Seasons by Olivier E (Lunch Set)

Seasons by Olivier E (Lunch Set)

Where:
Seasons by Olivier E
Shop 308, 3/F Lee Garden 2
2-38 Yun Ping Rd
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

Phone:
+852 2505 6228

Price:
HKD318 (+10% service charge) for the three course lunch set. I wanted to do four courses (HKD398 + 10% service charge) but due to tardy service, I fucking ran out of time.

The deal:
I’ve wanted to try Seasons by Olivier E because it seemed like they were doing interesting shit or if you would like a more verbose explanation of their restaurant you should check out their website which aside from having functional information like fully expressed menus (GO TEAM WEB SEASONS) also contains the explanation that “Like the passage of time itself, Seasons is in calm but constant transition, refining and redefining itself in a fluid, harmonious evolution. Chef Olivier’s philosophy is one of inclusion, pairing a classical understanding of French cuisine with a modern Asian sensibility and unbridled delight in the finest ingredients, not just from France, but from the world at large.”  Oh, ok if you say so Chef cause like sands through the hourglass, THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES.

Seasons by Olivier E is within the Lee Garden 2 shopping complex in Causeway Bay.  Every time I go to Lee Garden 2 all I am struck with is who the fuck is so goddamn minted that they not only need to buy their little brats Versace Youth threads and HKD350+ haircuts, but they need two floors providing them a variety of obscenely overpriced children’s goods?? Major sads when I realised that I’ve probably walked past 5yo HK children who are wearing the equivalent of several months of my salary.  Rich brat shops aside, the restaurant itself is meant to have four areas which are each inspired by a season (GEDDIT?) when I was actually there though I guess I just saw it as the ‘shitty seats outside the restaurant in the shopping mall’, ‘seats nearest the kitchen’, ‘back salon for tai tais’ and ‘outdoor bar area which looks rad but is hot as all hell and unusable until October’.

Chef Olivier Elzer has worked at all the big names, with his bio saying he’s worked at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Pierre Restaurant Hong Kong. I guess that’s kinda in the way that every fucking chef seems to have worked at L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon, Amber or NOMA these days.  Yes, I fucking get it – you’re classically trained in French but you love to forage for some seaweed to get some umami into your dishes while demonstrating your love and appreciation of Asia by throwing in some sea urchin every now and again.  I’m starting to wonder if I can claim that I’ve worked at Amber because I’ve eaten there more than three times.

Seasons by Olivier E is not fucking messing about, with a huge ass open kitchen which looms over the main dining room.  I counted about ten chefs doing their thing and it looked like a tight ship where everyone was hauling some serious ass as I made my way to the Back Salon for Tai Tais section.  I was impressed with the Seasons by Olivier E lunch menu which was filled with fuck yeah sounding choices – there’s nothing worse than when you read a set lunch menu and you’re just trying to choose between what seems the best of two fucking boring options which are trying to cheap out on ingredients.  I snacked down some fuck yeah bread while I made these big decisions, ticking off the bread test and noting that Chef Olivier’s carbs have done his French origins proud.

For my starter, I went with the burrata, olive oil and fresh tomato caviar  (requiring an additional HKD50).  The fresh tomato caviar wasn’t exactly what I expected (I was envisaging some sort of molecular monstrosity) but it was almost a tomato seed reduction of sorts, each piece mimicking the intensity of a sun dried tomato without givine me those late 1990s feels.  While the tomato caviar might have been interesting it all pales in comparison to DAT BURRATA.  I don’t think I know enough adjectives to describe how fucking majestic it was – a barely there solid outer with the liquid cream inside with a drizzle of no doubt, some fancy ass olive oil.  All of the components worked together but while I can appreciate the thought that went into it, I would have been just as happy to have eaten that boss bitch burrata on its own on a little bit of thinly sliced toast before sitting on my hands to ensure I didn’t succumb to my base desires to rub fuck yeah burrata all over my body.

