"The evolving Francophile..."

My husband Jack has always wanted to live in Paris and learn French. I thought it would be good for him to achieve his life time dream. Hence, we moved to Paris in 2008. My first year was difficult. I started "missives" to relieve some stress and chronicle my life so friends back in the US could read what I am experiencing. I currently write about my food and travel experiences, which is my passion.

It is definitely a challenge to live here, but each year it gets easier, and quite enjoyable, in large part because I value friendships over locale. I have a love/hate relationship with Paris as do most Parisians, mais La vie est belle (but life is good)!

Friday, November 7, 2014

Restaurant Review -- Kigawa

186 Rue du Château – 75014 Paris, France
Tel: 01 43 35 31 61
Closed Sunday, Monday/Tuesday lunch
Pernety (13)

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 - Star......................................................€€€ ................................................... 2 - Bell

This restaurant has been around for the last 3-years. At the helm is Japanese Chef Kigawa, the restaurant's namesake, serving up French food. It's definitely a more neighborhood restaurant, known by only a few and those who want to venture out to the 14eme arrondissement.

It's a very small restaurant, probably no more than 23-seats. For a small restaurant, it's very cozy and very inviting. Surprisingly, not all the tables were reserved, in fact, while we were there they accepted two "walk-ins". One of the couples who sat next to us lived in the neighborhood and said that they've been before and it's normally very crowded and busy, but decided to try their luck; fortunately, they were able to get it.

We perused the menu. It's in French and Japanese. I can only assume that he has a large Japanese following.  They had a varied and interesting dinner menu. You could have the Pre-fix menus of either the 47€ (entrée, plat and dessert) or the 64€, which gave you two additional fish dish as well as an extra dessert.  We opted for the 47€ pre-fix.

For our amuse bouche we had a shredded mackerel paté with a crispy crouton toast. Now this is definitely not for everyone. It is very fishy, but I love strong flavors, so this amuse bouche was a hit for me.


JJ had the Pâté de gibier / salade de mesclun (Game pie / mesclun salad).  At first glance, the dish sort of resembled "corned beef", but it is a pâté of wild game, and it has a nice layer of fat. I liked the dish a lot. It had a lot of flavor and with the nice crispy toast and salad with a fig, it was a nice start.

I had the Terrine de lapin confit (terrine of rabbit confit). It was a terrine that had chunks of root vegetables like carrots and sweet potatoes formed together with a light aspic. It was accompanied by some greens, a cornichon and nice herbed mayonnaise. Although a good dish, it wasn't my favorite.


JJ had the Canard sauvage rôti, au sumac (Roast wild duck, sumac). Although it was wild duck, it was not "gamey" which is sometimes characteristic of wild duck. The sauce was heavy, and maybe that's the reason the wild duck did not have that gamey taste. It was a good, albeit heavy, but well composed dish, but nothing out of the ordinary.

I had the Langue de Boeuf Croustillante/ foie gras poêle (Crispy Beef tongue / foie gras pan).  I have to say I was very intrigued by this dish, and as soon as it caught my eye on the menu, I had to have it, and so I did. I have to say I loved this dish. True to it's word, the outer layer of skin was nice and crispy and the tongue had its characteristic texture of being moist and not fibrous as a steak. It was accompanied a wonderful foie gras that was cooked medium rare. This dish was very innovative and I really enjoyed it.


As usual I had the cheese plate. They were 2-great cheeses. I had a brie and roquefort. It came with a nice confiture of fig. Their breads are really good. They're a heartier wheat bread versus your typical white flour baguette.

Although JJ could have ordered the Soufflé au marrons (Chestnut soufflé), which by the way you must let them know at the beginning of the meal, and seems to be a great hit with its patrons, he opted for the Gelée aux pamplemousses rosés à la menthe / glace fromage blanc (Pink grapefruit jelly with mint ice / white cream cheese). It was a very simple dish with gel and nice slices of grapefruit with mint. It was very refreshing, but nothing out of the ordinary.

After our meal, the Chef personally came out to meet all the dinner guests and ask how we liked our meal. He's very young, but seemed a bit shy.


I liked the restaurant, whereas JJ thought that although it was above average food it was nothing exceptional.  He also pointed out that many of the Japanese chefs running French restaurants bring their flair for exceptional presentations and creative pairings; these dishes were quite French in their presentation and pairings.  The restaurant is cute, very cozy, and the service was impeccable. I thought the tongue dish was excellent and very different and unique. Surprisingly, even though I don't believe they turn tables, service was very fast and efficient.  Not French at all.  And, even more surprising, one of our French waiters spoke fluent Japanese since as I mentioned, this restaurant is popular with Japanese tourist and expats.  Probably based on the menu choices, the wine list was quite heavy with Burgundies and weak in other regions, and the prices escalated rapidly.

With 2-apéritifs (a kir and a martini blanc), and a bottle of Saumur-Champigny our bill came to 150€.  Will we go back, absolutely.

1 comment :

  1. I've always been intrigued by the fusion of Asian and French. Some of the best Chinese food that ever had was in Paris. it was so different from what is here in the states. This combination of French cuisine and a Japanese chef is most interesting.