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Odette @ National Art Gallery

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Chef Julien Royer's latest restaurant, Odette, needs no further introduction - apart from the fact that it took me 3, almost 4 months to nail a weekend lunch reservation though weekday dinners should be must easier affairs. But, you get the drift, he has one of the hottest tables around, unless one's got 5 other likeminded diners then one gets access to their private room almost immediately.

Did I already mention he is also touted to be on our very first Michelin's Guide for 2016? I am one of those betting on it before even trying the restaurant and trying to squeeze in a visit before today's $88 menu sky rockets to $300.

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Upfront, I was not a fan of Chef Julien Royer at the start and it could have been Chef's Andre's undoing - setting the bar so high up that his initial years at Jaan were in my opinion unimpressive. So this visit to Odette was perhaps another shot at getting to know Chef Julien better.

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I fell in love with this bar counter, drinks perhaps next time?

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Then the ceiling adornments also had us enthralled for a long while.

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Open concept kitchen instantly made our table one of the hottest in the small restaurant.

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Details.

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Cold towels first up. 

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A platter of 4 nibbles that opened up a world of flavours in miniatures to me.

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I enjoyed the cheese tart and squid ink puff best.

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An ooh-lala surprise find within.
 
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Brioche, sour dough and chia seed bread made their way to our plates soon after, particularly enjoying the chia seed bread most for its rock hard exterior but fluffy interior.

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Handchurned lago butter had me at absolute hello, especially when its topped with fried jamon ham bits. Their generosity of the breads saw me going for refills - not such a recommended move when there are six courses ahead of me!

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Spot Odette, inked.

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Mushroom Cappucino courtesy of the chef, a signature of Jaan infact.

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A thin earthy broth that made up for its lack of consistency for full bodied earthy flavours. Oh, and as part of the experience we had a good sniff-a-whiff at those precious dried mushrooms.

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Not forgetting the petite breads that it came with.

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Somehow soup and bread is the universal recipe for satisfaction.

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Each course came with a set of cutlery so tempting, if only I could afford a set of these!

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Hokkaido Saba
Flame grilled, Dill, Horseradish
Smoked Tartare, Dashi Jelly, Yuzu

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Saba done two ways and presented so beautifully too. The server advise the order of consumption nad tartare it was first before the flame grilled. The dashi and yuzu outshone horseradish strangely, it could have been the sweetness of smoked tartare  that created such an impression.

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Heirloom Beetroot Variation
Salt-baked Beetroot, Stacciatella Artigiana, Honeycomb

Beetroot sorbet and meringues were stunning creations here. A dessert lookalike main course that left me scraping my plate for so much more - creamy cheese, sweet heirloom tomatoes and beetroots presented in a manner that was rather extraordinary.

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Pine-smoked Organic Egg
Root Vegetables, Mushroom Ketchup, Patrick Duler Pancetta

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Another Jaan signature, sous vide organic egg for a good hour and it arrived in such grandeur - by the time my table had this course, I was already well versed with the protocol. Server brings a dry ice laden egg tray complete with fumes and places it on the table for all photography. Egg is emptied on plate in a single swift movement and ready to eat!

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Choose to tuck it in whole or mash it like one with at a kopitiam with toast and dark sauce.

The unfortunate deal is - smoked eggs or in layman's term half boiled eggs are one and all the same. I could go into the nitty gritties of pine smoked  but I was more enamoured by the mushroom ketchup and panchetta chips.

Sorry not sorry, second time over  not wowed by this.

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Breaded Arctic Char
Domaine Saint Vincent Asparagus, Charred Kurobuta Pork Belly, Vin Jaune Reduction

Now we are talking again with a land and sea presentation of pork belly cubes and arctic fish. Clever usage of a crisp toast in replacement of fish skin and the charred pork belly provided the much needed jolt of salt in the dish.

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French Poulette A'la Braise
Foie Gras Coulant, Burnt Onion, Sauce 'Albufera'

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The josper grilled chicken breast had to be the highlight of this poulet dish.

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Loved the skin and foie gras coulant that bursts into a mouthful of delicious glory, otherwise the poultry fell short of expectations somewhat.

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I was way beyond stuffed at this point, so thankful for the palate cleanser - apple celery granite and cucumber sorbet.

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Once again in love with the cutlery!

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If it were not for me being so full, I would have indulged in this cheese selection!

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Tout Citrus
Iranian Saffron, Almond, Coriander

Citrus fruits on top a cream custard dessert, the least impressive of all the courses.

Special thanks to the kitchen for accomodating my requests to swop some courses for the vegetarian menu to get the best of both worlds. I managed to try two courses mentioned below.

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Edamame
Fromage Blanc, Vadouvan Spices, Pickled Red Onion

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A spiced green broth that would have been passed off as Halloween's props, one that went well with edamame beans and a touch of pickles. Almost like a gazpacho but better.

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Colours of Garden
Vegetable Medley, Piquillos, Charolais Tempura

If dreams do come true, I'd love a vegetable garden our my own and until that materialises, I am good with colours of a garden all in a single plate. Eyecatching colours  with fried goat cheese balls and a savoury sorbet to awaken the tastebuds a fair bit. This salad has my vote for "salad of the year", and who'd think that a vegetarian's life would be twice as good as a carnivore?

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Petit fours of home made salted caramel, lime tart lollipop, coconut lime marshmellow and caneles. 

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Those home made salted caramels were to die for, caramel from Brittany if I remember correctly? That smooth caramel that glid down the throat like silk, so delicious!

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Scrumptious. 

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Earl grey to end things off. Sieved twice, goodness!

$128 for lunch is considerably steep, I may have over expected but Chef Royer has definitely honed his craft since the days of Jaan. Service is incredibly warm and ambience less sterile than Andre's.

Odette
National Art Gallery

A foodie born to eat, shop and travel. Forced to work.

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