Sans-gluten or gluten-free has not always been the easiest menu requirement to accommodate in Paris. As gluten intolerance gains visibility in everyday culture, it’s no surprise that gluten-free options are popping up all over, even here in Paris, the land of pastries.
A few days ago, two dear friends of mine invited me to go to Passage 53.
Since I had never heard of the restaurant I Googled it immediately. It was situated in the oldest "passage" in Paris, the Passage des Panaromas, near the Bourse. Within the Passage it is almost impossible to find it and I am sure most people walk by it without realizing that this is a restaurant with two Michelin starts.
There is only one menu at Passage 53 and it is a seven course affair. I am not one of those people who take a picture of everything they eat and make annoying audible commentary while consuming their food. The food was inventive, quite delicious and very well presented. I only retained a few of the courses.
There is only one menu at Passage 53 and it is a seven course affair. I am not one of those people who take a picture of everything they eat and make annoying audible commentary while consuming their food. The food was inventive, quite delicious and very well presented. I only retained a few of the courses."
France gave birth to what we call today a restaurant. But it was no civilized affair. In fact, today’s restaurant business is actually a byproduct of the class warfare that arose during the French Revolution.
Back in the Middle Ages, fine dining was a privilege enjoyed exclusively by feudal lords who had their own grand kitchens and personal chefs. The only commercial eateries for the masses were seedy roadside inns, where strangers crowded around mediocre buffets of tepid roasts, stews and over-sauced legumes. But sometime in the 1760s, the merchant class of Paris developed a taste for healthy light broths known as restoratives, or restaurants. By the 1780s, this new Parisian “health food” craze led to a handful of reputable dining halls, where customers could sit at individual tables and choose from a wide range of dishes.
"Long considered to have fallen behind London as a culinary trendsetter, the French capital is viewed condescendingly by all but the most informed of foodies and Francophiles on this side of the Channel as a teacher we've outgrown. They will point to crummy tourist-trap brasseries, overblown haute cuisine and McDonald's at the Louvre as evidence of its dramatic fall from grace. And where it does succeed, it is still playing catch-up, poor thing, they will simper. The truth is, here in London, we have nothing to learn from Paris any more.On an early autumn night a few weeks ago, however, I found myself in east Paris, in the rough and ready 20th arrondissement, receiving what felt like a re-education in dining out. A French friend had recommended Roseval, a new restaurant run by talented young chefs Michael Greenwold, a 28-year-old Brit, and Simone Tondo, a 24-year-old Sardinian, that has become an instant hit since its July opening.
An unassuming little corner plot, Roseval seats around 20 in its pocket-square-sized dining-room. Roughly plastered white walls and simple wooden furniture allow the space to breathe but retain a homely feel. Unlike London, where the fashion for "no-bookings" means a meal now routinely begins with a two-hour wait, there's no queuing or names on clipboards, just plain old reservations. And no choosing what to eat, either – like many Paris restaurants now, Roseval offers a set menu only, although you can ring ahead for special requirements. I was more than happy to cede control – a welcome pause in the endless flow of decision-making, there's also something companionable about eating the same thing as everyone else at the table.
Paris, meanwhile, is full of possibilities. Happily for its denizens, Roseval is not a bargainous aberration, but typical of a local, independent restaurant scene founded on the talents of a fresh generation of young chefs, many of whom are not French, but have cut their teeth in some of the city's most creative kitchens and are now boldly striking out alone with their first ventures. Yes, there is also a clutch of trendy burger and steak joints, but they aren't setting the tone. Meg Zimbeck, editor of the Paris by Mouth restaurant blog, cites the recently opened Abri and the reopened Vivant Table, both of which have Japanese chefs, alongside Roseval as her top picks of the new season."
