Review: Olympe

20 July 2017

I woke up a little sore…that knee. But I headed out to explore the centre this morning, still being fuelled by that wonderful dinner at Lasai. It was rather warm and sunny, so I was a bit sweaty walking around… I wandered around Campo de Santana Park quite a bit, though there were too many unsavoury folks there to really enjoy all the birds, capybaras, cats and other happy animals there. Love seeing them tho!

Then I checked out the unique Cathedral, which had a rather interesting interior too. And after a bit more wandering I headed to lunch to a popular DT spot called Benedito. A nice bobó de camarão, but pretty small. But with all the tasting menus it’s probably good to have a light lunch…plus, knowing my next two destinations…my aorta thanks this kitchen!

I wandered a bit more before I headed back towards the south on the Metro. Didn’t want to push my knee much more so I headed back and did some packing as this was my last day in Rio and Brazil. Later I headed out and made the long, long, half-hour walk (including running thru traffic) to the Lagoa district for my final dinner in Brazil, Olympe.

Now of all 3 of my 1-Michelin dinners here, this one has me most worried. I’ve read some shockingly bad reviews about this place but it’s hard to believe a place could be so bad. Well, it’s been booked, so I went with it.

I got there and was sweating thanks to the long walk. I had to fan myself with the menu… But soon I cooled down and enjoyed a drink. I looked over the menu and went with the full tasting and pairing. It’ll be my last tasting menu for a few days…

I chilled out and finished my caipirinha before they poured a local sparkling and brought the first item — which was called a “mushroom cappuccino” by the linguistically-challenged server…

01-mushroom soup

It’s deep in flavour but was crazy salty. I needed to gulp down a lot of water just to be able to drink this. Too bad because the mushroom essence is good, but what’s with the crazy seasoning? Oh well, let’s hope things move upwards.

They topped off the bubbly and I sense my evening is not going upward from the next course…

02-ricotta pickled vegetables

Ricotta and pickled vegetables, though they couldn’t really describe it in English. I got a description in Portuguese and when I asked them to repeat it, they just said it LOUDER and FASTER. Great… Not really sure about this “ricotta” but it was no better than some store-bought “cheese spread” thing… At first I thought it looked like sick, but… The pickled vegetables were actually pretty sad. Honestly this is something you’d see in a wannabe place in the middle of nowhere, not a Michelin-starred restaurant in one of the world’s great (supposedly) cities…

My worries are starting to come true, though still nowhere as bad as those reviews I read. Then with a pour of an Argentinian white the next dish arrived based on shrimp…

03-shrimp

Not of very good quality, but still not as bad as that horrible died-of-old-age one at D.O.M. a few days ago… But this was now extremely bland — or has that soup destroyed my taste buds? These were really sad. I’ve seen better quality in a Chinese delivery place back home…

Now it’s starting to really worry me. The service has been slow, and it seems the kitchen is just bringing things out when some other tables are ready for their next dish. I asked them to move things faster for me since I am by myself. Not sure if they understood, but I tried saying it in English, Portuguese, and also Spanish just hoping to get the point across…

Then oddly a beer was poured and the next item arrived…

04-something weird

…and they described it and I have no idea what the hell they said. I asked to repeat but still couldn’t get it. And they made no effort to try to explain it further, just walking away. After tasting it I remained puzzled. All I could get out of it is that it is ridiculously acidic, there some bad pickled vegetables in this sour foam (or is it the acid bubbling up?), with a terrible poached egg that was under-cooked.

I’ve seen high school home economics cooking done better than this…

This is now as bad as some of the reviews I’ve read. Utterly shocked so far by all this, and contemplating abandoning this thing. Though things moved wee faster now, the quality is just shite…pure shite…

A pour of a pink grenache and we get a fish dish, a local whitefish from what I gathered…

05-white fish

If ever a plate was to be nicknamed DEEPWATER HORIZON this is it… Boring, the fish had almost no flavour. On the other hand, the palm heart was PICKLED TO DEATH and was inedible. I’m a guy who eats lemons fresh, and I couldn’t eat this thing… I had to abandon one of my favourite things to eat, that was how bad.

This now is just a comedy of errors, a joke upon a joke. I’ve never seen such rubbish at any restaurant in my life, not to mention one that supposed to have earned a Michelin star. This makes D.O.M. look like a treat… I’m sorry, there must be graft involved in the Brazil Michelin assessment, or the assessor(s) have had their tongues removed. This is now beyond stupid…

After a bit a Chilean red was poured, and a single raviolo was presented…

06-raviolo

Again, what is with the ridiculous acid? The filling, which I think is sweet potato, is just again ridiculously acidic for NO REASON. Drizzled with honey and drief beef, this is one of the most incongruent dishes I’ve seen. It’s one thing to challenge someone’s palate with conflicting flavours, but this is like asking John Lennon to run the hurdles while clipping his nails while wearing Henry Kissinger’s glasses…

That’s it, meal abandoned. I told them that’s enough. They came with the bill and offered to drum it down to a smaller menu price, so that’s fine. I paid and just got the hell out of there.

My goodness, how in the world could they have a restaurant that have such ridiculous service? Even if no one spoke any English, why do they think if they talk louder and faster in Portuguese that I would understand the local ingredients? Just shambolic. Not even in Japan would they contemplate being so unyielding even without language ability. Poor food, crap service. Sadly, all those scary reviews I mentioned? They were dead on. I saw so many “never been to a place so bad in my life” reviews, as well as “Michelin is a joke” pieces. I won’t mention which South American chef I mentioned my experience to later on, but this person laughed…like it’s a well-known regional joke…

Oh, this is such a crappy way to end my Brazil stay. Something tells me I will not be returning here… As much as Lasai and Tuju (and Eleven Rio and especially A Casa do Porco) were excellent, there’s too many other places to go to deal with so much BS. I can’t wait to get out of here…

WORST DINNER EVER.

Olympe
Rua Custódio Serrão 62, Lagoa
Rio de Janeiro, Brasil

PS: I actually ended up in a beer bar drinking off this awful dinner later on, enjoying a plate of grilled sausages.

sausage

Frankly this was the best food I had all evening…

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3 thoughts on “Review: Olympe

  1. Pingback: Day 1 in Montevideo: Surviving the Escape from Brazil… | melhuang1972

  2. Pingback: Day 2 in Montevideo: Discovering a Gorgeous Town… | melhuang1972

  3. Pingback: Review: Chila | melhuang1972

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