she’s fussy rather than training for a triathlon – and opted for Sweet potato fries (£3.95), Greek roast potatoes (£4.50) and halloumi fries and honey dip (£7.25).

While we thoroughly enjoyed the meal – and will return – it is definitely a treat option as, when drinks, desserts and service charge were factored in, the bill was more than £175.

Another minor issue in what would otherwise be a glowing review was the waiting time. We would have expected to be in the restaurant for an hour but it was actually closer to two. Perhaps this is the price to pay for a restaurant with such a varied menu, and all other aspects of the service were top notch.