"The pressures of globalisation aside, it bears repeating that Paris remains a well established venue where good taste has set down its roots for decades. It is deeply infused into the socio-cultural fabric of the city. One clear (albeit flimsy) demonstration of this is the ‘Tous au restaurant’ initiative. It is basically an initiative in Paris and beyond that offers a ‘two meals for the price of one’ for haute cuisine and more modest forms of dining over the course of about a week. This year it runs from the 17th all through to the 23rd of September."
"Tell us more about The Private Dinner in Paris. How is it different from dining in an ordinary restaurant?
With The Private Dinner, you don’t need to go to the restaurant, as the restaurant will come to you. Your private chef will prepare and present your dinner especially for you. Instead of having a meal, intended to please a majority of people and cooked with no personal touch, you will get an entirely different treatment. A personal, intimate dinner, prepared exclusively for you. A tastefully cooked meal, made by someone who knows exactly what you like and how you like it.
What’s more, with us you can always order something that’s not on the menu, because you’ll be the one composing it!"
Every day I am faced with at least two or three bad baguette sightings, and it bothers me more than it should, like a niggling sore throat in the morning– every, single, time.
When I say ‘bad baguettes’, I simply mean a Parisian civilian walking along their way, carrying a really crappy, shitty, nasty-looking… baguette. Last week it happened again, and this time it really got the better of me. I watched a Frenchman walk out of an award-winning bakery holding a baguette that looked even worse than what they sell in a Carrefour supermarket.
These days I can detect them from a mile away. My bad bread radar picks up on the tell-tale faux golden colour, the floppy sunken spine and the flourless flaky crust– so thin you can almost see the mesh pattern of the baking tray. They remind me of those awful ‘French sticks’ my Mum used to get from the local bakery in country Victoria, only she had the good sense to make croutons from them, and nothing more."
Sushi Wasabi: At this extremely affordable venue, you can eat delicious sushi, maki, and maki futo, among other dishes. Of course, they also have delicious miso and refreshing drinks. You can pick up sushi to take home as well.
Yen: This Japanese restaurant has a minimalist, unique style and is a favorite of both Parisians and Japanese residents. It is very popular for its delicious soba (Japanese noodles) and its tasty tempura.
Toyo: In this restaurant you will find not only delicious sushi of all types, but they specialize in offering a variety of dishes that are a fusion of Japanese cuisine and French cuisine.
Taeko: Located in the old Marché des Enfants Rouges, at Taeko you’ll find sushi and sashimi as well as salmon-based appetizers and hot dishes based on different soy sauces. And of course, they also have a take-out menu.
Planet Sushi: This restaurant chain has many locations in Paris. If you want good food, fast service and a place to enjoy original pieces of sushi at affordable prices, Planet Sushi is for you.
Benkay: Here you will find quality sushi quality but the real reason to go here is to enjoy the views of the Seine while you eat. While the prices are rather high for its location, it is worth the investment if you’re going out for a romantic meal.
Foujita: This is probably one of the best sushi bars in Paris. Here, sushi, tempura and sashimi are all very fresh. With affordable prices and warm and friendly service, you should know this restaurant."
"Most of the class was spent making the pastry dough. This is not a simple feat. In fact, as I had learned in a croissant-making class last year, the process is quite lengthy. To make true croissant dough, you must prepare the initial dough, refrigerate for at least 1 ½ hours, then fold in the butter and refrigerate for another 1 ½ hours, roll out the dough and refrigerate for another 1 ½ hours, and ideally roll out the dough once more and refrigerate for another 1 ½ hours. Only then can you slice the dough and form the croissants… but (the 85 eurocent croissant at the bakery across the street is looking just fine around now!), first refrigerate for another 1 ½ hours before cooking.
So maybe I won’t be making croissants too often at home, but it is something to experience at least once. This 3-hour course will run you 99 euros, but you’ll walk away not only with a new skill and a true French experience, you’ll leave with about 8-10 pastries to munch on throughout the weekend, and if you are staying in Paris longer term or have access to a kitchen, you can bring home enough dough to make a batch of 30 more croissants!
