Chez Olivier was the fourth Michelin starred restaurant I visited in as many days. Located in Chiyoda, in a quiet neighborhood of small shops, restaurants, small businesses and residential buildings it seems to not really fit with the neighborhood, but any neighborhood in Tokyo is a very eclectic mix.
The chef, Olivier Oddos, was born in France and originally came to Japan as a cooking instructor at Le Cordon Bleu. He previously worked at La Tour d’Argent, a two star Michelin restaurant, so had his culinary chops before going abroad.
The restaurant is very small, but large windows exposing two sides of the dining room makes the space appear larger. There are 10 tables and 3 counter seats.
Upon being seated, the server put on some white gloves when setting the table. There was a nice decorative plate.
The menu is somewhat limited at lunch, with several set “tasting” menus, as well as a degustation menu.
The meal started off with some crusty, crunchy bread that was soft and chewy on the interior.
It was served with an herb butter, which was rich and decadent.
The Warm Saddle of Rabbit was stuffed with chorizo and squid, and came with a mussel and hazelnut sauce. The rabbit was tender and not gamey. The squid added a bit of texture and chewiness. The herb salad added a bit of freshness and peppery spunk, which the squid ink “chips” added a nice crunch.
The Half-Cooked Egg was a soup course with regular and shiitake mushrooms, and herbs with Vermouth. The dish was topped with an herb foam. The soup was rich and creamy, offset by the bitterness of the herbs. The egg was perfectly cooked with a runny yolk to help thicken the soup.
Steamed Kinmedai (Golden Eye Snapper) was perfectly cooked. The fish was meaty, firm and moist with a very delicate flavor. The squid ink risotto was very cheesy and buttery. The amount of ginger in the dish may have been a little too overpowering however.
The Hokkaido Beef Filet was poached to a perfect medium rare. The beef was topped with whole grain mustard with bordelaise on the side. The beef had a nice flavor and was very juicy. The vegetable “package” include asparagus, haricot vert, baby corn, carrots and turnips.
I was offered a cheese course, and just asked for a little bit. The blue cheese paired well with the fig and balsamic vinegar. The thing I did not appreciate about this course was that it was never disclosed that this course would cost extra. I didn’t mind paying for it, but I felt like I was being secretly upsold.
The meal ended with the most extravagant presentation of crème brulee that I have ever seen. The chef personally delivered this course to the table. In the base of the bowl was the crème brulee which was a little on the firm side. On top of the crème brulee were cherries with hibiscus, pistachios, and a red berry sorbet. There also appeared to be pieces of shortbread in the dessert. The acidity of the different fruits helped to offset the sweetness and richness of the crème brulee.
Service was excellent, very attentive but not over bearing. The quality of ingredients is top notch with expert cooking. I can see how Chez Olivier has garnered one Michelin star.