Friday, September 12, 2008

Chez Olivier L'Epicerie (Elsternwick)

Owner of Olivers in Greville St, Prahran Olivier opened his Epicerie at 256 Glen Eira Rd only four months ago - too soon it seems for Telstra to get his phone no. in the book! For the record it's 9523 0391.
Epicerie comes from the French word epice, meaning spice, and originally referred to a counter from which spices were sold. The dictionary informs me that epicerie now refers to groceries but there seems to be an implication of fine food.
We enjoyed an interesting pre set menu with a variety of wines with the Ordre Mondiale, an branch of the Chaine des Rotisseurs.
Starting with Gougeres, which looked perfect but lacked the cheese flavour one expects, and a very fine Stefano Lubiano NV Brut bubbly ($29 retail) .
The menu continued with a seafood mille feuille with a bisque sauce - a good size dish with a nice variety of seafood between the layers of pastry.
We then had a very crisp confit of ducks leg which had been cooked rather longer than I would have liked causing it to be a little too dry.
The apple sorbet palate cleanser
was made with the apple skin included so that it had a lumpy consistency and was unsweetened. I prefer sorbets to be smooth and sweet.
The Osso Erraty cheese was a pleasure and the nougat glace, like an good Italian semi freddo, a very excellent dessert
We enjoyed a number of wines including a 2006 Scorpo Chardonnay ($40) and a 2003 Caledonia Australis Reserve Chardonnay ($60)The Scorpo was more to my taste although lightly wooded the Caledonia had more acid and bitterness on the back palate. One guest felt that the wine had not yet fully integrated. Others included in the tasting were a 2007 Dexter Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir, a 2004 Savaterre Pinot Noir, an 06 StC. Pannel McLaren Vale : TShiraz and a 06 Tamar Ridge Ltd Release Botryis Reisling
Comments: T
his is a nice addition to the local restaurants. If you want a particular dish that is not on their menu they will generally make it for you if they have a few days notice. It's quite a successful endeavour to amalgamate aspects of Australian and French cuisine
Unfortunately successive visits have been increasingly disappointing. Using wait staff because they have French accents is not a good basis for performance and they fail badly. The kitchen is also erratic. It can be good but you have to be lucky.
Score: 13/20

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