With more than 50 instructors, L’Atelier des sens offers cooking, pastry and wine courses in English, as well as those courses and many more (cocktail classes, floral art classes, cooking certification courses and a number of other intriguing options) in French. Which will you try?"
"Since I consider Paris to be a sort of culinary wonderland, I was skeptical about what I would find in Amsterdam. Before arriving, I knew nothing of what food I would find, which scared me a little bit. Now, however, I can assure you that there is no reason to fear; this city has plenty to offer. Similar to Paris, there are cafes and pubs with outdoor seating where people can enjoy their happy hour or dinner. I was struck by the enormous variety of cuisine available to me no matter where I was. Pick any country in the world, and I can almost guarantee that you can find its cuisine in Amsterdam. The city reflects its melting pot of cultures with an abundance of dining options. If, like me, you would like a delicious post-dinner indulgence, I insist you treat your taste buds to what I have deemed Amsterdam's equivalent to a French macaroon: the stroopwafel. I may be overstepping my boundaries to make such a comparison, but I cannot deny that this concoction of batter and caramel sends the same blissful happiness to my belly as my favorite Parisian cookies. Perhaps to best understand what I mean, you will have to try both yourself."
"Visit an Outdoor Market Hitting the open-air market for fresh produce is a centuries-old community activity that takes you out into the streets of Paris and straight into the thick of local life. Whether simply browsing and taking photos, or putting together your afternoon picnic, markets are the places to go for people-watching and prime food shopping. During the summer, fill your pannier with locally grown peaches, nectarines, and cherries for an authentic taste of the French countryside. In the fall, fresh nuts, grapes, and mushrooms are the stars of the show. Whatever the season, be sure to visit the weekend organic Raspail (boulevard Raspail; 6e) market, and the Tuesday through Sunday Marche d’Aligre (rue d’Aligre; 12e) to feel like a true Parisian.
Take a Cooking Class The plates that float out of the finest French kitchens often resemble colorful still-life paintings born from an artist’s palette, and the same can be said for the dishes you’ll be preparing at La Cuccina di Terresa (http://www.lacucinaditerresa.com/; 11e). Terresa—an American expat with five-star cooking skills—shares her culinary talent with students in her East Paris micro- kitchen, where you, too, will learn to produce an edible work of art made entirely of plant-based ingredients. Terresa works with colorful seasonal vegetables, high-quality oils, nuts, and herbs to produce gloriously tasty meals that she pairs with vegan wines. This is a deluxe experience for every foodie."
"Sometimes knowing little about a place is the best way to discover it: no expectations, no disappointment. At Claude Colliot, we were delighted by what we found – creative, market-fresh nouveau bistro cuisine served in a contemporary setting that’s comfortably chic without being sterile. (Think washed stone walls and aubergine leather Parsons chairs plus a fab chandelier made of graphite drafting lamps.)
The attentive servers were clearly proud of their chef’s creations and seemed anxious for us to like them too. We opted for à la carte instead of a menu (there are two), although mysterious names like “couleur maraichere” and “tout blanc” made us a tad unsure of what we were ordering. Our fears were quickly dashed, however, by the fresh, inventive dishes placed before us."
Samedi prochain, tout le gratin de la foodsphère numérique sera réuni au Coinstot Vino pour la première édition du Paris TechFood Meetup.
Mais c’est quoi au juste la foodsphère numérique ?
Le terme désigne l’ensemble des créateurs et des utilisateurs d’applications numériques dédiées à la cuisine domestique, la gastronomie, la nutrition et la restauration. A ce sujet, vous pouvez d’ailleurs retrouver sur le blog une liste de 60 applications food.
Et sinon c’est quoi un meetup ?
