"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)!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Restaurant Mumi -- Restaurant Review

14 Rue Sauval
Phone: +33 (0) 1 40 26 27 54
Metro: Line 4 (Les Halles)
Website: https://www.restaurantmumi.com/
Operating hours: Open Tuesday - Saturdays

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 (70-80); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-90); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (90+)

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

I was looking for a restaurant where we could have a nice lunch for a special "bon voyage" party for a dear friend of ours. This restaurant was put on my list of places I wanted to go last year, but was unable to.  It opened about a year ago and chef de cuisine is Angelo Vagiotis. It's centrally located, so very easy to get to.

The interior was quite lovely. It's a small restaurant, but nicely appointed. They had a reflective ceiling above which made the rooms appear even taller. And, in the back of the restaurant is a quieter area, but I preferred sitting in the main dining area.

We were greeted very warmly by the staff, as we waited for our friends. They do serve aperitifs, but we just wanted water. They have an in-house water service that can provide you with both sparkling or flat water.

It was a warm day, so it was comforting to know they have air-conditioning, a rarity in Paris.

Menu. We perused the menu, very simple, and very reasonably priced. As I've always said, I like small menus, it tells me they concentrate well on a few items, rather than have an extensive menu and everything is done quick and out the door to meet the varying demands.

Amuse bouche. I don't normally like just plain broths, but this was a warm inviting tasty (not hot) tickle to the palate light mushroom broth.

Accompanying the broth were parmesan crisp with a pepper jam. Very light, and a big contrast to the broth since the jam was sweet, but not overwhelmingly sweet.

So as an amuse bouche goes, a very good start.

Note: I'm only reviewing dishes that Jack and I had.


Lettuce/Bagna cauda/kumquats. I always think of bagna cauda as being very rich and very heavy, it can be a tad salty due to the anchovies, and of course warm. So, this dish was nothing like I expected. It was a much, much lighter and escalated version. The bagna cauda sauce was almost like a foamed mayonaise, no one flavor overpowered the other. It was very subtle and nice blend. It was accompanied by blanched then seared lettuce, with some sweet balsamic and a nice very thin crispy chicken skin wafer, which gave another textural element. I absolutely adored this dish.

Mackerel/Greek yogurt/cucumber. This dish had 3 mackerel slices each prepared differently, a greek yogurt sauce, and, somewhat hidden in the picture, a single small out of the shell mussel on a flavored seaweed mound.  All pieces were delicious but the mussel was extraordinary; one of the most delicious items ever!  But it is a mystery what made it so.  Jack and the others who ordered this all agreed on this.


Pork from Auvergne/Cereal/Sprouting Broccoli.  I don't know where to begin, this pork was delicious. Amazingly it was braised for 12-hours, but it wasn't stringy, which can happen if you braise meat too long and not correctly. However, it was moist, succulent, the meat was perfect, and the skin was nice and crispy. It was topped with a demi-glace which went perfectly with this dish.  It was also served with a side of barely. This is probably one of the best pork dishes I've had in Paris to date.

Catch of the day/Fennel/Bisque. The catch of the day was lieu jaune (Pollack).  The fennel was slightly charred and delicious.  The bisque was very flavorful but not overwhelming. The yellow dab in the back of the picture was like a very, very rich mayonnaise but almost like a pure egg yolk; yummy! The dark item in the front of the picture was a chopped form of some type of pork although we thought the waiter said it was homard. For Jack it was quite salty, but for me it was fine.


Cheese. I, of course, had the cheese course. Like I always say you can't go wrong with cheese in France. I had a nice variety of cheeses of Camembert, a medium Comté, and a mild blue cheese, served with apple and apricot confiture.

Kiwi/Fresh cheese/macadamia nuts. A nice and light finish to the meal.  Good but nothing extraordinary.  The chopped macadamia nuts gave a nice crunch.

Wines:  They have quite an extensive cocktail list as well as a wine list. We opted for a "Petit Chablis Sycomore" from Bourgogne. It's characterized as a wine with more acidity than fruity. It was perfect for a warm summer day.  Jack, who drinks no white, had a glass of Crozes-Hermitage, a Syrah from the Northern Rhone region.

Mignardise. We had a nice little party sweet treats of raspberry sitting a top a nice sweet wafer filled with creme.  Quite satisfying.


This is now on my list of one of my top favorite restaurants for 2018. For some odd reason, I thought the chef was Japanese, probably because of the seaweed and because the plates were beautifully presented and almost had an Asian flair to them, especially the way the pork was prepared and cooked. It turned out the chef is Greek. I cannot fault any dishes that I had, they were all executed well and the flavors were spot on. Only complaint some had was the wine could've been served earlier, after we had ordered it.  But in their defense, the waiter did say he would chill it a little bit, and it came back decanted and well chilled. Unless you have an extremely refined palate, I wish the menu could've been more descriptive.  If you're a big eater, this is probably not a place for you. But if you like flavors and textures, rather than volume, then this is a place for you. Would we go back, in a heartbeat.

For 6-people: two 2-course, four 3-course, sparkling and flat water, 2-bottles of wine, 1-glass of red, 3-cafés, our bill came to 312.50€ or 52€ per person.

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