Charbon Kunitoraya

Restaurant Charbon Kunitoraya (Paris)

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Enough with noodles! Masafumi Nomoto has reinvented his delightful restaurant Kunitoraya, leaving udon behind to make way for yakitori – aka grilled chicken skewers. From the back of his Belle Époque style space (metro tiling, oak tables, mirrors galore), free-range chicken is sliced up before being braised over binchotan charcoal, the famous Japanese grilling medium of choice. The night we went, the stunning omakase menu (chef’s choice) included: a very slurpable oyster in a vin jaune / shallot reduction under a veil of salt water; sea urchin and caviar taken to the next level by a tosazu (dashi-infused rice vinegar) jelly; a lovely smoked quail egg over taro purée…. Before a procession of skewers: sasami (chicken strips) rubbed with umeboshi (salted plum) and shiso; tebasaki (wing) with golden skin; mune (breast) topped with watercress;
momo (thigh) spiced with Sancho pepper; tsukune (chicken meatballs) served with an egg yolk cured in soy sauce, mirin and Magao mountain pepper for dipping; and it’s the same story if you move on from the poultry, with fried scallops and a tofu / hijiki seaweed cream. All before a milk flavored ice cream placed atop cubed kaki and azuki beans seasoned with some refreshing yuzu and tarragon. Long live the holy grilled chicken! / Pica Bidon 

FEELING THIRSTY? A gold mine of fine wines, most of which bear steep price tags – like this Burgundy red from Philippe Charlopin (€12 a glass) or this Saint-Estèphe from Le Cos d’Estournel (€120 a bottle). And for strict Nipponophiles, there’s a wealth of sakes (including an imported Kochi ginjo bijofu, €11 for 100 ml), plus Kirin beer and green teas. 
PRICE: Omakase menu €120.

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