C’est tout simplement une rencontre locale de personnes partageant un intérêt commun (cf. Wikipedia )
On connait déjà les foodcamps et les vinocamps, les événements généralistes dédiés aux startups ou aux foodblogueurs. Cependant aucune de ces manifestations n’était uniquement consacrée à la foodsphère numérique. C’est désormais chose faite avec le ParisTechFood Meetup qui vise à faciliter les échanges au sein de cet écosystème émergent.
Au programme de cette première édition :
• Apéritif gourmet autour d’un verre de vin • Présentation des projets (nouveaux ou en cours)
Et en bonus… • Démonstration de FoodPrinting avec l’imprimante 3D Makerbot • DIY Beer : un atelier brassage pour apprendre à faire sa bière soi-même
Le premier Paris TechFood Meetup aura lieu le samedi 16 juin 2012 de 17h à 20h au Coinstot Vino - 26 bis, passage des Panoramas 75002 Paris Informations et inscriptions sur http://paristechfood.eventbrite.fr/
If it’s true that we are what we eat, then did my feasting on poulet rôti in Paris last summer render me more French or more chicken? Based on the sheer volume of roast chicken consumed, I would have to say “more chicken.”
FRENCH CHICKEN Part 1: Do labels equal liberty for France's best birds? Part 2: A chicken-tasting tour of Paris. Back home in Berkeley, Calif., there is so much really good traditional roast chicken available in restaurants and takeout shops — with French names like Poulet, Café Rouge, Bistro Liaison and Nizza la Bella (“Beautiful Nice”) — that I’m not sure whether my Paris binge was an homage to the gallocentric traditions in France that helped shape my passion for the humble roast, or merely a transatlantic extension of a preexisting culinary condition.
Granted, our farm-raised (poulet fermier) chicken production in the Bay Area (and the U.S. generally) does not yet measure up to France’s Label Rouge poultry program (See French Chicken, Part 1). And we are about 15 years behind European standards for animal welfare, according to advocates I’ve talked to.
But if Paris beats Berkeley in the overall quality of its poultry, not so in the roasting. Parisians seem to be taking their well-bred birds for granted these days, at least in their bistro kitchens if not in their homes and outdoor markets.
As an aspiring food writer and someone who puts peanut butter on everything, I often question my relevance in a country of haute gastronomie. But much like Tiffany Iung, I eventually found my niche, retelling traditional culinary tales as an outsider looking in. Tiffany, the brains and bicycle behind Tifamade, Paris’ best sandwich vendor on two wheels, has been sharing her inspired sandwiches with Parisians since 2010. She can be spotted catering events throughout the city and peddling her handmade sandwiches from a vintage suitcase strapped to the back of Pink Lady, her pink bicycle. Using seasonal ingredients sourced from farmers markets and eco packaging, Tiffany has given the ubiquitous jambon beurre some fierce competition. But what is it about the humble sandwich that has Tiffany so impassioned? “A sandwich is not fussy. You hold it with your hands, and all of the flavors are experienced at once, so there isn’t too much thought about it. It’s just meant to taste good, and I think it gets the job done.” That’s good enough for us!
When I first arrived in Paris over two years ago, if you had tried to convince me that French cheese was an endangered species on the culinary food chain, I would likely have choked in disbelief on my staple lunch order of Salade de chèvre chaud.
My first exposure to the concept of “Les fromages en voie de disparition” (endangered cheeses) was through a French documentary called “La guerre des fromage qui pue” (The war of stinky cheeses) — an eye-opening exposé on the French dairy industry revealing the how countless French cheeses annually become extinct due to increasing hygiene controls enforced on small-scale producers, globalisation by mega dairy cooperatives, and the general decline in demand by French consumers for premium, artisanal products. Curious to learn more, I arranged to meet with one of Paris’ most respected, accomplished and outspoken men in the cheese business: Philippe Alléosse. A master fromager and affineur, Alléosse’s task is to ripen cheeses in his vast network of Parisian caves. He is not only a master when it comes to cheese making, but also a passionate ambassador for the preservation of what could be a dying art – the cultivation of stinky, gooey and delectable fromage."
