In search of lost time? You’ll (re)discover it to be deliciously slow-moving at the bar of this meditative cha-kaiseki restaurant, the first establishment dedicated to the cult of tea in all of France, cleverly hidden behind a discreet wooden facade on an otherwise unremarkable street in the 15th arrondissement. At the entrance of this monastic cocoon of a space that welcomes in only a handful of guests each day, Misuzu Akiyoshi, the vaporous hostess dressed in a traditional kimono, rings the gong to announce the deeply ceremonial meal. The “small” menu crafted by her husband Yuichiro (ex-Hyotei in Kyoto), served away from the hustle and bustle of the city, featured all of the following, after a ritualistic flavored water: elegant amberjack sashimi topped with ponzu jelly and paired with spinach and tofu; a ghostly white miso soup with clouds of butternut tofu tempura; a slice of marinated grouper grilled over binchotan charcoal; a dashi broth with a delicate scallop and shrimp ball; grilled mackerel maki rolled up in a double layer of nori and shiso; an intriguing chilled turnip under a thick layer of sesame and silky tofu sauce; a bowl of rice topped with grilled sardines, swimming in a spicy broth dotted with puffed rice and a trio of daikon radish, cucumber and kombu tsukemono pickles; before the highly anticipated Ousu, Marukyu Koyamaen matcha paired with a red bean ball. Do the minutes that pass more slowly have more flavor? You’ll have two hours to decide. // Sofia Sétif
FEELING THIRSTY? A small selection of living wines which hadn’t yet been committed to paper during our last visit: Bigotes, a Burgundy white from Frédéric Cossard (€12 a glass), Pure, a sparkling sake from Mizubasho (€24 a glass)… And naturally, a tea pairing (featuring both Japanese and Chinese teas) to complete the experience.
PRICE: Set menus €120-180 (lunch), €180-360 (dinner).