Odette – A Gastronomical Experience by Chef Julien Royer

Odette is probably one of the highly desired restaurants to visit for many ever since its opening last year. The reservation list is on average a month in advance, so I was excited to visit when the colleague invited me to join her for lunch. The restaurant is located at the Supreme Court wing, so it is nearer if you are coming from the Arts House. Tucked in the corner, the staffs welcomed you with a friendly smile even before you reached the doors, and what could happen next in the next 2 hours was just an anticipation of surprise

The setting is classy and elegant with only 12 coveted tables in the restaurant. Lunch was a quiet affair for many, with mostly small groups enjoying their own company

Being seated near the kitchen, it brought that sense of excitement where you get to witness the action that is going on. We even spotted one of the staffs being scolded (oops). But what left us impressed was how everything is so organized amidst the lunch time madness, which brought the experience seating the near kitchen very welcoming

Canapés, compliments from Chef Julien

(From left to right) These small-size snacks were a great way to start. The lightly flavoured cracker with tomato and quail egg was enough to whet your appetite, the bag of eggplant mixed with olive oil left us the most impressed with its explosion of flavours, the cheesecake with candied walnut don’t quite fit my palette and the granola oats with mustard seeds ended the collection with a sweet yet acidic aftertaste

Amuse Bouche

Unfortunately they took the board away before I could take a photo of it, so I tried to present the best I can. Ha

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A simple dish of ceps sabayon mushroom tea with an impactful taste. The eggy and creaminess kicks off your tastebud with crunchy bits of portobello mushrooms, ending with a broth that is light, sweet and flavourful

And pairing the tea is a small piece of mushroom brioche that is buttery, fragrant and crisp to bite

Bread Platter

A very generous portion of bread for enjoyment, with sourdough rye and thyme brioche to choose from, paired with Odette’s version of non-salted butter and lard

First Course; Hand-dived Scottish Scallop with Oyster leaves, Jalapeño and Ikura

You can taste the burst of ikura in the sea of scallops with the saltiness circulating your mouth, though it gets really salty at some point

First Course; North Highlands Beef Tartare with Smoked Bone Marrow, Pickled Kohlrabi and Grain Mustard Icecream

This plate was an enjoyment, partly cos I like how they separate the portion of beef tartare so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the rawness and with the balance of pickled kohlrabi to give that crunch. But I think the element that surprised me was the addition of grain mustard icecream, to clean off the whole dish with an icy punch

Second Course; Duo of Asparagus with Iberico de Bellota, Morels and Mousseline Sabayon (+$15)

Never thought a dish of asparagus can be so good. Both asparagus were cooked perfectly but we all agreed the iberico stole the limelight with the flavour and texture

Second Course; Rosemary Smoked Organic Egg with Smoked Potato, Chorizo and Buckwheat

According to the waitress, this is the most attention-seeking dish in the restaurant. And cos we were seated near the kitchen, we witnessed plates of smoked egg coming out dozed with a lingering rosemary smell that filled the pathway

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I don’t eat poached eggs, but I felt like I have to give this a try, and it was delicious. The creaminess and solid texture of the yolk with the smoothness of the white, mixed with a combination of potato and chorizo was an explosion of flavour

Did I mention we were full at this point already? Ha

Third Course; Kabocha Pumpkin Agnolotti with Pine nuts, Black trumpets and Gaperon Cheese

Honestly, this dish on first thought? It seemed a little too healthy. The pumpkin didn’t taste like pumpkin, and had a clean sweet taste to match tartness of the cheese

Third Course; Line Caught John Dory with Charred Kurobuta Pork Belly, Domaine Saint Vincent Asparagus and Vin Jaune

I thought this was the best out of the main courses. Both the fish and pork was well executed and carried good flavours by complementing each other. There was nothing to fault on this dish

Third Course; Pays de La Loire ‘Guinea Fowl’ with Black Truffle Coulis, Foie Gras Coulant and Albufera Sauce (+$15)

Not a dish you see often, with the choice of lean white meat being used. The meat was disappointing at some point cos it was overcooked and a little bland without the sauce. But the smaller piece (hidden) tasted much better with the meat really moist and skin crisp to perfection. What I enjoyed most was the foie gras coulant which gave a burst of surprise with the juice popping in your mouth and exterior nicely done

Palate Cleanser

I was surprised when Chef Julien came and served us personally. It was like a ‘OMG, the chef is here’ moment. Coming back to the dish, the palate cleanser might not look anything special but the combination of lime, cucumber crunch, basil and lemon sorbet was nothing short of amazing. It was so good we wished they just had this as dessert

Fourth Course; Tout Citrus with Iranian Saffron, Almond and Coriander

Something different for those who aren’t fans of sweets. It’s tarty and citrusy and is a good alternative if you want something acidic to end your meal with

Fourth Course; Choconuts

And if you prefer chocolate like me, the 66% Mexico chocolate with peanut & almond praline and tonka bean icecream would fit your palate well. I like how balanced this dish is without being too sweet and the unique texture of the tonka bean icecream was just a delight to scoop into

I know it’s just coffee but the latte was so strong it’s best to go with the petite four

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Petite Four; Torched Marshmallows with White Chocolate, Sticky Date Pudding, Pistachio Tart & Caramels (Right to left)

We actually forgotten about our petite four and wanted to leave after having the coffee cos we were so full already. But after one bite of the marshmallow, we decided to finish the entire plate. If I have to choose a favourite, the sticky date pudding would have won my vote with its good texture and flavour

Even though we went with the four-course lunch ($88), it felt like we were treated with much more food that left us really full and satisfied. I cannot imagine if we have taken the six ($128) or eight course, I would probably have difficulty finishing them. My experience at Odette left me pretty impressed with its outstanding service staffs that were professional and looked like they really love their job. I appreciate it when chefs took a moment out of the kitchen to give that personal touch, even for something small because they value their customers as much as their food. Without a doubt, the quality of food here speaks volume about the techniques, finesse and flavours of French cuisine even though not all were exceptional. With the Michelin guide round the corner, I have heard many expressing their hopes for Odette to be on the panel but whether or not they eventually were awarded with the prestige, this place had already won my heart and stomach

Odette

1 St Andrew’s Rd, National Gallery

#01-04, S(178957)