If you think that Occitane beauty products smell good enough to eat, I have great news for you. Olivier Baussan, the founder of Occitane, has sponsored a little eatery, unique among cafés in Paris, called Miss Lunch, near the Aligre food market in the 12th Arrondissement. He has stocked it with a selection of exquisite olive oils from producers in the south of France, where he also sources ingredients for cosmetics. The resident artist-chef uses the oils and other local ingredients to create distinctive meals. We stumbled across Miss Lunch at 3, rue Antoine Vollon, on a warm afternoon and sat down at an outdoor table, attracted by a sign advertising homemade lemonade. We polished off a bottle and chatted with the server, who turned out to be the chef, Claudia Cabri. She invited us to enter the charming space inside. The multitalented Claudia is a visual artist: one of her quirky sketches has been turned into an Aubusson tapestry and hangs on the wall of her Paris café. She gives cooking classes (in English or French). She has even provided recipes for a book by Chantal Pelletier (a French noir-style fiction writer), and they are collaborating on a second volume.
"When I finished my long overdue first meal at my good friend Maori Murota's bento spot by Grands Boulevards, I descended to the kitchen to thank her, and after doing so, asked what I imagine must be a pretty routine question for her. So, I segued, after learning that she planned to travel to Japan for a month. You going to keep this up when you get back?
It's not that her project, a stowaway restaurant operating inside the cavernous design-hell cocktail bar La Conserverie, isn't successful. She routinely runs out of food to serve, and juggles numerous private cooking gigs on the side. The home-cooked Japanese soul-food she prepares is gem-like and nutritious, a natural hit with her previous milieu, the fashion crowd. (Murota was previously an assistant to Christophe Lemaire.)
It's just that the whole conceptually-unrelated-restaurant-within-a-bar situation seems precarious, barely perched where it is - like a food truck, without the truck, with notably more refined cuisine, if not service. In every major city there are a thousand bloggers with peeled eyes and pricked-up ears searching for good unprofessional authenticity, the outsider art of the kitchen, and when one confirms its existence, as at Maori's Bento at La Conserverie, one usually doesn't wait long for it to disappear. But Murota has always struck me as being more or less chez elle in funny situations. So she's returned from her trip to Japan and has reopened for business this week."
"In Paris, an ancient recipe for bear paw is just one of the artifacts on display at an exhibition on the culture of cooking and eating in China.
...I consulted a new book by Yu Zhou, a food expert who was born in Shanghai and has lived in Paris for years: “The Chopstick and the Fork: Tribulations of a Chinese Gastronome in France.”
He offered four historical differences between French and Chinese attitudes toward food:
Economic: In China, livestock farming was less developed than in France, so meat was scarce and had to be stretched by blending it with other ingredients.
Philosophical: Each meal must contain all five elements (metal, wood, water, fire, earth) and be as balanced as possible (the yin/yang theory).
Aesthetic: Chinese cuisine is more artistic than French, because the individual ingredients disappear to create a new taste — an art as admirable as painting or poetry.
Demographic (my favorite): China has always been an overpopulated country, so people were forced to be creative to survive. “We would therefore eat whatever we could find: chicken feet, fish livers and scales, jellyfish or beef stomach, which would probably be judged inedible in the eyes of Westerners,” he wrote.
Bear paw, a delicacy available only to the rich, was not on the list.
I found what I was looking for in the “Great Dictionary of Cuisine,” the 1873 encyclopedia and cookbook by Alexander Dumas, the novelist and playwright (and expert cook).
Dumas wrote that in ancient times, frontal bear paws were considered the most delicate part of the animal, that rich Germans highly valued bear cub flesh and that bear ham had become a refined but easily accessible dish on European tables.
Bear paws are still a ritual dish for the Chinese and are common on the black market. In June, police in the autonomous region of Guangxi Zhuang dismantled a ring of traffickers in endangered animals and seized hundreds of bear paws and an unknown quantity of bear meat."
