Lancashire Life Luncheon - Olympus Fish and Chip Restaurant, Bolton
11:58 05 May 2011
This wasnt your usual Lancashire Life lunch. Over the years, the countys finest magazine has staged events at the countys finest dining establishments. So a posh lunch in a Bolton chippy might be considered a little, shall we say, outr?
But dont be fooled by the name. I can confirm The Olympus Fish and Chip Restaurant is a very fine place to dine.
As well as being furnished by a talented interior designer, it can seat more than 200 people, it holds wedding receptions and has its own orangery.
Its all been the work of Cyprus-born owner Tasos Pattichis. He was passionate about running his own business and wanted to follow in
the footsteps of his parents Olga and Michael.
They used to run Smokey Joes Temperance Bar and The Olympus Grill before retiring in 1999. Tasos first set up a tiny take-away in 1988 in Great Moor Street and spent the first few weeks doing nothing but burning the fish. Eventually the incineration stopped and over the years he bought up more shops and transformed Olympus into the substantial, well-regarded restaurant it is today.
His parents may have officially given up the catering trade but they are regular faces at Olympus. Olga cooks her signature moussaka dish - the house special - as well as a handful of her home made cakes.
Like the restaurant, there is nothing traditional about its head chef. Manouchehr Jamalinejad didnt spend his early career honing his skills in the high pressured kitchens of iconic culinary establishments. In fact, before he moved to Bolton several years ago he worked as a mechanic on oil rigs in his home country of Iran. It was the careful tutelage of Tasos and Olga that helped him rise through the ranks from dish washer to the restaurants top chef.
The training paid off. He and his team showcased their skills with flair at the latest Lancashire Life luncheon. Generous helpings of a rich, fruity Testulat Carte DOr Brut Blanc de Noirs champagne from Frances Marne Valley set the pace, proving to guests that Olympus provides a dining experience not usually expected of this type of establishment.
Starters of keftedes were served with a swirl of Madeira sauce and a Jim Barry Shiraz, from one of the highest vineyards in Australias Claire Valley, provided the perfect accompaniment to the succulent, lightly spiced meat.
The main dish gave the opportunity to show off the star attraction, the Olympus Special. Fresh, sustainably sourced cod served with chips, mushy peas and Tasos tartare sauce. It brought pleasing smiles around our table and the award-winning Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand matched the dish well.
A choice of desserts - ample helpings of rich chocolate fudge gateau or a moist carrot cake - finished off the meal and there were probably some reaching for their top buttons. A late harvest Santa Rita Moscatel dessert wine was the ideal finale.
Together the family and the Olympus team proved a chip shop meal doesnt always have to be something solely enjoyed in yesterdays newspaper. They also showed that fine dining doesnt have to mean pigeon-sized portions and squirts of oddly-flavoured foam.
Tasos plans for his restaurant bore out of his pride for this Lancashire town. He admits he may have some way to go before he beats his parents 40-year-stretch in the trade but what he has achieved at Olympus is quite remarkable.