The place can be summed up as your neighbourhood old school French bistro (that's if you can afford a place in the vicinity). You would think that the decor or lack of and the empty bottles of wine on display would look a little tacky but instead it adds on to the charm of the place. Of course, the heavy french accent waiters completes the experience.
People always think that french food will blow a hole in your wallet but Chez Olivier has a bargain $28 2 course or $35 3 course lunch menu.
Complimentary bread and unsalted butter (with salt on the side for those who can't live without salted butter).
Part of the lunch set was the onion soup. Taking the first sip, there was never a doubt that this was onion soup and I would have happily have it all. However the Wife's more refined palate from her Parisian experience said that this wasn't on par. Oh well.
The Salmon on a bed of Ratatouille (part of the lunch menu). I always thought I do a pretty decent pan fried salmon but this was way better. Excellent crispy skin and well basted with butter, it was a good match for a very well seasoned ratatouille (mixed vegetables in a tomato base).
Not part of the lunch menu but from the ala carte side, we ordered one of the more cliche of French dishes, the duck a l'orange. A generous half duck portion sitting on pumpkin puree and tied together with an orange sauce. I couldn't help but think cynical about the freshness of the duck. The skin and the meat looked a little dated and different from let's say a freshly roasted duck would be. Taste wise, it was alright. For $39, a little steep for my taste buds.
Part of the lunch menu, the creme caramel. I don't think I ever had the french version of this dish but it sure looks different from the Chinese version. With caramel served on the side, the "creme" was smooth and the strawberries providing a nice balance.
Overall, the atmosphere played its part but the food seemed a little average for what seems like a really good rating on Urbanspoon. The lunch menu is still value for money but I would think twice if I wanted to come here for dinner (with the duck at the back of my mind). The Entertainment Card gives you a 25% discount on your meal up to a maximum of $45.
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Verdict: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Loved the whole setup but the food we had that day wasn't wow.