L'Octave Hayato KOBAYASHI
L'Octave by Hayato Kobayashi is a only 3-month-old French restaurant in Kita-yama (表参道). Few people know this 11-seat hidden place located in a quiet residential area. Chef Hayato Kobayashi (小林 隼人) was trained at the 2-Michelin-starred L'effervescence before he opened his own restaurant. For my love of L'effervescence and for L'Octave's quite nice reviews on Tabelog, i decided to visit there for dinner.
The restaurant is much smaller than i expected - not even as large as some sushiya. There are 7 seats and the counter and a table for 4 on the side. It was post-Christmas and pre-Japanese New Year, thus the only serving crew was on vacation, left chef Kobayashi-san working alone. I feel 'lucky' for Kobayashi-san because there are only 4 guests include 3 of us.
Two sets of dinner courses are served, Menu L'Octave (JPY 8,800) include seasonal ingredients and Menu Gourmande (12,800) with premium ingredients and an extra course. We didn't know that we need to book Menu Gourmande in advance, thus we had the standard course Menu L'Octave.
I didn't ask whether the duck terrine was homemade but anyway it was not bad, tender and flavorful, with a refreshing yuzu twist. Because Chef Kobayashi handled everything by himself, it takes around 10 minutes till the next appetizer came to our table.
The second appetizer was slightly touched. Underneath the sliced fresh radish was seared squid and fresh pomelo. Loved the texture of squid and crunchy radish, the flavor was clean and refreshing.
A more impressive dish no matter the presentation or taste. It looks like a baked oyster with a layer of cheese but it looks quite amazing when chef Kobayashi-san light the baked salt. Oyster was diced and baked with ginko nuts, the combination of two layers of chewy as well as creamy texture was lovely.
There is only one kind of bread served at L'Octave, a very plain-looking baguette that is freshly toasted before it comes to the table. It is actually from a famous bakery in Gunma probince called 'Style Bread', the owner only uses natural yeast that made in house to make the bread. Indeed, the baguette was really satisfying, warm (actually a bit hot) and has a very crispy outerlayer, inside was soft and flutty - three of us couldn't stop eating this goodness and ended with three baguettes per person. Besides that, the bread holder was handmade by chef Kobayshi, love the unique creation so much!
Chef Kobayashi actually started working on this dish from very beginning of the meal. He sauteed assorted mushroom with butter, then mixed it up to make the sauce. He also grilled four (if i'm not wrong) kinds of mushroom which the smell made our mouth watering. Finally he pan-seared the shirako to complete the dish. Shirako was very creamy with a touch of crispiness, the aromatic mushroom and flavorfull sauce works very well with shirako. Another enjoyable dish.
Quite interesting one as it is not common to have anago and foie gras in a same dish, oh, and pairing with mixed spice powder (taste like cummin and curry). Foir gras was nicely roasted and the anago was too delicious, i personally prefer the dish withought the pairing powder.
The signature main course is actually roasted deer but it is only included in the 12,8000 menu which needed a reservation, thus we had roated chicken instead. I was a bit disappointing about its looking when it came to the table, but the aromatic black truffle was deifnitely irrestable. Roasted chicken was not that bad as how it looks, the meat was succulent and the skin was crispy.
Unfortunately, the chocolate fondant was over-baked, the center was moist but we expected it to be molten. The Cassis sorbet made of Cassis wine was however delicious and balanced the heavy chocolate fondant.
Besides petit fours, we were also served the apple pie, which is a tradition at all L'efferbescence's sister restaurants. The bite-size apple pie was topped with powdered sugar into a shape ofl 'apple' logo. came together with Apple headphone, interesting.
We really enjoyed watching chef Kobayshi-san preparing food in front of us, every single dish was freshly prepared by him. We also love the homey ambiance which is relax but warm. In short, the food was good, pretty worth-of-value but didn't impress us that much - at least i haven't think of a second visit yet.