Revive the tarnished shine of a cherished address? One golden quartet have certainly risen to the challenge, that being the dazzling Hanz Gueco (ex-Verjus) and Luis Andrade (Clown Bar and Fripon) in the kitchen, with Crislaine Medina wielding the corkscrew (also ex-Fripon) and their partner Nadim Smair (who trained under David Toutain), who took the reins of Cheval d’Or with panache in the heights of Belleville. While the decor hasn’t changed since the days of Florent Ciccoli and Taku Sekine, the narrow alley with raw plaster walls lined with tables acts like a launch pad for the procession of Chinese bistro dishes flying from the open kitchen. Like the remarkable stuffed ducks, stamping the ground, or, our order of heady red tuna tartare with watermelon and black beans, topped with egg yolk and crispy wonton chips; an umami-esque pork belly tatin with red pepper and rhubarb, dotted with crunchy pearl onions glazed with a sweet and sour sauce; titillating cockles doused in Provençal-style XO sauce atop a vermicelli cake – just like you’d get in Taiwan; and for the cheats-free finish, a fabulous floating island in black tea, with tapioca pearls and candied almonds. In other words, you’d be wrong not to bet on this Cheval d’Or! // Henriette Ma
FEELING THIRSTY? Additive-free bottles from here and elsewhere: a German riesling from Brand Brothers (€10 a glass), Auvergne pinot noir from Patrick Bouju (€49 a bottle), or a Sicilian Rosato from Alessandro Viola (€55).
PRICE: Appetizers €5-21, mains €24-38, desserts €8-15, stuffed duck €100 (€55 for a half).
Save this spot in the Fooding app, available on iOS! Download it now in the app store.