"When a famous chef opens a restaurant, be it in Paris, New York or Kansas City, expectations always run high. Yannick Alleno’s new outpost, Terrior Parisien – open since March in an über cool space in the Latin Quarter – was certainly no exception.
The concept. Unlike top foodie cities in the U.S., the locavore movement has been slower to catch on in Paris. Alleno has been steadily changing that, first by introducing a wildly popular regional menu at Le Meurice, then by publishing a book on the topic. Now comes his bistro offering a menu of refreshed traditional Parisian recipes with goods sourced from the Ile-de-France region.
Trend-setting? Perhaps. But the locally born-and-bred chef prefers to think of it as a return to tradition – to the days when Parisian chefs bought locally-raised and farmed goods from Paris’ central market at Les Halles. But if a concept alone is no reason to try a restaurant, Alleno’s food is."
Terroir Parisien 20, rue Saint Victor, 75005 +33 (0)188.8.131.52.54 Métro: Maubert-Mutualité Open: Mon-Sun, for breakfast, lunch and dinner
"Here is a catalogue of refined pleasure, a chronicle of fabulous restaurants and famous acquaintances, a gastronomic memoir focused on the heritage of “real French food.”
In these pages, the Dryanskys travel everywhere, dine well and drink heartily, hobnob with aristocrats and members of the Universal Cassoulet Academy. They also periodically bewail the rise of exquisite food — the tiny portion beautifully presented — and the cult of the celebrity philosopher-chef.
For most of us, though, “Coquilles, Calva & Creme” is largely a book to dream over, since we will never eat ortolans — those tiny birds are now protected by law — or devour fresh black truffles, or sip a 19th-century wine (seldom any good), or spend the weekend at the Mouton estate with Baron Philippe de Rothschild.
Gerry Dryansky and his wife, Joanne, traveled to Paris in the early 1960s, and, after a brief stint at the Herald Tribune, he landed a job covering fashion for Women’s Wear Daily. In later years, he became the European correspondent for Conde Nast Traveler. These, it’s hardly worth saying, are jobs that many of us would kill for. In explaining how he learned about food, Dryansky writes:
“Think about what it was like to have an expense account that required me to keep in good contact, across the best tables in Paris, with the fashion makers and their business partners — and added to that, to be able to discover the newest, the best restaurants in town, as part of reporting about the city to guide the New York fashion world.”
Dryansky recalls high-living days of lunches at Maxim’s and the Brasserie Lipp — where Aristotle and Jackie Onassis might drop in for a bite — and long dinners with Coco Chanel and chats with the reclusive Yves Saint Laurent and his partner, in both senses, Pierre Berge. He evokes, too, the nightlife of the era:
“At Regine’s . . . you’d find Francoise Sagan alone with a scotch at her table in the entry, while deep inside, Catherine Deneuve, sitting with David Bailey, would be playing with her long blonde hair. A group of Nouvelle Vague filmmakers, among them Claude Chabrol and Jane Fonda’s onetime husband Roger Vadim, would hang out at the bar chez Castel, making wry comments about the young people . . . King Hassan of Morocco’s brother, Moulay Abdallah, spent a lot of time at Castel’s, when he was in Paris, but Jean Castel refused to let the king in. His Royal Highness arrived at the door with his bodyguards and wanted them to enter with him. Jean refused, unless they left their guns in the car. The king was not amused, and left.”
Somewhere beneath the Parisian streets, in a secluded basement on Boulevard Bonne Nouvelle, is the wonderfully historic Delaville Cafe. With its rather dubious, and certainly notorious history as a popular brothel, it’s undoubtedly not the sort of place my mother would like to find me in; but it’s clearly proud of its past, clinging to its origins with worryingly dark decor and some traditional red lights, not to mention some exquisite early 19th century tapestries which still hang on its walls.
