121 Greville St
Prahran, VIC 3181
(03) 9525 2273
A little while ago, the family and I went out for dinner to celebrate Sister A’s promotion at work. The usual emails had gone round trying to decide where to go, but it was Father T, an avid lover of French cuisine, who suggested Chez Olivier, an authentic French restaurant on Greville St, Prahran.
We were on time for our 7pm booking, and were promptly shown to our table by the friendly staff. To begin, we had the Assiette de Charcuterie to share – a wonderful selection of meats, pâté, rillettes, terrines and cornichons served with crusty bread ($21.00 starter or $35.00 main). It was beautiful, and rustic and exactly as it should have been. From the wide selection of goodies, the pâté (below in the ramekin) was my favourite.
For mains, Sisters E & A both chose the Fillet Mignon, a 250g Cape Grim eye fillet with a choice of sauces: bearnaise, peppercorn, or mushroom ($39.00). Sister A opted for hers to be served with mustard (shown below). Both steaks were cooked well (medium-rare) and came with a serve of potatoes and a jus.
Father T and Mother K chose the very French Duck A L’Orange, half a duck served in an orange sauce with pumpkin puree ($39.00). It was a textbook dish, with succulent breast and leg meat. It was crying out for a side dish though, so make sure you order some potatoes with this one.
I chose the Bouillabaisse, a traditional rich seafood soup from Marseille with fennel and saffron ($38.00). I’d never tried a bouillabaisse till now and was interested to see what it was like. What arrived was a generous assortment of seafood, baby potatoes and carrots in a tasty saffron broth that was warming and fulfilling. Everything tasted fresh from the sea.
Alongside my bouillabaisse came a plate of crutons, parmesan and a saffron aioli. It was quite fun adding the condiments to the soup, spreading the crutons with the aioli and dipping them in the broth, or sprinkling the parmesan over the fat scallops before eating them. I always love to play with my food..
For sides, we ordered the green beans ($10.00) and pommes frites ($9.00) to share. What French meal is complete without pommes frites? They looked remarkably like McDonalds french fries, without the fatty, oily taste. The green beans, served in a garlic butter, were also good.
For dessert, we shared the self saucing chocolate fondant ($17.00), crepes suzette ($16.00) and creme brulee ($16.00). The chocolate fondant while a little rough around the edges was cooked perfectly, with a deliciously gooey center. I do wish places would stop serving their chocolate puddings with raspberry coulis though – it’s so unnecessary and adds nothing to the taste of the dish.
Mother K is a big fan of crepe suzette, and has even been known to cook her own in the past. This rendition was well executed, with the waitress even lighting them at the table in the traditional way.
I always love creme brulee, and this one was a good one. Crispy caramelized top with gooey vanilla custard, it was gone in no time.
Chez Olivier is an authentic, romantic French restaurant with an intimate feel and beautiful, traditional French fare. It’s the type of place you go to to be wined and dined, and to celebrate a special occasion. Expect helpful waiters with accents, empty wine bottles lining the restaurant, and a menu that includes all the classics like les escargots and coq au vin.