Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)
4.2 - Star...............................................................€€............................................................4 - Bell
I've heard so much of this restaurant and we finally had an opportunity to go for lunch. It's in a great location and not far from the Arc de Triomphe. As you enter the restaurant it has a nice inviting feel. There is a sun room and also a dining area which is less "bright". At dinner, the brightness wouldn't matter.
It was a bit noisy in the sunroom area since the sounds reverberated back from the glass ceiling. But I found the room quite lovely and enjoyable.
We perused the menu, and they had a prefix menu as well as a la carte.
The Chef, Aron Isip is a native of the Philippines and has worked at Apicius , Ze Kitchen Gallery, Pan .... He brings a Filipino/Asian influence to some of his dishes along with his extensive French cooking skills and knowledge. A wonderful fusion of tastes.
We all opted to do the formule, which was a great deal. For an entrée-plat or plat-dessert it was 19€ and for entrée-plat-dessert would be 24€. This was extremely reasonable.
We all opted for the formule.
We all had the Poulpe/ Chorizo de boeuf wagyu/ sauce curry Noir a l’encre de seiche (Octopus / Chorizo wagyu beef / curry sauce Black squid ink). Oh my God, we all loved this dish, the juxtaposition of the different flavors were so complimentary and just incredible. The Squid was topped with pickled gingers, there were dabs of squid ink, and an herb of dill. It had charred grilled green onion that brought it to next level. If no one was around, I would've licked that plate.
Lentilles noires béluga / Effiloché d'agneau de lait confit/ émulsion cacahuète (Black beluga lentils / Frayed of lamb confit / peanut emulsion). I loved, loved this dish. The lamb was tender, but kept it shape even though I'm sure it was braised a long time, and the lentils were cooked perfectly. Alot of times lentils are overcooked, so they become very starchy. This was nice because the lentils were cooked al-dente. The curried (turmeric) foam was a nice addition. Overall, this was an excellent composed dish.
Abricots confits/ Espuma de fromage blanc (Candied apricots / "Quark Cheese"). This was a very, very simple dessert. It was straight forward, nothing special, a simple apricot with fromage blanc (sort of like yoghurt) and some crumbled buttered crumbs, which I'm guessing was speculoos!
And, as usual I had the cheese. It was a great selection, and alot of it. As I've said before, you can never go wrong with cheese.
What a find. The location is excellent, and the place is so inviting. You have a sun room and also a regular dining area. The wait staff are EXTREMELY courteous. The customer service was beyond excellent. Although we spoke French to the staff, they are very comfortable speaking English. The prices for the formule is EXCELLENT. I can't praise this restaurant enough. Would we go back, absolutely. In fact, we're going there next week for a benefit for the Philippine Typhoon victims week. Bas chapeau to Chef Isip.
With the current positive reviews coming from the French and English speaking reviewers, this will become a difficult place to get into, so make reservations now!
With two bottles of wine pictured above and a glass of cognac, our bill for 3-people came to 136€, a great, great price!
If you are interested in making a donation to help the Typhoon victims, you can send a check written to "Gawad Kalinga Europe" mailed to Francesca Suarez: 32 Rue Popincourt, 75011 Paris - or by CB online at "Paris for the Philippines"