Balagan (Paris)

© Studio L’Etiquette

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Mazel tov! The foodosphere has been all abuzz since June 1st, 2017, because of the opening of this festive spot, located on the ground floor of the Hôtel Paris-Vendôme. Assaf Granit and Uni Navon (who already own MachneYuda in Jerusalem and Palomar in London) have partnered up with the team from Experimental Cocktail Club, and our taste buds are reaping the benefits! In a space decorated by Dorothée Meilichzon (‘60s light fixtures, golden mirrors, electric blue benches) and brought to life with a Tel Aviv inspired playlist, the chefs and waiters in their thirties send out celestial Middle Eastern dishes as the sound level rises: Yemeni brioche bread with silky labneh and an explosive chopped tomato condiment; an erotic bluefin tuna tartare with raw, cooked and sun-dried tomatoes, intensified by flying fish roe (tobiko), pickled peppers and fresh ginger; roasted bass fillet, topped with a spellbinding tahini beurre blanc sauce, plated over pillowy-soft sautéed spinach with garlic, braised fennel and split peas with Persian lemon; and for a more underwhelming desert, we had a slice of watermelon served with feta ice cream, which unfortunately, had already started to melt…. An incredible feast nonetheless, even better with wines from here (€8 for a glass of L’Amouvedre from Comor) or elsewhere (€18 for a glass of Yarden bubbly), judiciously chosen and audaciously priced – or a spirited mocktail like the Green Side, with granny smith apple and cucumber juice, verjus, elderflower and ginger beer. À la carte €39-59. Cocktails €9-15. No set menus. // G.L.P.

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2021 Le Fooding guide frontcover


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