For my second course I got the escargots fricassee with tomato and Pastis sauce. Seasons cooked the snails perfectly, so they didn’t turn into chewy fuckers but this dish was all about the fuck yeah tomato and Pastis sauce.  I’m not normally fucking down with Pastis (cause I don’t get no satisfaction from anise flavored spirits) but in this magical sauce it was mixed with a touch of tarragon and just gave it this fuck yeah depth of flavour that just wouldn’t quit. I scraped the plate clean with a piece of bread, only because I don’t know if the tai tais on all the surrounding tables would have appreciated me licking it clean.

At this stage I was getting relatively full, cause Season’s Portions are very decent in size.  If I did my time again at Seasons, I’d probably only go for two savoury dishes and a dessert.  However, as it was my first time at the Seasons’ rodeo, I’d piled in with ambitions to smash up four courses as I’d envisaged tiny-ass French style portions.  For my final savoury dish, I ordered the beef tenderloin fricassee.  Fuck yeah, the beef was cooked fucking perfectly – juicy, tender and all that good shit.  While I can’t remember much about the salad, I can only assume that it was fresh and beautifully presented because that just seemed par for the course during this meal.  However, I haven’t forgotten the crispy fuck yeah sweet potato fries which were fried in a light tempura-style batter and were a motherfuckin’ carb filled treat.  The only fuck no is that these sweet potato fries came in a delicate appropriate portion vs the indecently sized portion that my fat guts desperately desired. CARB LYFE = BEST LYFE.

I gotta give a fuck yeah mention to Chef Olivier who I spotted ducking into the back dining room a few times to quickly check on how shit was going.  Unfortunately, one thing that let Seasons by Olivier E down was that their staff seemed well intentioned but didn’t seem to have a clear system on exactly who was doing what and in what order.  Or maybe it’s because the clientele at Seasons by Olivier E is dominated by tai tais with their voluminous hair styles, bejewelled clothing and designer handbags so there’s no need for service to be clicking along at the rate of knots cause they’ve got all fucking afternoon to swan about in Lee Gardens 2.  However, I was a bit devastated cause I’d been eyeing off people ordering the camembert in two textures for dessert (the menu claiming these textures to be the real and the creamy one) and I desperately wanted in.  However, after we finished our mains this is when Seasons’ service slowed down hard – it took just a little bit too long for someone to clear our plates.  We waited again for a dessert menu to arrive.  Waiters blew past our table, some clearing plates for other tables and some idly setting up new tables, but no-one came to see if we wanted to order any dessert or get the included coffee or tea in our set lunch.  Finally someone did come to ask but shit was just too fucking late and as a non-tai tai, I had to drag my sorry non-bouffant hairstyled ass away from Lee Gardens 2.  Fuck no Seasons Homies, now I’ll never know the real and the creamy Camembert textures or the other potential for fuck yeah desserts at Seasons by Olivier E.

downtonmisspudding

Verdict:
Fuck yeah! It’s been awhile since I’ve seen a set lunch menu which was filled with fuck yeah choices and even fucking better, each course was a memorable, well executed fuck yeah.  Sure, the tardy service at the end resulted in my fuck no Camembertless experience, but fuck me, at least I’ll always have those fuck yeah burrata memories. Chef Olivier, imma comin’ back for your dinner time eats.

FYN Update:  I went back to Seasons by Olivier E last night for dinner and did the 6-course Carte Blanche Chef’s choice menu for a pricey HKD1,188 but it was fucking incredible.  One of the best meals I’ve had in 2015.  I watched impressive looking steaks sail out of the kitchen in wooden boxes with smoking sprigs of rosemary stuffed inside.  The Carte Blanche menu was thoughtful as fuck, beautiful and fucking delicious.  The chocolate dessert course was a dark chocolate mousse with coconut ice-cream and chocolate salted popcorn and I don’t even go that wild for chocolate but I want to eat it again right the fuck now. FUCK YEAHHHHHH ON PAY DAY, GET INVOLVED HOMIES.

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