The Delaville is a local favourite, a trendy cafe by day and popular bar by night. Frequented by mainly Parisian locals, you’ll certainly fit in if you speak fluent French, but you’ll still be welcomed if you don’t.
In a country that produces hundreds of cheeses, Paris is the single place where one could sample them all. Discovering the best cheeses in Paris is really about personal preference, but it also depends on the season. I indulge in fresh goat’s milk cheese in spring when it is as close to perfection as it gets. Paris in spring is all about Camembert and I thank the cows of Normandy whole-heartedly with every bite. In winter, I seem to gravitate toward the aged cheeses. Of course, Paris is famous for its cheese shops and these proprietors understand when any cheese has ripened to its most perfect state.
When it comes to Parisian fromagiers, I love Marie-Anne Cantin. Her shop is located on the rue du Champ de Mars and it is famous for its meticulous selection process–their raw milk cheeses made in limited quantities from small farms are beyond mouth-watering. Of course, the city’s excellent fromagiers will allow customers to sample varieties and instruct them in the best choices for the season or for particular culinary needs.
During summer and much of the fall, I also find a superb quantity of cheeses available at the farmers markets. Strolling through a French market place is heady with smells of flowers and fresh pastries, but I can usually sniff out the best cheeses for my after-dinner cheese trays or something to snack on while I tool around town."
"Yannick Alléno, the most glamorous Three Michelin Star chef in Paris, has a mission – a dirty one. Ever since he read a French food writer’s accusation of a certain sameness at the top of French cuisine, he decided to dig deeper into the origins of his ingredients.
We are more accustomed to hearing the word terroir from wine-makers, who use it to ascribe the unique flavours and characteristics of their product. It is one of those untranslatable French words, meaning something that involves a blend of dirt, territory, climate and identity. Yannick Alléno thinks it is time that the culinary produce of the Paris region be identified, protected and celebrated, especially as many producers are under threat from urbanisation. From his rarefied headquarters opposite the Tuileries Gardens as chef of the three Michelin Star Le Meurice (www.lemeurice.com/yannick-alleno), in one of the grandest palace hotels in Paris, he would seem an unlikely candidate to be found trudging through paddocks and farmyards around Paris."
"Since the global chain of high-end Japanese restaurants Nobu closed down a couple of years ago in Paris, the dining climate in “The city of lights” (“La Ville-Lumière”) has shifted immensely. The locals and visitors alike are open to a more cosmopolitan food and seek a lighter alternative to the usually heavy lunch and dinner at a French restaurant. The Asian cuisine is currently thriving in Paris with Japanese catching up with the recent popularity of Thai food. Orient Extreme is one of the leaders of the contemporary Japanese restaurants in Paris. With its chef once leading the local Nobu the Orient Extreme has got also the Nobu’s feel.
Chef: Toyofumi Ozuru as a young chef trained in Tokyo and then moved to Paris, where he headed a number of Japanese restaurants including the globally famous Nobu. His style is fresh and contemporary, in the fashion of the Nobu restaurants (excluding Nobu Matsuhisa in LA).
Food: New style sashimi of sea bream is one of the most popular dishes of the contemporary Japanese cuisine. It is a raw fish carpacio served with green chilli and cilantro. At the Orient Extreme they prepare it very well. Using the freshest fish is crucial and getting the balance of seasonings right guarantees the utmost pleasure from this dish.
Many Japanese chefs including Nobu Matsuhisa spent some time in Peru and were inspired by the local cuisine. Later, they spread this South American cuisine with its nourishing ingredients across the world. The Peruvian Ceviche with lobster on the Orient Extreme’s menu is one of such Peruvian musings. Zesty and crisp dish with lots of onion and lime, it is ideal to mix with seafood such as lobster. It is a tricky pairing with wine, but I would go for an oaky Chardonnay with a less dominant acidity to balance the mouth-squeezing sauce. It is one of my favourite Peruvian dishes I enjoy anywhere if the fish or seafood is fresh.